We previously discussed this topic in a LinkedIn discussion because it is such a useful development that it merits buzz. The best way to explain it is to compare it to a practice that is the norm in the automotive industry – Vehicle Claims History Reports. Before you purchase a used vehicle, you want to ensure that the vehicle has never been in an accident or had repeated claims because those facts impact the value of the vehicle. The same goes for a house.
While this has become commonplace in the auto industry, it is a fairly new capability as it relates to homes. Now you can get an insurance claims report on a property. You can do your best to investigate a property for your client but the reality is, there are many things that are naked to the human eye.
What kind of information can you find in a home insurance claims report?
Well, the most obvious answer is any previous insurance claim. This is very telling because you may discover that the property is in an area prone to floods or high wind. Repeated claims in this regard should be a sign of a costly problem your client may encounter. How about claims concerning floods because of plumbing issues in the home? With repairs, these are issues that a home inspector may not realize have occurred but may be revealed in an insurance claims history report.
You can also use the insurance claims history report to look at insurance claims in a particular community to determine if there is a consistent history of a particular type of claim. Is a claim specific to the home or is it a larger problem occurring throughout the entire area?
The less obvious information that is included in an insurance claims history report that is incredibly valuable is if the property was previously used as a grow op or a meth lab. Both of these issues, besides the obvious stigmatization ones, can leave structural and electrical issues. There can also be mold problems that can lead to serious health issues.
A home insurance claims history report in no way replaces the need for a home inspection. In fact, you can provide the home inspector with a copy of the home insurance claims report so that they can hone in and further investigate areas of interest.
Although only speculation, it is likely that in the future home insurance claims history reports will be commonplace – something that all real estate sales professionals will provide their clients with.
Want to dig deeper with your own insurance claims report? GeoWarehouse has you covered: www.geowarehouse.ca.