By the time a home inspector feels the need to summon me to deal with an unreasonable client, he has generally already bent over backwards to try to mollify him. Generally, this takes the form of offering a. to return the inspection fee or b. to pay for “half” of the repair or c. to make the repair himself.

Regular readers know well my position on any of these strategies. You may think that you are bending over backwards. In reality, you are bending over frontwards, something one should strive mightily to avoid doing.

Since it is almost never the case – less than 1 % of the time – that the home inspector has any culpability for the issue in question, why in the world would an inspector want to make any offer to resolve an issue that was not of his making? That’s a rhetorical question that answers itself.

Of course, the irony is that inspectors are constantly complaining to me that insurance companies simply refuse to resist bogus claims, a complaint that sort of rings hollow when they refuse to do so, themselves.

In my most recent post, I related the story of a claim where the inspector was called back for having “missed” calling out an oil tank that had an “obvious” fibreglass patch. He couldn’t believe that he could have missed something that was “so obvious”.

Instead of heeding the alarms that were going off in his head that told him that “there’s no way I could have missed this” and proceeding logically to the ineluctable conclusion that something must have been concealing the issue, he immediately sprang into damage control and offered to buy a used tank for the client which the client could get his “plumber to install.”

That’s the absolute wrong thing to do. Fortunately, for this inspector, claimants are constantly overreaching and this claimant was no exception. That wasn’t good enough. The inspector would have to pay the $100 installation fee, as well.

The inspector contacted me and asked “Am I better off purchasing them a new tank at $1,850.00?”

That’s how crazy these nitwit claimants can make someone who is normally a focused professional.

So I told him “A, you didn’t miss it. If it was that obvious on your second go-round, something was concealing it the first time. B, your SOP says the following: ‘the Inspector shall not be required to: . . . 7.   Observe, Identify, or Report On: . . . f.   Active oil tanks.’ C, even if this were something that you should have found, they’re not entitled to a new oil tank. All that they would be entitled to is the cost of a new tank, depreciated by the 115 year age of this house. In other words, bupkis!

So I wrote to these cretins, explained why they had no claim against the inspector and told them that, despite that, he nevertheless had magnanimously offered to pay for a used tank but, dang, they “foolishly rejected” that offer.

It would be impossible to quantify the level of satisfaction I derive from delivering that bit of news.

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