Rising Non-Renewals of Home Insurance: Navigating the Wave and Preparing for Inspections

home insurance inspection

In the light of recent developments, homeowners are dealing with an uptick in non-renewals from insurance companies. This has put consumers in a rather precarious position, pushing them to become proactive in order to navigate this wave of non-renewals. It’s becoming increasingly clear that being prepared and informed is the best course of action.

One of the key factors that can influence your home insurance coverage and costs is the home inspection. This critical step is aimed at identifying potential risks and ensuring that homes meet specific safety standards. Insurance companies have their eyes on various key aspects of a property during these inspections.

So, what exactly do these companies look for during a home inspection? And how can homeowners prepare themselves? In this article we dive deep into what the insurance companies are looking for and how you can possibly avoid the dreaded non-renewal notice.

Critical Areas of Focus During a Home Inspection

When insurance companies conduct home inspections, their primary focus is on identifying any aspects of the property that may increase the risk of damage or injury, thereby affecting the cost of providing coverage. Key areas of scrutiny include the condition of the home’s roof and structure, as well as the home’s electrical and plumbing systems. The roof is often a significant point of concern due to its critical role in protecting the home from weather-related damages. Inspectors will assess its age, materials, and condition to evaluate how well it can withstand adverse weather conditions. A well-maintained roof can lead to more favorable insurance terms.

Additionally, the electrical and plumbing systems receive careful examination. Outdated or improperly installed systems pose fire hazards and risk of water damage, respectively. Inspectors look for signs of wear, compliance with current building codes, and any indication of potential failure. The findings from these inspections can influence the insurance company’s decision on policy terms, including premiums. Issues identified during a home inspection may require remediation before a policy is offered or renewed at favorable rates. By understanding these focal points, homeowners can proactively address potential concerns, thereby ensuring their homes are not only safer but also more insurable.

Mitigating Risks After Inspection to Avoid Non-Renewals

After an inspection, it’s crucial to take immediate action to address any issues highlighted. This demonstrates to your insurance company your commitment to maintaining a safe and secure property, which can significantly influence their decision regarding policy renewal. Begin by obtaining detailed estimates from reputable contractors for any recommended repairs or upgrades. This not only ensures you’re accurately informed about the scope and cost of necessary work but also enables you to prioritize the most critical tasks. Prioritizing tasks based on urgency and impact on safety can help you systematically enhance your home’s insurability.

Moreover, maintain an open line of communication with your insurance agent throughout this process. Sharing your plans for remediation and improvements, and keeping them updated on your progress, fosters a cooperative relationship. This transparency can reassure your insurer of your proactive stance towards risk mitigation, potentially influencing their renewal decision favorably. Additionally, consider asking your agent if there are any specific home improvements that could lead to reductions in your premium. Implementing such changes not only secures your home but can also make your insurance more cost-effective, presenting a win-win situation.

Image of a home inspection report and a person talking with an insurance agent

The Role of Drones in Modern Home Inspections

The advent of drone technology in the realm of home inspections marks a significant leap forward for insurers. Traditionally, manual inspections posed risks and limitations, especially when assessing hard-to-reach areas like rooftops. Drones, however, are revolutionizing this process by providing a safer, faster, and more comprehensive method of evaluating properties. With high-resolution cameras and the ability to navigate difficult terrains, drones offer a bird’s-eye view of a home’s condition, capturing detailed imagery of roofing materials, gutters, and even identifying potential hazards that might not be visible from the ground. This not only enhances the accuracy of inspections but also accelerates the decision-making process for insurers, enabling them to determine policy terms and premiums with greater precision.

Further, the integration of drones into home inspections embodies efficiency and innovation, reducing the time and labor costs associated with traditional methods. By deploying drones, insurers can now conduct multiple home assessments in a fraction of the time it would normally take, freeing up resources and significantly cutting down operational expenses. This technology also minimizes the need for physical ladder climbs, reducing the risk of injuries and ensuring the safety of inspection personnel. The data captured by drones is easily shareable and can be analyzed more quickly, leading to a streamlined claims process. As a result, insurers are not only able to offer more accurate and favorable insurance terms but also improve their overall service delivery, setting a new standard in the home inspection process.

A drone hovering over a rooftop, capturing images for a home inspection to avoid non-renewals

Preparing Your Home for Inspection

To ensure your home is in top condition for an insurance inspection, begin by conducting a thorough self-assessment of your property. Focus on areas you know will draw close scrutiny, such as the roof, electrical, and plumbing systems, but also consider less obvious aspects like the home’s exterior and interior conditions. Look for signs of damage or wear, such as loose siding, cracked foundation, peeling paint, or any safety hazards that could negatively impact the inspection outcome. Making these repairs not only helps in presenting your home in the best light but also highlights your commitment to maintaining a safe, risk-minimized property.

Important areas to make sure are in good condition:


  • Pool: Check for any visible damage or leaks, ensure the pool is clean and well-maintained.
  • Gutters: Clean out any debris, check for any cracks or leaks.
  • Porches/Decks: Inspect for any rotting wood, loose rails, or unstable stairs.
  • Hazards: Be aware of any overhanging trees that could cause damage during a storm.
  • Over hanging tree branches
  • Roof condition – missing shingles or severe wear and tear are a major issue


  • Walls and Ceilings: Look for any cracks, stains, or signs of water damage.
  • Fireplaces: Ensure they are clean and functioning properly, check for any signs of damage.
  • Attic: Inspect for signs of rodents or water damage.
  • Windows: Wipe down to ensure clarity, check for any cracks or broken seals.

Doors and Windows:

  • Test locks on all doors and windows for security purposes.
  • Check for any broken seals that could let in drafts or moisture.

Additional Potential Hazards:

  • Abandoned cars, wood piles or piles of anything that could be a fire hazard.
  • Crawling ivy or brush areas within 150 to 200 feet away which could damage the property.
  • Unpainted fascia boards which could lead to wood rot.
  • Unkempt landscaping that could potentially attract pests.
  • Broken or boarded windows that could be a safety issue.
  • Tree roots that have pushed up cement, causing uneven surfaces and potential tripping hazards.

Next, organize and prepare any documentation related to home improvements, repairs, and routine maintenance you’ve completed. This includes receipts, before-and-after photos, and reports from any previous inspections or appraisals. Inspectors value clear evidence of proactive maintenance as it often correlates with a lower risk profile. By doing so, you not only streamline the inspection process but also reinforce the case for more favorable insurance terms. Preparing your home for an insurance inspection is not just about making immediate corrections; it’s an ongoing commitment to safety and preservation that reflects positively on your insurance prospects.

Maintaining your home and preparing for an insurance inspection goes beyond simply ticking boxes to meet minimum requirements. It’s about taking proactive steps to safeguard your property against future risks and ensuring it remains a secure haven. By focusing on critical areas of concern outlined for insurance inspections and engaging in open communication with your insurance provider, you can foster a relationship built on trust and mutual benefit. Ultimately, this proactive approach contributes to a safer home environment and the potential for more favorable insurance terms, reflecting the importance of diligence and responsibility in homeownership.

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