What You Need to Know about Drones & Inspections

What You Need to Know about Drones & Inspections

Inspection Notification

As soon as you receive a phone call from the insurance company’s inspection service, be sure to return their call right away to set up the inspection. If they cannot get in touch with you, they can and will cancel your coverage if the requested inspection does not take place.  This notification will go to you directly and it is your responsibility to make your home available.  


Each carrier has their own process for conducting an inspection.  You may be subject to a Drone inspection without notice where aerial photos of the exterior of your property will be taken.  Alternatively, there may be an exterior inspection where photos are taken outside of your home.  They may also contact you to conduct an interior inspection, usually in the case of older or higher value homes. 

Inspections will likely be looking at your gutters, roof, siding, other structures including fences, garages, decks, ADUs, chimney, windows and doors and the landscaping.  If inside, they will check your major systems: plumbing, HVAC and electrical, they will look at the walls and ceilings for cracks, leaks and mold.  They will also examine your safety devices, including fire and burglar alarms, automatic water shut-off device, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers.

Inspection Reports

Inspections can seem like a nuisance or intrusive but they are of great value to you as  they provide valuable information on replacement cost of the dwelling/building.  Please tell us when you receive a completed inspection report so that we can review and ensure coverage limits match what is recommended in the report.  Alternatively, an inspection report may determine that a non-renewal or cancellation is being taken by the carrier.  Again, please notify the agency upon recipt of report so that we can begin remarketing your policy ASAP.  

General Maintenance/ Pre-Inspection

It is important that the home is well maintained with needed maintenance projects completed along with updates to major utility systems inside and out.  It is important to remember that insurance companies are making decisions based on the characteristics of 1,000’s of homes and not just yours.  Your 25-year old roof may be in excellent condition and your electrical (knob & tube) may be confirmed by contractor to be in good condition but explanations like these are not sufficient and would result in cancellation if not addressed.  Insurance companies are expecting that the home be updated to current safety standards.   

  • Roof/Skylights – Check your roof and skylights and remove branches, leaves, and other plant debris while looking for loose or damaged roof tiles.  Also check your interior ceilings for signs of leaks.  Consider replacing roof as soon as possible if approaching end of life (often varies from 10 – 25 years).
  • Gutters/Downspouts – These should also be cleaned out and checked to make sure they are securely attached to your home.
  • Trees & Plants – Keep these pruned and trimmed on a regular basis and away from your home, other structures and utility lines.  Keep an eye out for damage and rot.  Dead trees should be removed.  Once your yard work has been completed, clean up the debris.  Contact your local refuse company to learn more about yard waste pick-ups.
  • Walkways & Driveways – Repair any cracks and uneven surfaces to prevent your family and guests from tripping/falling.  Park your car in your garage and use your driveway – no vehicles/boats should be parked in your yard.
  • Stairwells and decks should be securely fastened in place with railings and up to code to prevent someone from falling or climbing on railings. 
  • For completed work, be sure to hold on to receipts and permits to provide to your insurance carrier to show you have made these updates.  Other proof of updates may include a comprehensive new home inspection report (not a real estate home appraisal), licensed contractor inspection listing the structure, electrical, plumbing, heating and roof condition, and photos relfecting the systems have been updated. 

More Resources

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has great resources on Defensible Space and has put together a helpful Homeowners Checklist for you at https://www.readyforwildfire.org/wp-content/uploads/Homeowners-Checklist.pdf​ on how to make your home fire safe. 

Alameda County Permit Portal: Alameda County Permit Portal (acgov.org)

City of Berkeley Building Permits: Building Permits | City of Berkeley (berkeleyca.gov)

Contra Costa County Permit Portal: https://epermits.cccounty.us/CitizenAccess/APO/APOLookup.aspx?TabName=APO

More questions?  Email us at info@fidelityinsuranceservice.com