Can I Get Homeowners Insurance Without an Inspection?

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Your homeowners insurance company may require you to undergo a home inspection before they agree to renew your policy or take you on as a new customer. Depending on what the report says about your home’s risk exposure, you may see your insurance premium either increase or decrease.

Key Takeaways

  • Insurance companies may order a home insurance inspection so they can adjust your rate based on your property’s actual risk.
  • Home insurance inspections are generally required for homes that are older, located in high-risk areas or if it’s been several years since the property’s last inspection.
  • The average cost of a home inspection is between $300 and $450, but your insurance company will typically cover the cost.
  • If the inspection report shows your home is high-risk, then your insurance company may either require you to make repairs and improvements or refuse to cover you altogether.

Are Home Inspections Required To Get Homeowners Insurance?

Whether your insurance company requires you to get a home inspection before they finalize or renew your policy will often hinge on factors such as the age, location and condition of your home. Older homes or those in risk-prone areas may require an inspection to assess potential insurance risks. Visible signs of disrepair or neglect can also trigger the need for an inspection. In addition, home insurance companies may require an inspection if the property was constructed more than 10 years ago.[1]

If you refuse your insurance company’s request for an insurance home inspection, the insurance company may refuse to cover your home or increase your rate.

Do not confuse a home insurance inspection with a real estate inspection. A real estate inspection assesses the risks of a property to help a homebuyer determine if they want to move forward with purchasing the home. Unlike a home insurance inspection where the insurance company pays, the home buyer pays for a real estate inspection. There are instances when an insurance company might accept a real estate inspection but not always.

Why Do Home Insurance Companies Require Inspections?

Insurance companies require home insurance inspections so they can adjust your premium or quote to more accurately reflect your property’s risks. High-risk factors, such as having old plumbing, structural issues, untrimmed trees, a pool and an old roof can drive up the cost of homeowners insurance.

A home insurance inspection may also reveal positive characteristics that can help you save on home insurance. For example, if your roof has been recently replaced or if you’ve installed smart home safety systems, then you may see your premium go down.

Do All Home Insurance Companies Require an Inspection?

It is possible to get home insurance without an inspection, so it is not always required. In some cases, carriers may even conduct a “drive-by inspection” or use public records and aerial imagery to gather information about the property's exterior. Others might ask for a “virtual inspection,” where the homeowner uses a smartphone to show the home's interior and exterior to an insurer remotely.

If you’re buying a new policy and find that one insurer is requiring a home insurance inspection but you don’t want to go through with it, try shopping around.

There are homeowners insurance companies that don’t require a home inspection and one may agree to insure you without this requirement.

What To Expect During a Home Inspection

On the scheduled date, an inspector will come by the property and evaluate its condition and risk exposures. The duration and level of scrutiny will often depend on the size of the home and the type of inspection that was ordered. Sometimes, the inspector will only look at the exterior of the home, such as the roof and foundation. Other times, a more comprehensive inspection of the home’s interior systems, such as plumbing and electrical systems, will be required.

In addition, any specific home features increasing your liability risk, such as a swimming pool or certain dog breeds, will be noted.

What Are the Different Types of Inspections?

There are commonly three types of home insurance inspections: interior, exterior and four-point inspections. We've broken down each one below to help you better understand what to expect.

Interior Inspection

As the name implies, an interior inspection focuses solely on the inside of the home. The inspector will check for structural damage and inspect the condition of interior systems like plumbing and electrical. They will also assess the state of the chimney, walls, ceilings, floors and doors and check for hazards such as water damage, mold, pests, lead-based paint or asbestos. The inspector may also check appliances and the HVAC system for functionality and safety.

Exterior Inspection

An exterior inspection focuses on the outside of the home, including the roofing, siding, foundation, windows and doors. The inspector will also assess the condition of attached structures like decks or garages, as well as the state of the property itself, looking for drainage issues, hazardous trees or plants and potential liability risks like pools or trampolines.

Four-Point Inspection

A four-point inspection is a specific type of home inspection often required by insurance companies for older homes. The inspection focuses on the four primary systems that cause the most insurance claims: the roof, electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. Inspectors will assess the condition and functionality of these systems, as well as their age and any signs of upcoming necessary repairs.

How To Prepare for a Home Insurance Inspection

To prepare for a home insurance inspection, follow the below steps:

  • Conduct a self-inspection: Before the official inspection, check your property for obvious damages such as broken windows, damaged roofing or faulty wiring. Making small repairs before the inspection can help present your home in the best light.
  • Review your home systems: Check the condition of your roof, plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems. If any of these are outdated or in poor condition, consider updating them before the inspection as they can lead to lower insurance premiums in the long run.
  • Check for safety features: If you have safety features like burglar alarms, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers or a sprinkler system, make sure they are in working order. These can often lead to discounts on your insurance premiums.
  • Document any updates or repairs: If you've made significant updates or repairs to your home, document them and have this information available for the inspector to potentially get a lower rate on your coverage. This includes any upgrades to the roof, electrical system or plumbing or any other structural changes.
  • Ensure easy access: Ensure the inspector has easy access to the attic, basement and any outbuildings. Clear any clutter that might prevent a thorough inspection.
  • Consider your home's exterior: Clean your gutters, ensure the roof is in good shape and check for any tripping hazards in your yard. If you have a pool or trampoline, make sure safety measures are in place.

Do I Have To Pass an Inspection To Get Home Insurance?

The notion of "passing" a home insurance inspection can be misleading. Rather than a simple pass or fail, inspections are designed to assess and document your home's condition and its potential risk factors, guiding insurers on whether to provide coverage and at what cost. If the report shows here there are several risks that increase your likelihood of filing an insurance claim, then your premium will go up.

What Happens if My House Fails the Home Inspection?

If the inspection reveals that your home is too high of a risk to insure, then the insurance company may refuse to cover you as a new customer or renew your policy if you’re an existing customer. Examples of scenarios in which your home may be denied coverage include the property being in an overall dilapidated state or it has outdated electrical systems that pose a fire risk, old plumbing and an old roof that is at the end of its life.

That said, the insurance company may still agree to insure you on the condition that you make certain repairs. For example, if the insurance company refuses to insure you because your roof is too old, then replacing the roof may qualify you for coverage and possibly even a discount if it’s impact- and fire-resistant.

Can I Use an Appraisal To Get Home Insurance?

There are some cases when an insurance company may accept an appraisal when determining coverage eligibility for a new policyholder but it is situational. This is because a home appraisal usually focuses on the property’s fair market value and less on its risks. The exception is an Federal Housing Administration appraisal, which assesses both the property’s value and whether the structure meets health and safety codes.

Note: An appraisal for insurance eligibility purposes should not be confused with a home insurance appraisal used during the claims process to accurately assess the buyer’s losses and how much the insurance company should pay.

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Who pays for a home insurance inspection?

Generally, the insurance company covers the cost of a home insurance inspection.

How much do home inspections cost?

The cost of a home inspection can range from $281 to $402, with $342 being the average cost.[2] Fortunately, home insurance inspections are generally paid for by the insurance company.

Can I refuse a home insurance inspection?

While you can technically refuse an inspection, it may make it harder to secure insurance. Some insurers may cancel your policy when it’s time to renew, while others might charge higher premiums.

Can a real estate home inspection be used instead of a home insurance inspection?

Real estate home inspections are generally not used when getting home insurance. These types of inspections are usually used to give a home buyer a better understanding of the house they are purchasing, potentially giving them leverage when discussing pricing due to faults with the property.

When do I need a home inspection for insurance?

There are several instances when you may need a home inspection, including if you live in an older home, there hasn’t been a recent inspection, you’ve changed providers or you have certain items in your home that can’t be covered without an inspection.


  1. Kin Insurance. “Do You Need an Inspection for Homeowners Insurance?” Accessed August 4, 2023.
  2. HomeAdvisor. “How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?” Accessed August 4, 2023.

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