New Home Policy Inspections: What to Expect and How to Prepare

new home policy inspections

Should you inspect your home, what do new home policy inspections entail, and what is the inspection checklist? If you have questions – we can help you with the answers!

Let’s break down new home policy inspections, their importance, how and why they’re done, and how to prepare for one.  

What Is a Home Insurance Inspection?

First, what is a home insurance inspection? During a home insurance inspection, a certified inspector will come to your home and assess the risk potential for liability and future claims. 

What’s more, the inspection will provide specifics about the home to create an evaluation. The evaluation can be incredibly useful in determining whether the home coverage is adequate and whether it needs to be altered or even canceled.

Do New Homes Need an Inspection?

The short answer is – yes, your new home absolutely needs an inspection. When you buy an old house that’s considered a fixer-upper and is showing obvious signs of wear and tear, hiring a home inspector is an obvious choice.

But what you might not know is that new homes can have problems, too. No matter how great they might seem at first glance, buying a new home means that you’re essentially the first person who’s testing everything out. 

Even though county building inspectors should ensure the construction of a new home is up to par, that doesn’t always happen. As county inspectors work for the municipality, their job is to ensure the construction lives up to a minimum building code. Unless you are a general contractor yourself, you likely won’t be able to tell how well it was made.

Why Are New Home Policy Inspections Important?

New home policy inspections can catch mistakes before they turn into problems. These often overlooked issues can include:

  • Structural issues
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Faulty wiring
  • Incorrectly installed HVAC
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Poorly installed roofing
  • Improper grading
  • Evidence of mold

If you catch these mistakes early on, you can address them quickly and avoid having them become costly headaches in just a few years.

Also, even with a contractor’s best intentions, mistakes sometimes happen. However, with an inspection, you’ll have additional quality insurance and be able to protect your investment.

A home policy inspector can help you find issues before you sign off on the final builder walk-through. What’s more, with an inspection, you can take care of any issues before your home warranty or labor warranty expires.

When Can You Carry Out New Home Policy Inspections?

Home insurance inspections are typically done at the insurer’s discretion and they’re not always necessary. That said, some situations make an inspection vital, especially if you live in an older home.

You also might need an inspection if you’re switching insurance companies or your insurer can’t determine the replacement value of certain items in your home. Finally, consider doing an inspection if you’ve just bought or remodeled your home or if you haven’t done an inspection in the past decade.

If you feel like your home is due for an inspection, make sure to schedule it ahead of time. Also, it’s crucial that you attend the inspection and be present in the home with the inspection. If you miss your inspection, your policy might not be activated in time.

Who Needs a Home Insurance Inspection?

As we mentioned earlier, new home policy inspections are often ordered by the insurer. The companies typically order these inspections for older homes or ones that are located in areas prone to major natural disasters. These include hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires.

You might want to order a home insurance inspection if you’ve been with the same insurer for a while and haven’t had your home inspected recently. Also, you might be required to have an inspection before your next policy renewal.

If you are switching insurance, the new company might require you to do an inspection and complete it within 90 days of the effective date of the homeowner insurance policy.


Even though lenders don’t typically require home insurance inspection, you need to purchase home insurance coverage as part of the mortgage approval process. What’s more, you will have to supply proof of homeowners insurance before refinancing an existing mortgage or settling on a home. Also keep in mind that, if you update an existing policy or purchase new property insurance, you could trigger a home insurance inspection.


Most insurance companies will require you to do an inspection within 30–60 days of the policy’s effective date. They do so to ensure your application was completed both accurately and precisely to the value and risk of your home.

The results of the inspection could be used to make changes to your dwelling coverage. Also, they might require you to address any and all problems that were identified during the inspection process.

In some states, the insurers might conduct specified home insurance inspections. For example, insurers in hurricane-prone states typically perform wind mitigation inspections. If you decide to make your home more resilient to windstorms, that type of inspection can result in reduced insurance premiums or credits.

new home policy inspections

What to Expect During a Home Insurance Inspection

An insurance inspector will typically contact you to schedule an appointment, as well as your permission to enter and inspect the property. If the inspection is only external, you won’t need to be home during it.

For the exterior inspection, the inspector would come and take photos of your home and send a detailed inspection report to the insurer. If there are any concerns or they need any additional information, the insurer will get in touch with you.

On the other hand, a new home or a high-value home will usually require both an internal and an external house inspection. Again, you would most likely receive a call or email from the insurer, scheduling the inspection.

You have to be present during this type of inspection and the insurance inspector can’t enter your home without your permission. Again, the inspector will send the full inspection report to your insurance company, which will contact you with any questions or concerns.

Some companies also provide the option of carrying out new home policy inspections online with a digital inspection. They might have an app that lets you take photos of your home, submit them directly, and receive the inspection report. 

How to Prepare for a Home Inspection

There are a few different ways to go about preparing your home for an insurance inspection. First, you should begin any preparation with a walkthrough of your entire property, both interior and exterior. Through the walkthrough, you might be able to spot any minor or major issues and fix them before the inspections.

There are also a few strategic areas to look into and a few problems to watch out for, including:

  • Loose or missing roof shingles
  • Cracks and leaks around doors, windows, or siding
  • Unsecured gutters
  • Uneven sidewalks
  • Chipped stairs
  • Pest or water damage
  • Signs of leaks around water fixtures

These are just some of the things to look for when doing your walkthrough, but just keep your eyes peeled for any potential damage, cracks, or leaks.

The Home Inspection Checklist 

Before we get into the home inspection checklist, it’s important to note that all inspections are different. Insurers might be looking for different things and are most likely following an internal checklist. However, there is often overlap in what the insurer or inspector is looking for.

The Exterior Home Inspection Checklist

For the exterior, your inspector will be looking at a few main categories, including:

  • Grounds
  • Structure (foundation inspection, ridges, fascia, windows, door frames)
  • Exterior surfaces
  • Windows, doors, and wood trim
  • Roof

The inspector will also be looking at your siding, driveways, gutters, eaves, balconies, decks, crawl space, and more. 

The Interior Home Inspection Checklist

There are typically more items on the interior home inspection checklist and it tends to encompass the following categories:

  • Attic
  • Interior rooms
  • Kitchen
  • Bathrooms 
  • Miscellaneous (carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, stairs)
  • Basements or mechanical rooms
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Heating and cooling system

Again, the extent of this checklist will depend on the insurance inspector. However, if you want a more detailed look, here’s an example of a home insurance checklist.

What Happens if You Fail an Insurance Inspection?

If you happen to fail your house inspection, the insurance company will often give you a grace period to fix the issues and continue your coverage. However, if the damage is too extensive, the company might deem your home high-risk. 

In that case, the insurance company might cancel your insurance policy and you would be without coverage. Luckily, there are ways to remedy that, too.

Keep in mind that your insurance company will probably want proof of repairs. These could include receipts from the work completed, as well as pictures showing that the repairs have been done. In some cases, the insurer might even schedule a follow-up inspection to verify that the issues have been fixed.

If the insurance company decides to cancel your home insurance, it will typically provide you with a cancellation date. The date should give you enough time to fix some of the damage and find a different provider.

However, if you can’t find a private insurer, you might have to reach out to your state’s department of insurance. They should be able to help you find programs for high-risk homes. Also, a total of 33 states have Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plans in place to help those who can’t get coverage in the voluntary market.

Final Thoughts on New Home Policy Inspections

As you can see, new home policy inspections are very varied and will mostly depend on your insurance company and state. But keep in mind that you might need a home inspection before your policy can even take effect. Always factor that in when applying for a new home policy and ensure that you can be home for the inspection.

To learn more about home policies, coverage options, and anything insurance-related, get in touch with us.

Our insurance professionals have worked with thousands of individuals, providing unmatched expertise and service. With access to dozens of industry-leading carriers, we can find the best rates for our clients.

Call Bennett + Porter and book your complimentary, no-obligation consultation with one of our insurance experts today!

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