Real Estate & Around the House

Understanding the Importance of 4-Point Inspections – A Comprehensive Guide

July 26, 2023

A home that does not pass a 4-point inspection may be considered uninsurable. You may not be able to obtain homeowner’s insurance, or you may have to pay high premiums.

Insurance companies typically require this type of inspection because they want to know the risks. The 4-point inspection covers four areas:


A leaking pipe, malfunctioning water heater, or clogged drain can cost you big time. Not only are these problems expensive to fix, but they’ll also take valuable time from your life.

A plumbing inspection helps prevent damage from affecting your home’s overall value. It will check the type of drain and supply lines, visible pipes, and plumbing fixtures in a property. It will also look for signs of clogs and any other problems that could be costly to fix.

Insurance providers will look at 4-point inspections as part of the process when buying a new home or renewing your current policy. These are important because they help them decide whether or not to offer coverage for a property. They also list items that must be addressed, allowing you to prevent damage and save money in the long run.


The roof is one of the most critical parts of your home, protecting it from the elements and keeping it safe. If a roof is damaged or leaks, the entire structure of your house can be threatened. A licensed commercial building inspector will check for leaks, cracks, wear and tear, age, and shingle type.

The inspectors will also look at plumbing and electrical. These are common areas for damage and can result from older homes or even normal wear and tear. The inspector will look for leaking plumbing, polybutylene plumbing, water heaters over 18 years old, and particular brands of electrical panels due to fire risks.

These inspections provide the insurance company with a clearer picture of your risk. They don’t replace a complete home inspection but rather give the insurer a view of just four of the most essential components of your property. They are typically required for homes over 40 years or rental properties that reach this age.


A 4-point inspection will examine the condition of a home’s major systems. It includes things like air ducts and their cleanliness to help prevent leakage, which will lead to higher energy bills over time. The inspector will also look at the condition of the electrical system and its overall appearance. If it uses outdated wiring methods such as knob-and-tube or aluminum wire, standard in homes built in the 1940s, homeowners insurance companies will want to know about it.

In addition, if the house has a water heater that is polybutylene due to the high risk of leaks or an old and obsolete electrical panel brand because of fire hazard risks, a buyer may find themselves ineligible for homeowner’s insurance coverage. That’s because the insurer will be concerned that they cannot afford repairs in the event of a claim. It can make the home much less appealing for buyers and could even derail a sale.


As its name suggests, a 4-point inspection focuses on the central systems of your home. These four major areas are the roof, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. While a 4-point inspection doesn’t replace a complete home inspection, it can offer some insight into the condition of these critical areas.

Many older homes have outdated or dangerous wiring that poses a fire risk. The ESFI cites that electrical fires cause more than 51,000 claims each year. That’s why a thorough electrical inspection is one of the most critical parts of a 4-point home insurance inspection.

A good inspector will examine switches, outlets, and electrical panels. It will allow you to address any issues that could make your home a hazard for an insurer. Common red flags include polybutylene plumbing and aluminum wiring. If you have these, your insurer may not be willing to provide coverage at all. It’s best to get them repaired before your policy goes into effect.

Leave a Reply