Owning a home is a considerable investment that should be protected. Getting a home inspected before finishing the nitty-gritty aspects of the purchase is an essential step in home-buying.
When you buy home coverage in Alberta, your insurer may send a notice for a home insurance inspection. Companies usually have self-imposed deadlines ranging from a few weeks to a few months to decide whether your home needs an inspection.
An inspection is an added cost, but it’s a vital part of the home-buying process. Note that you can get home insurance without an inspection as well. However, setting aside a couple of hundred dollars for an inspection now can save you thousands of dollars in repairs and losses later.
In this article, the insurance experts from Surex will discuss what an Alberta home inspection is and how it can affect your insurance premium.
A home inspection is a visual examination of your home performed by a professional, i.e., a home inspector. In essence, a home is assessed to ascertain the risks associated with buying/living in it.
Various factors and forces can change the condition of your house. So, it’s recommended to have your home inspected professionally every five years — it’s considered essential every ten years.
Different factors such as the size, the location and the house’s age all influence the results and assessment quality of the insurance property inspection. Considering these factors helps you assess the damages and identify pre-existing risks that you can nip in the bud for a better home environment.
It’s also essential that you get your home inspected by a licensed professional. The provincial government of Alberta has recognized the need to protect home buyers from improper inspections and possible scams.
To ensure the authenticity and credibility of a home inspection Alberta government officials have implemented the Home Inspection Business Regulation, under which all home inspection agencies and individual home inspectors are required to obtain a license from the provincial government.
A home inspector will look through each nook and cranny of the house, including places like the attic, basement, and other crawl spaces that you may not have thought of.
Moreover, the Home Inspection Business Regulation has established basic requirements that home inspections must include. Unless the customer agrees explicitly otherwise or makes particular requests for the process, inspections must assess the condition of the following aspects of a home:
- Roofing and chimneys
- Exterior; including walkways, driveways, retaining walls, patios, and decks
- Electrical wiring and system
- Heating, including heat pumps and cooling
With all the above areas carefully assessed, the inspector may uncover one or more following problems:
- Plumbing issues
- Wiring and other electrical issues
- Cracks in the foundation
- Structural issues
- Roof leakage and leaks in other areas
- Poor insulation
- Drainage issues
Once the inspection process is wrapped up, the inspector will produce a detailed report along with pictures that explain the issues found, the kind of maintenance and repairs that would be required now, what improvements and renovations will be needed in the future, when you should plan for these projects, and more.
Inspectors can also recommend any damages or risks that they identify, such as suggesting that the owner obtain an expert opinion.
Several circumstances can increase your home insurance cost. Though home insurance is necessary for emergencies and damages incurred, it’s pertinent you know the main factors that can potentially increase the cost of your insurance.
Depending on the age and quality of your roof, your insurance rate may increase (based on how outdated or neglected it is). The material it’s made of also matters. For example, metal tiles outlast traditional shingles, and your insurance company can increase costs based on that factor as well.
Many older homes come with electrical wiring that can adversely impact insurance costs. For example, aluminum wiring is considered hazardous, and if not dealt with properly, your home is also vulnerable to house fires and a surge in insurance premiums.
If your plumbing system is old and outdated or at a higher risk, then your home is more susceptible to serious issues such as water damage. At the same time, replacing pipelines is quite a costly venture as well.
So, though older piping will mean a higher insurance premium, it won’t be a bad idea to keep it if it’s still functioning properly.
The above are only three of the many more factors affecting your insured property and your insurance premium. This is where one realizes the importance of a proper home inspection and how it can help you nip these problems in the bud and safeguard against financial risks and damages in the future.
As would be evident by now, the two main reasons a home inspection is undertaken are to assess the home’s replacement costs and to check for any pre-existing risks or damages that need addressing.
Home inspectors can help you spot specific issues early on, which will ensure you don’t shell out more than necessary.
Moreover, having your home inspected can help you in keeping the cost of insurance down. Since your house will be revamped and well-kept regularly, there will be little need for any expensive charge when you’re claiming your insurance.
An inspected house means that there will be minimal scope for accidents due to electrical fault, water leakage, and other similar reasons. It all implies less risk for the insurance company, which, in turn, can help you reduce your insurance premium.
An Alberta home inspection uncovers all the potential risks and damages that you may experience if not identified early on. So, while a home inspection is not a mandatory process, it’s still recommended you get it done to ensure the upkeep of your house.
An inspection is always a good idea whether you’re looking to buy a heritage home, a brand-new building, or anything else in between. The rules and regulations outlining the process of inspections all benefit the buyers and homeowners. Furthermore, it can significantly bring down the cost of your insurance premium and prove to be cost-saving in the long run.