What is a VIP Inspection and where do you go to get one?
published on January 15, 2009
When a homeowner has trouble obtaining affordable property insurance due to the fact that insurers believe that their home will generate too many claims, a VIP Inspection or Texas Voluntary Inspection Program offers homeowners an alternative way to get affordable insurance. Under the VIP Inspection program, a home receives a "certificate of insurability" if it passes an inspection by an inspectory qualified by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). If a homeowner is able to obtain a "certificate of insurability" then insurance companies can’t refuse to renew or sell an insurance policy because of the home’s condition without sending someone to re-inspect the home and describing the deficiencies in writing.
To receive a certificate of insurability, a home must meet a list of reasonable standards issued by the TDI including but are not limited to:
- good maintenance, with no unrepaired damage and no accumulation of trash, brush, or debris in the yard
- wiring in good working condition, with no flickering lights or evidence of overheating
no curled, cracked, or significantly deteriorated roof coverings, or missing shingles
plumbing, heating, and cooling systems in good condition and free from leaks
- space heaters and hot water heaters properly vented and not too close to walls and furniture
- no unfenced swimming pools, hot tubs, fish ponds, bodies of water, or trampolines
property accessible to fire-fighting equipment
- no signs of active termites or unrepaired insect damage.
A Certificate of Insurability:
- is valid for a term of three (3) years from the date of issuance.
- may provide to a licensed insurer a copy of the Certificate as part of the application for residential property insurance coverage.
- creates the presumption that the property condition is adequate for residential property insurance.
- does not guarantee the right to purchase residential property insurance.
- is provided to a licensed insurer as part of an application or request for insurance, the insurer may not use property condition as grounds for refusing to issue or renew a residential property insurance
- policy unless the insurer re-inspects the property and specifies the areas of deficiency in its declination letter.
- As a condition of issuing a policy, if an inspection is used in whole or in part to determine insurability, an insurer may require a written statement by the applicant for residential property insurance stating that there have been no material or substantial changes to the property condition since the date of the inspection Certificate.
2008 inspection fees are limited to $102.80, plus an additional $51.40 if you need a follow-up inspection to verify corrections of problems identified the first time around. An inspector may charge, in addition to the inspection fee and the follow-up fee, a reasonable fee for mileage for each trip to and from the residential property risk, taking the most direct route.
For more information regarding the VIP Inspection program you may contact TDI’s consumer help line at (800) 252-3439 or visit the website at www.tdi.state.tx.us/home/vipcommish.html. To obtain a list of inspectors you may visit the TDI website at www.tdi.state.tx.us/company/vipagnt.html.
Source: The raw data in this report was provided by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) but summarized by Austin REALTOR® Brian Talley of Regent Property Group. Contact Brian Talley directly at 512-554-9714 if you need help buying or selling a home in Austin or acquiring Austin office space. The information contained herein is subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. Any information, statistics, analytics, recommendations or opinions provided in this report are subject to errors and/or omissions and are not in any way guaranteed as accurate or reliable by Brian Talley or by Regent Property Group LLC.
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