Home Inspection Sense

July 30, 2005 · Print This Article

Bob Kille Acuspect Home InspectionThis seems to be my week for complaint calls. Received another one on Monday, this one involves a copper-piping leak under the slab of a home built in 2000.

My client let me know straight off on the phone call that he was a homicide detective somewhere in California. This of course was to set the tone of the conversation and his position of authority. According to his lawyer’s (yes that’s plural), the homeowners insurance policy he has will not cover the claim so he is contacting me, the home inspector of record, to get information as to my insurance.

My firsts response to this was to restate that the type of inspection that he paid for was a visual inspection of the property valid only for the day of the inspection. Further, I explained that a home inspection is in no way a home warranty and assured him that even if I had E&O insurance they would not cover a NON-VISIBLE condition, even if discovered a day after the inspection.

A few half-truths here, I had occurrence insurance at the time of this particular inspection but no longer carry it. Which means that his home is still covered by my past E&O insurance policy. I now have the minimum state coverage of a $25,000 bond. I tried this tact (no insurance) because most lawyers won’t take a contingency case unless there’s deep pockets somewhere.

That leaves the complaintant with the hourly cost of retaining legal council for a case that may not be the best. Generally, if the case isn’t over $10,000 in damages and the case is not strong most of your better legal councils will tell their clients to forget it. However, if you have insurance the lawyers will make the claim and the insurance company will settle (non visible or visible condition) before legal expenses mount up.

The cost of a legal defense even in a frivolous suit can quickly become more than the actual claim. Both sides know this and this fact is why you will always pay your deductible in almost every claim, valid or not.

This particular train of thought, why a lawyer would choose not to take a case, is the basis for my asset protection strategy (no insurance, family trust, small asset list and corporate status). This complaint will make a good case study. I’m waiting with baited breath for the next phone call relating to this home inspection complaint. Will common sense win out?

Copyright © 2005 by Bob Kille. To read other home inspection related articles or to view home inspection software and book publications by Mr. Kille, click on this link. www.inspectorsuccess.com

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