“Good News for Arizona Home Inspectors!” was the headline on a blurb sent to members of Arizona ASHI. What was the “Good News”? The Arizona State Board of Technical Registration – the guys who impose preposterous punishments on home inspectors who have had the misfortune of being the subject of a complaint by their delusional clients – had been operating under the truly ludicrous notion that there should be no statute of limitations for home inspections. In other words, to the citrulls on the Board, you should be subject to suit for a claimed negligent inspection until the end of time. And beyond.

How professional licensing boards always manage to comprise a startlingly large number of knuckleheads would be, it seems to me, an interesting avenue of scholarly inquiry for some enterprising doctoral student.

So the “Good News” for Sun Devil inspectors is that the Arizona State Legislature has reduced the time within which a home inspection claim can be brought from whenever and forever to four years. While four years is a damn sight better than the incumbent standard, which remains in full force and effect until the legislative session mercifully ends, pardon me if I seem underwhelmed by this legislation.

I have long maintained – and with compelling logic – that the maximum time a home inspector should be on the hook for an inspection is one year. Why? A year comprises four seasons. If a dwelling occupant is unable to discover a material defect with the property after living there for four seasons, how is a home inspector supposed to discover it in a two-hour inspection?

But the only reason that I advise inspectors to limit contractually the time within which a client can bring a claim to one year is this: It eliminates forty percent (40%) of all claims because sixty percent (60%) of all claims are brought within one year.

Please mind, if you been following me for any length of time, that fewer than 1% of home inspection claims have any merit whatsoever. So it really doesn’t matter what the statute of limitations is. Even if it’s forever. The one-year contractual limitation provision merely eliminates claims that are ipso facto unmeritorious.

The Arizona ASHI notice to its members of this legislative change concluded with this advisory: “Be sure to inform your E & O insurance company or bonding authority of the change so they do not over-calculate their exposure when setting your insurance or bonding rate.”

Yeah, right.

Let me suggest an alternative advisory. “Be sure to visit http://joeferry.com often and, if you’re the sort of inspector who wants to be protected by E & O Insurance, click on the blue “Get A Quote” button on the right. You should also click on the ClaimIntercept tab at the top of the site whether or not you’re the sort of inspector who wants to be protected by E & O Insurance. But especially, if you’re not.

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