Recently, I’ve been re-publishing some posts from the archive on LinkedIn and facebook on the theory that many inspectors may never have seen the original posts. It turns out that it was a good idea, at least to judge from the tremendous uptick in the number of unique visitors that the site is attracting since then and the number of retweets and comments those archival posts have engendered.

Doug Zumach, commenting on Monday’s The Kamikaze Claimant post, asked “Joe: Won’t the inspector’s E & O premium rise for defending this case? Might it not be more cost efficient to have someone like you defend this?”

That’s a very good question that implicates one of the two major issues that home inspectors tell me concern them the most: the epic tone deafness of the insurance industry when it comes to responding to the overwhelming percentage of unmeritorious claims that plague the home inspection profession.

When an inspector receives an inquiry from a former client regarding a putative issue with an inspection, he never knows whether it will escalate into a fully-formed claim. That is how the Kamikaze Claim started out. When the inspector went back to investigate the claim, he learned that the roofing contractor had filled the client’s head with a lot of nonsense about what was causing the leaks, their provenance and the ineptitude of the inspector in failing to discover and report them.

The inspector was unsuccessful in trying to convince the client of his non-culpability and the client eventually filed a small claims court action seeking $3,000 in damages. And this is what makes inspectors nuts. There’s no liability but now it is a mortal certainty that he’s going to lose his deductible if he turns it over to his insurance company, on the one hand. On the other, if he decides to go it alone and it morphs into a much greater claim, he risks the possibility that his insurance carrier will deny coverage due to late reporting.

Fortunately, this inspector has been to multiple Law and Disorder Seminars, is insured by Lockton Affinity and is also a ClaimIntercept™ member. So he contacted me for advice on how to proceed. He followed my instructions to the letter and the claimant eventually accepted the fact that pursuing a frivolous claim would ultimately cause himself further financial pain and hardship and agreed to withdraw the suit.

So, to answer Doug’s question, this unfortunate episode will have absolutely no effect on the inspector’s E & O premium because of the aggressive approach that I have developed to resolve these claims and that Lockton Affinity has so thoroughly and so enthusiastically adopted and embraced through its Home Inspector Professional Liability Program.

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