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Another inspector makes the news


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Great blog Chris. (I don't think I've ever used that word before. . . I'm not a blog kind of person).

I really appreciate the 'gift' that many others have and that I'm trying to get better, of words. I know many of us have so much to say in our heads but it just doesn't come out of our mouths or on the page like we want.

Chris has summed up many of my thoughts on new construction superbly.

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Thinking about this more, I feel strongly that the big orange box has contributed greatly to the reduced quality of our homes.

I have no proof, but have read more than one article describing how the 'box' is so influential and powerful, that it has manufacturer's create specific product lines solely for distribution in their stores. The products look exactly the same at another store, but has been manufactured. . . more . . . cost effectively, shall we say.

I have experienced this for the past 5-6 years personally. Many of the products in my home are from there. I am disappointed month after month with their short longevity and overall flimsiness.

I consistently see HD bags and boxes lying in new homes. Contractors purchase much of their product from the place.

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Originally posted by Jim Morrison

Check it out. Our boy is doing us proud: http://www.azcentral.com/blogs/index.ph ... WestValley

[:I] Thanks for the props, Jimmy!

If any of you have a desire to leave a comment on the blog, good or bad, I'd appreciate it. If the publishers see some "noise" they are more likely to print my blog in the actual newspaper. As a matter of fact, I just found out that this article got picked up by one of the regional papers! Guess I'll have to have the wife start my car for the next few weeks....

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I've always respected Chris's opinions,but... I disagree that E&O should be a criteria for choosing an inspector. Having E&O doesn't demonstrate your competence as a home inspector any more than having insurance on your vehicle does. I don't carry it for several reasons. It's far too expensive for what you get, the deductibles are outrageous, neither claims-made nor occurrence policies cover for all situations without purchasing additional riders, and I don't want to paint a target on my business for an aggressive attorney.

There are two interesting articles in the Communicator Magazine about E&O insurance related to home inspectors. The first, in Issue 42 Fall 2006, http://communicatormagazine.com/page147.aspx discusses how a $3600 claim escalated into a $36,000 claim and suggests the inspector would have been better off settling at $3600 to begin with. Forget the merits of the claim. If the inspector had settled, he would have paid most, or all, of the $3600 to satisfy the deductible. How would having E&O have helped him? The article also suggests that the inspector ignored a red flag when the client asked several times before the inspection if he had E&O. If a client asks me that question, I politely decline the job.

The second article is in Issue 43 Fall 2006 (not on the website yet). This relates a horror story about an inspector who didn't have enough E&O coverage to satisfy the claim. Again, the article suggests he should have settled early. Maybe if he didn't have any coverage, he wouldn't have been sued to begin with.

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Shades of Walter J with that Drunken Street Name Pickers stuff. I liked it.

And here I thought E & O was to protect MY ass(ets), not the consumers. E & O from my perspective just means they are going to have a harder time suing because I got some financial backing (unless the dumb ass carrier settles) to make their life a little more difficult when trying to get their hands on my money.

If I screw up, fine, I owe them. No fussing necessary. If I didn't, I'm going to fuss like hell.

And what's this crap about "agent indemnification". Does the realtor's E & O (about $250 a year here in Kentucky) have "inspector indemnification". Hell no! Why whould I buy something to indemnify them if the won't return it by indemnifying my silly ass.

Sounds like some realtor suckup perpetuated by the Insurance boys and those "brokers covering their assets".

Lawsuits don't just roll UP hill. They go down to!

Hmm, who was it? Maybe Scott who talked about shotgun lawsuits. Name everybody involved including your sister on your mother's side and don't forget Uncle Bob!

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In a perfect world, E&O would not be necessary, in my world (Arizona), it is. As a small shop, I never had a claim and always did the right thing when it came to little dings. Still do, now that I run a shop with 14 inspectors.

The problem in AZ, and I only speak (and write) for AZ, is that way too many of the inspectors are lowballin', drive-by, bucketheads- thanks to the weak licensing laws and the get rich quick puppy mill schools. The result is depressed pricing and good guys going out of business.

In my market, the easist way for an agent or homebuyer to separate the lowballers from the more experienced guys is checking on E&O. This isn't a 100% ironclad method, but it's better than just hiring the guy from looking at a brochure. The blog I write is geared more toward the average Joe, than the HI community.

I personally feel that if you are going to be a professional home inspector, you should carry E&O. That being said, I know several "old-school" inspectors (whom I respect greatly) that won't carry it.

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For the last year and a half I have been working with attorneys.

I read the articles in the FREA magazine and it clearly states that the issue was not settling early but the Attorney would not settle.

It has bee my experience that if an attorney gets you in their sights they will attack. It makes no difference if you have E & O or not. I would rather have an insurance company in my corner.

I do not believe checking to see if an inspector has E & O will tell you if their qualified.

I suggest you read your E & O policies and see what they DON'T cover.

Many inspectors have E & O and then market services that are not covered by it, like Mold, Construction Phase or pre-drywall, swimming pools etc.

Personally I would not be in the inspection business without E & O I have paid over $20,000 in premiums over the years and have not had a claim paid. But it will be there if I need it.

I also worked with the E & O companies until I found the policy that would cover my scope of work.

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