• Taylor Haines

Top 5 Things Insurance Agents Look for on Inspection for New Home Buyers

Buying your new home can be an exciting adventure, but ask any homeowner and they will tell you the same thing; buying a home always comes with problems. At Encompass Agency, we have gathered a few of the most common things we as insurance agents to look for when we do our inspections, or when insurance providers send out third party inspectors. By making sure you're aware of these ahead of time, you can save yourself potentially a lot of hassle and money.

Cracks in the foundation can spell disaster for any home, and usually are indicators of big, expensive problems.

5. Cracked Foundations

Cracks in the foundation are always indicators of problems. Cracks in the foundation occur most often when moisture has escaped into the foundation and then has frozen and expanded. Some cracks are superficial and can be easily repaired with mortar but deep cracks are indicators that a serious problem is happening. Cracks can also indicate that a foundation is beginning and shift and that can spell disaster for a house.

4. Lifting/Curling Shingles

Shingles lifting off of the decking are often indicators that it's time for the roof to be replaced soon. You can tell if the shingles are lifting as it will have a "wavy" look to the roof instead of laying flat. However, if shingles are put on in cold weather, specifically towards fall or in the winter, it may just be that the shingles have not had warm enough weather to settle flat. Make sure you have a qualified home inspector check anything that is suspicious looking.

3. Broken Windows/Damaged Siding

Broken windows and damaged siding are not only instant "cancel triggers" for insurance inspections, but can also cause a lot of damage to your heating & cooling bills throughout the seasons. Have a licensed contractor fix these immediately to pass your inspection, and keep some cash in your wallet.

2. Peeling Paint

Paint peeling (after a lot of neglect)

Now, hear me out on this one, this is almost certainly a cosmetic issue (not necessarily structural) but as an agent I can attest; I have actually had clients that have failed a home inspection for peeling paint. You have to remember that home insurance companies do care about the overall cosmetic value of the homes they insure, this factors into the risk of an "improving" or "declining" neighborhood and directly impacts rates. Luckily for most homes with a little peeling paint, this is a very cheap and quick fix and 9 out of 10 times, the insurance company will give you plenty of time to get it fixed.

1. Water Seepage

Water entering from the foundation

The number one, most terrifying thing that agents and inspectors alike find is water seepage in a house. Water entering a house where it is not supposed to be can cause serious issues; if left untreated, it could actually threaten your health. Make sure to specifically check basements and crawlspaces, as well as attics, for signs of water entry. If water has entered behind drywall, mold is likely to have set in if not corrected properly. Checking for soft spots and stained drywall (including ceilings) is always a priority.

We hope these tips were helpful for you on your journey to buying your first (or next) property. Please share this article with a friend or family member who might find these tips useful, and don't forget to call or visit the Encompass Agency, Inc. for all your homeowners insurance questions (716-835-6790 WNY, 315-657-3688 CNY, www.encompassupstate.com)


Taylor M. Haines is an Independent Agent and Managing Broker of the Encompass Agency, Inc. He writes auto, home and business insurance in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, and has clients as far-reaching as the Adirondack region. Taylor has been the acting manager of the agency since 2015 and has overseen the expansion of the brand throughout New York. He is married to his wife, Megan, since 2016 and resides in South Buffalo.

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Encompass Agency, Inc. is a licensed insurance broker in New York.
Encompass Agency, Inc. is a licensed insurance agent in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Offices located at 576 Walck Rd., North Tonawanda NY 14120

716-835-6790 (Phone)   716-835-6791 (Fax) 

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