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Some homeowners insurance providers perform a home insurance inspection before issuing a policy or renewing an existing policy. Having a home insurance inspection checklist can help this process go more smoothly and also ensure the best results when you file a claim.

A home insurance inspection is when your insurance provider sends a professional inspector to your home to assess the company’s risk of insuring the property. It could be something as simple as a drive-by inspection, where an inspector looks at your home’s exterior, or it could entail an interior inspection of your whole home. If the insurance company inspector needs to come onto your property, you’ll be notified ahead of time, which is when a checklist comes in handy.

Not all insurance providers conduct home insurance inspections. Many perform them on a case-by-case basis, depending on the age of a home, as well as its size and location.  

Key Takeaways

  • Home insurance companies sometimes inspect a home to ensure replacement cost is accurate and the home is in good condition.
  • You’ll be notified if an inspector needs to come onto your property or into your home for an inspection.
  • Use a home inspection checklist to make sure everything looks good ahead of the inspection.

Why do insurance companies want to inspect your house?

Typically, insurers perform a home insurance inspection for two main reasons:

  • To evaluate how much it would cost for your home to be rebuilt
  • To assess any existing risks that need to be addressed before offering you a homeowners insurance policy

Essentially, a home insurance inspection helps insurance companies mitigate their liability exposure. In turn, inspections can have several outcomes: you may be required to repair property issues before an insurance policy can be issued, you may be assessed a higher insurance premium, or you could be denied coverage altogether.

What does a home insurance inspector look for?

Home insurance inspectors have a checklist they go through when evaluating homes. That checklist typically includes the following items:

Exterior inspection checklist:

  • Roof
  • Chimney
  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Siding/paneling
  • Exterior walls
  • Garages
  • Exterior structures, such as a shed or detached garage
  • Yard
  • Fencing
  • Driveway
  • Pool
  • Gutters
  • Porches/decks
  • Hazards, such as overhanging trees

Interior inspection checklist:

  • Walls and ceilings
  • Fireplaces
  • Attic
  • Crawlspace
  • Flooring
  • Basement
  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical system
  • HVAC
  • Drainage system
  • Security system

How to prepare for a home insurance inspection

A home insurance inspector must obtain your permission before stepping onto your property or entering your home; they aren’t allowed to trespass.

These steps will help you pass a home insurance inspection:


  • Check your roof. Repair any loose, damaged, or missing shingles. Clean off moss.
  • Clear out gutters. Remove leaves, twigs, and other debris. Also, make sure gutters and downspouts are securely attached to your home.
  • Prune trees. Trim branches so that nothing is touching your house or hanging over your home.
  • Fix cracks or loose bricks in a chimney. These can be a fire hazard.
  • Seal cracks and leaks around windows and doors. This can also improve your home’s insulation and lower your energy bill.


  • Test the HVAC system. Change air filters to improve performance, if needed.
  • Look for signs of waters leaks. Check under sinks and around toilets, washing machines, and dishwashers. Also keep an eye out for wall discoloration or bubbling paint.
  • Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Replace batteries if necessary.
  • Check the basement. Keep an eye out for pests, mold, and cracks in the foundation.
  • Survey the attic. Check for water damage and rodents.
  • Examine walls and ceilings. Look for cracks, stains, or other damage.

What is a 4-point inspection?

A four-point inspection is when a home insurance inspector focuses on four main components of a home: roofing, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. This type of inspection tends to be performed when a home reaches 20 years of age—when roofing, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC issues often arise.

To prepare for a four-point inspection, make sure your HVAC system is functioning properly, inspect the condition of your roof, look for signs of leaking around plumbing fixtures, and check for any exposed wiring and that all electrical outlets are grounded properly.

Frequently asked questions

Can I get home insurance without a home inspection?

Yes. Not all insurance providers require a home inspection before issuing or renewing an insurance policy.

How often does a house need to be checked for insurance purposes?

Although it can vary by provider, most insurance companies perform home inspections once every 10 to 12 years. Insurance companies may also perform an inspection when you file a claim, but that’s technically an appraisal, where a representative comes to your home to assess the damage and determine if your property is eligible for coverage under your policy.

What should I do if my homeowners insurance policy is canceled after an inspection?

If your home fails an inspection, you can do one of three things. You can either request permission to make necessary repairs to maintain or renew your insurance policy; dispute the report’s findings (and provide supporting evidence), or find a new insurance provider.