all the Agents and Agencies not yet aware, in
the recent months there has been a few
brewing behind the scenes concerning Wind Mitigation Inspections
and some 4-Point Inspections. There has been
amount of Fraudulent Inspections being provided
to the insurance companies. "Inspectors" knowingly working
under licenses that either expired or do not
exist, and "Inspectors" licensed, but
providing Intentionally Faulty
Reports are submitting reports and the insurance
companies are finding through follow up inspections
and basic on-line license
checks that the problem is growing. Some
insurance companies serving this region such
as Universal, United, Florida Peninsula,
Gulfstream and Citizens have begun cracking
down on inspection firms and recently,
agencies that recommend
them. It is recommended that you review this
information with any companies you write for
to see if they are having similar
problems, and how you may prevent it from effecting
your agency. We compiled a detailed review based
on our collective experience
in the insurance and inspection fields in Florida,
and our constant yearning to perfect our Standards
of this article was inspired from actual review
dwellings. We have reviewed dozens of these
very instances with photographical evidence! Many
times it is unbeknownst to
the homeowner who would have fixed the problems had
the Inspector informed them. An Inspector should always
honor the ethics
of his/her respective field and assist in every way
afforded them to secure the safety of every occupant
that resides in the
dwelling. Their reporting should never be compromised
for any reason, especially financial purposes. Morely,
should always be one who is actually knowledgeable
of the circumstances within a dwelling.
- Newly unemployed contractors and home inspectors are picking up the title of "insurance inspector" at an all time
high due to their respective fields lying waste in the economic slump. These individuals enjoyed lavish growth and financial
prosperity until there bridge burned beneath them, now there trying to diversify into a market and industry that does
not offer those same rewards. But demands more than some are willing and able to offer.
- Individual 4-Point inspections fees do not come close
to the amount a home inspector or contractor would
make in their respective fields, so some tried to
drive up the prices, that failed miserably! Now they
are trying the opposite and undercutting the
industries bare minimums especially within our region.
While that sounds great on the surface for the
insurance agents and their clients, it is important to
note the undeniable about conducting business,
"overhead". Believe it or not, a credible inspection
firm has a lot of it and without the proper allocation
of funds to support the escalating cost of gas,
vehicle ware and maintenance, licensing, wages, office
supplies, licensing and company dues, a credible and
efficient inspection firm becomes the very opposite.
- Our prices have not changed for eight years despite the escalating
onslaught of financial burdens from the aforementioned. Although we strive to keep our rates as low as possible while providing
progressive quality to our forms, field service and office staff, others have been providing "inspections" at "Walmart
type special" prices and in doing so, are providing Walmart
type quality inspections i.e. unqualified inspectors signing off on
in some cases, potentially life threatening situations within the dwellings "inspected".
- Inspectors and contractors alike are pushing below minimum pricing and in extension, below minimum standards! The amount of
inspections needed to stay "financially afloat" are doubled or tripled. Certified inspectors are not willing to
work under these individuals because that would mean they would receive even less, thereby plunging into near poverty standards,
so many of these "inspectors" are hiring on often young individuals having ill knowledge to the ISO standards
and ill informed to the inspection and construction criteria.
are more recently being caught conducting business under fraudulent licensing. As we all know contractors come and go, and
so do there respective licenses. The problem is that many of these inspectors are aware that there licenses were revoked or
expired and have not done anything to resolve the matter and in addition, continue to conduct business under these licenses
after realizing the fraudulent circumstances.
- These "inspectors" often do not inspect beyond an
exterior look at the dwelling and in many cases
deliberately pass homes that are in dire need of
updates that are essential to maintain the human
occupancy standard, let alone the minimum insurance
requirements. This is done to attract business alot
like the business conducted with appraisers in the
real estate market in the not so distant past, by
passing homes that are potentially unsafe to live in,
let alone pass insurance requirements, these
"inspectors" gained a liking by investors looking for
ways to get around there landlord obligations and
insurance agents looking to collect on a premium
rather than concern themselves with the safety of
their client and well being of both their clients and
the companies they write for. And this is where our
industry is primarily in danger of a similar collapse
much like the lending industry.
- Based on insider testamonials from agents we work
with, Universal Property and Casualty has previously
released a memo to all the agencies writing with them
stating in essence, the very same frustrations we have
with the accruing state of the 4-point Arena. They
have stated receiving mitigation inspections utilizing
fraudulent licensing i.e. expired or non-existent,
and/or reports of errors that go beyond your general
E&O's into questionable reporting practices. Keep in
mind this information is down wind, and is not exact.
As stated above it is recommended that you call your
company(ies) and inquire further. Florida Peninsula,
one of the up and comer companies here in Florida,
have also installed harsher checks on these fly by
- A recent find of an 1802 form being filled out with a
MSFH number attached to it, was found to be inactive a
month before the inspection took place (not
retroactive revocation) and morely, the signature
didn’t add up to the one on file! Though the Company
is in the process of pursuing prosecution in this
case, it is all to common of a practice and will
undoubtedly harm alot of innocent and unknowing
individuals in the wake.
- Citizens, Gulfstream, Florida Peninsula etc. are
all beefing up their follow up inspections. It
seems that they are pushing this for the reasons
stated above and if they come across as many "problem"
houses as I have seen with faulty reporting, that
thorough investigation, license revocations for
inspectors etc. and fingers pointed at others will be
ever more common.
sure you check the license or certification of your Inspectors.
- Cross Reference your knowledge and experience dealing with your inspector with the company(ies) you write for to ensure there
is no unresolved instances with him/her and the company.
- Don't go for the cheapest, but the most reliable.
It is a known fact, times are tough and your clients are already mad as hell, the last thing they want to do is pay out more
money. But if the inspectors practices are questionable do to financial constraints as stated before, chances are they will
be paying again. We personally had to go back and do re-inspections for individuals holding a worthless or fraudulent report
numerous times in the past few months and the numbers are growing.
get what you pay for. Most of you know the general rate of the 4-point market ranges from
$70 -$150 depending on
our area. This particular region employs a basic rate of
$70 -$100. If you do the math, the average credibleinspector gets is a basic living wage after all the overhead
and taxes. So if you have an inspection
firm doing your 4-points for under the basic rates and it isn't a limited promotional advertisement of services, then
we implore you to review their practices to ensure he/she will not compromise your agency.
- Credible, hospitable practices rub off.
We find many frustrated clients that we inspect for are directing agitation toward
the agent and there agency. You can be surprised how different an individual’s attitude can be turned around just by
treating them like human beings. Most inspectors lack the care to listen or answer any questions they may have simply because
they have heard it so much they can care less. We firmly believe quality sells itself, we employ that in every form, including
our representation of ourselves on site. Because even though we don't represent you or make claim of such, like it or
not your client sees us that way and if we don't do our job in the way we treat them and the service we provide, it may
mean you losing your client. With many agencies loosing there clients because the companies they were with dropping them,
or a sudden price hike and their client directing the blame at the agent, you know how important it is to preserve good representation.
Good representation doesn't come from being dirt cheap, though some may think so, it comes from informed, hospitable,
ethical and professional human beings that do there best to make their customers smile, despite the times and all while
thoroughly inspecting there dwelling and sighting any problems.
*This article as referenced above, is solely
to help agencies review and better protect themselves from accruing problems within this field.
The opinions are based on
reviewed reports from agents informed in this situation and by
actual experiences in dealing with re-inspecting "improperly"
inspected dwellings. It is merely to aid any whom read this to further investigate and help assist their respective insurance
companies to fight it before it becomes more rampant and hinders them personally. For
any additional input, or questions in
the matter, please contact us here,
or click the link
This Portion Is Under Construction But Will Be Available Soon
Please Check Back Periodically
Thank You For Your Patients!