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If you’re looking to purchase or renew a home insurance policy — or need to file a home or car insurance claim — a personal visit from your insurance company could be in your future.

“It’s quite common for an insurance company to inspect a property before issuing a policy or while processing a claim,” says Michelle Rupp, spokesperson for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America.

If you crashed your vehicle, car insurance companies may also want to visit you — or the scene of the crash — before paying the claim. This is especially the case if your car has sustained a lot of damage or looks like it might be totaled.

“In many cases, a physical inspection is the best way to assess the amount of damage,” says Rupp. “It’s for everyone’s benefit because it ensures you’re paid for all the eligible damage sustained.”

But that doesn’t mean the insurance company representative can show up on your doorstep at any time.

Key Takeaways

  • A claims adjuster might visit you — either at the crash scene or your home — to inspect vehicle damages in person after an accident claim is filed.
  • Even if an in-person examination of your damaged car is in order, an adjuster cannot trespass on your property and needs your permission for the visit.
  • While you have a legal right to refuse a visit and inspection from your insurance company, it isn’t usually in your best interest to do so, as the claim may be denied since the company cannot determine the extent of the damage.
  • It is common for homeowners insurance companies to visit your home at the inception of the policy and at renewal time.

Defining the boundaries for visits from insurance companies

Thomas J. Simeone, an insurance and personal injury attorney at Simeone & Miller, LLP in Washington, D.C., says your insurance company and its representatives are governed by the same laws as anyone else who may want to visit your property.

“They cannot trespass onto your property, or go into your car without your permission,” he says.

Even if the insurance company wants to examine your car to assess damage or walk around the yard to inspect your home’s damaged siding from a hailstorm, an adjuster or employee of the insurance company needs your permission, Simeone says.

However, there may be an exception. Some policies may specifically state that your insurance company doesn’t need your permission to go onto your property.

“Although those are very rare,” says Simeone.

Can I refuse a home or car inspection?

In most cases, you have a legal right to refuse an inspection from your insurance company, Simeone says. However, it may not always be in your best interest to do so.

“Denying the inspection request means you’ll probably have to deal with an expensive fallout,” Simeone says. “If you refuse, your insurance company will probably deny the claim. So, you won’t be able to benefit from all the coverage you’ve paid for during the life of the policy.” 

At the very least, refusing an inspection will delay the processing of your claim. That means you could be left with a damaged car or may have to delay home repairs longer than expected.

Some insurance companies might want to perform an inspection before you even purchase a policy. If you deny an insurance company this pre-policy inspection, you might not get coverage, Rupp says.

“The insurance company will probably not write the policy,” she adds.

While you have a right to refuse a visit onto your private property, or into your garage or home, you can’t stop your insurance company from conducting a visual inspection from public property, Simeone says.

“You have no right to privacy to anything visible from public areas like streets, sidewalks, etcetera,” he says. “So, if the insurance company adjuster drives by your home and can see your damaged roof, or the trampoline you said you don’t have, they can photograph it without violating any laws.” 

The right to inspection

What gives an insurance company the right to conduct an inspection? Insurance policies include a “duty of the insured to cooperate” clause.

If you buy a policy, it’s implied that you’re agreeing to that clause. Car and home insurance policies are written in this manner to protect both parties.

An insurance policy is a legal contract. In exchange for payment, you receive coverage and you must comply with certain conditions to keep that coverage intact.



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How often do homeowners insurance companies inspect homes?

Filing a claim isn’t the only way to trigger an inspection. While the best home insurance companies are not in the habit of inspecting your home at random, you can expect them to inspect at policy inception and renewal.

Home and auto insurance companies usually hire appraisers to conduct inspections on their behalf. The appraisers are trained to determine if a property is eligible for coverage.

Under normal circumstances, an insurance adjuster will not show up at your home unexpectedly. Adjusters and inspectors will generally contact you to schedule an appointment because they will probably want to discuss the damage with you.

“They want to know all the details and sometimes just looking at the property doesn’t tell the whole story,” says Rupp.

Frequently asked question

Why does my insurance company want to inspect my house?

Before selling or renewing a policy, an insurance company will want to have a clear sense of the risk it is taking by insuring a property. 

Sometimes, this inspection can be as simple as a drive-by look at your home’s exterior. Or, it can be a more involved process, with the inspector requesting to enter the home itself. 

Many factors can determine how extensive the inspection will be. They include the age of your home and whether you have undergone an inspection relatively recently.

Do insurance companies take pictures of your house?

An insurance company might send a representative to take photos of your home to document the condition of the property. This can protect both the homeowner and the insurance company if there is a dispute about the home’s condition later. 

An insurance adjuster might also take photos of your home to document the damage in support of a claim you have filed. 


Progressive. “Home insurance inspections.” Accessed October 2023. 

Grange Insurance. “What to expect from a home insurance inspection.” Accessed October 2023. 

Surrano Law Offices. “Failure to Cooperate With Insurance Company.” Accessed October 2023. 

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Chris Kissell
Contributing Researcher


Chris Kissell is a Denver-based writer and editor with work featured on U.S. News & World Report, MSN Money, Fox Business, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Money Talks News and more.