March 08, 2013

Need a home inspection? Do not hire an inspector without errors and omissions insurance

There are numerous reasons a homeowner might need to schedule a professional home inspection. There could be building code issues, insurance requirements, possible structural damage, a pending sale of the home and more. Any time you order an inspection of your home, it’s in your best interests to hire a certified inspector who carries errors and omissions insurance coverage.

Errors and omissions insurance covers damages resulting from any oversights on the part of the inspector while he is inside your home doing his work.  Will you pay more for an inspector with this insurance?  You may, but what little extra it costs can be more than worth it down the line in the event of an inspector’s error.

If you hire an inspector with just general liability insurance, you’ll be protected should he, say, damage your hot water heater or accidentally knock out a window.  The heater and window will be repaired/ replaced, and everybody’s happy.  But what if he overlooks a serious problem within part of the electrical system and three months later the house burns down?

Naturally, you, the homeowner, aren’t going to want to pay for a new home to be built.  It’s the inspector’s fault – he should have been more thorough in his evaluation of the electrical system.  If this individual is not covered by errors and omissions insurance, the odds are very small that he’ll be able to pay for a new house out of pocket.

This is an extreme example, but it shows why insurance is critical when dealing with home inspectors.  The principle behind errors and omissions insurance is the same as that which is behind malpractice insurance for physicians. Doctors never purposely harm a patient, but accidents do happen, and no physician could personally cover the cost of a $50 million lawsuit.

You would not trust your health to a doctor without malpractice insurance, and you shouldn’t trust your home to a home inspector without sufficient errors and omissions coverage.

An inspector who carries this insurance shows that he is a true professional and cares about safeguarding not only himself but also the people he performs home inspections for.  Yes, it costs him money every month in premiums, but like a smart doctor, he knows that what little he spends is nothing compared to what a court could order him to pay.

In summary, damage or injury resulting from a home inspector’s error is the fault of the inspector.  The way homeowners can safeguard themselves from having to pay for repair or restitution is by hiring a home inspector who carries errors and omissions insurance.

No comments:

Post a Comment