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Say hello to Gil!


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Hi Everyone,

This morning I want to introduce to you Gill Stuart's new Insurance Q & A column. Gill is with the Pickett Insurance Agency in Vancouver, WA and is fairly well known by home inspectors all over the state of Washington.

Although his firm deals primarily with customers in Washington and Oregon, Gil's knowledge of the insurance industry can be applied most anywhere in the country. Best of all, he really knows about this business and he's the only insurance guy that I know of who cares enough about the profession to have shown up at hearings pertaining to home inspection licensing here. There are a lot of inspectors in the state who will credit his advice with saving them from financial ruin.

When you've got questions about insurance post them here. Gil will automatically be notified via e-mail that a question has been posted here, and then he'll respond as soon as he's able.

I think that Gil and TIJ are going to be a good fit, so please give him a hearty welcome and let's kick some questions his way.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello Gil,

There are folks in the home inspection business, and apparently at least one insurance man, who swear up and down that home inspectors increase their liability exposure when they cite reputable sources in their reports.

I've long held the position that citing high-quality references -- such as building codes, manufacturer's specifications, trade association guidelines, etc. -- increases the inspector's credibility and helps his customers win arguments with recalcitrant builders, sellers and RE agents.

I've also long held the belief that citing sources correctly is highly unlikely to get a home inspector in trouble. Citing sources incorrectly, I think, could be a real problem.

What say you?


Walter Jowers

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Top Sarge - Staying with the same company for many years really counts as no credit for reduced premium at the end of each policy year. Matter of fact in Most Professional Liability the rates can increase over the 1st 5 years due to the policy reaching "maturity" this hold most true to Claims Made type insurance forms. If you carry an Occurrence Form the cost will vary based purely upon what your bottom line is coming up to...

Loyalty to one company may not save you money - I agree with that but having a solid long standing relationship at least gets you some understanding when the chips start flying in a claim or a possible problem...

There are indeed many factors that affect the bottom line which I can tell will get discussed in our running discussions. How you the inspector manages the factors is the key.

Regarding the point of "to cite or not to cite"

my reply is measure and confirm a thousand times before you open your mouth...it was once said that even a fool if he keeps his mouth shut is considered wise...

Not implying anyone is foolish just to be silent when you don't know the facts...if you do know the fact are true then you have license to talk all day...Respectfully of course!

Respects, Gil

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The only way to increase your liability exposure is to conduct a negligent inspection.

If you manage your client's expectations, armor-plate your PIA, follow your SOP, load your report with disclaimers and do a professional job, you will virtually eliminate your liability exposure.

You won't be able to prevent a determined claimant from filing a claim but you will be well-positioned to defend it.

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  • 7 months later...

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