home inspector takes a look at outside of house

Practice good home maintenance for your insurance inspection

Whether you’re shopping for a new home insurance provider because you purchased a new property or it’s time to find a new relationship to protect your most valued asset, you may be required to have an inspection as part of the underwriting process.

An inspection is one way to ensure that your property has the right coverages to protect your home and the personal property you’ve worked so hard to obtain. This inspection is different from the one you may have had during the buying transaction of your property.

During the inspection, a third-party inspector will visit your home, assess several conditions and factors of the structure and surrounding property, and complete a report for the underwriting department of your insurance provider.

Practicing good home maintenance is the best way to prepare for your inspection. If you’ve newly acquired a home and need a guide to check things out, we’ll walk you through what to look for to prepare. If you want to make sure your current home is in good shape, here’s the list of items that it’s a good idea to check.

exterior maintenance tips info graphic

Good maintenance tips for the exterior of your home:

  • Have a licensed contractor access the condition of the roof and perform any needed repairs.
  • Remove any debris from exterior vents, and make sure they aren’t painted shut.
  • Check for decay on soffits or fascia.
  • Clean gutters and make sure they are properly secured to the home, with no bending or sagging.
  • Make sure you have proper downspouts that move water away from the home.
  • Look for cracks or signs of weakness in the foundation, and repair if necessary.
  • Have your chimney cleaned and repair any loose bricks.
  • Remove dead branches and trim limbs that hang on your home.
  • Check the seals on your windows and doors.
  • Repair any missing or loose siding.
  • Remove or repair hazards that could result in injury; check sidewalks and balconies, and ensure proper handrails for steps and railings.
  • Clean or repair mold or bug damage around the exterior.

Most insurance companies don’t require an inspection of the interior of your home for coverage unless it’s a high-value property. Even though the inspector might not look around inside, it’s still a good idea to make sure the inside is in tip-top shape. Good home maintenance can reduce and even prevent claims, and that can help keep your premium down.

Good maintenance tips for the interior of your home:

  • Ensure that all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.
  • Confirm you have a working fire extinguisher.
  • Clean the fireplace and flue.
  • Inspect windows and doors for leaks or signs of damage, insect or other.
  • Check the attic, basement or crawl space for evidence of water or pest damage.
  • Make sure your HVAC systems are working and clean.
  • Look for signs of leaks around interior faucets, showers and toilets.

Assessing the areas of your home that can become problematic from time to time will help you identify small problems before they become big problems. Home maintenance might not be on the top of your list for the best way to spend a weekend, but making the time to take care of your home can save you money and headaches down the road.

*These are NOT all-inclusive suggestions for maintaining your home.