No Country For Old Inspectors

There is nothing like a road trip for restoring your faith in the future of this country and reminding you that, despite our manifold problems, the present is pretty awesome, too.

As I write this, I am sitting at the departure gate for my flight home to Philadelphia after having spent a few extra days in New Hampshire and Maine following the presentation of the Law and Disorder Seminar to about 25 home inspectors at the ASHI Northern New England Chapter’s Spring Conference in Eliot, Maine.

The inspectors who came to this seminar were all seasoned veterans and virtually all of them had had one or more bad experiences with an unreasonable client, a cowardly insurance company, an unprofessional real estate agent or a vindictive seller that had caused them considerable agita and cost them lots of money. In other words, this was a sampling with a margin of error of zero.

This, of course, is not exactly terra incognita to me. I am accustomed to inspectors being shocked, shocked that their insurance company would pay a bogus claim, or would immediately offer their deductible to the complaining former client, or would assign them an attorney “who didn’t seem to know anything about home inspections” and who would churn the file, running up legal fees for years, before eventually caving in and settling the case for “nuisance value.”

And I am completely inured to the astonished reaction from veteran inspectors who are hearing for the very first time in their inspection careers that there is no longer any reason for them to stand for this nonsense. That there is a new sheriff in town! That their days of routinely refunding inspection fees are over!


Karma is Hell

“What goes around, comes around” is a popular expression where I come from. It is a celebration of comeuppance, the schadenfreude one feels when, every so often, some bad deeds do not go unpunished.

About fifteen months ago, one of my ClaimIntercept™ subscribers had gotten a demand letter from someone for whom he had performed a home inspection. The claim was prototypical of a home inspection claim in that it had no merit as to the home inspector and very likely none to either of the other targets, the seller of the home and the listing agent.



Disclaimers, Will They Protect You?

ASHI – NE Chapter Education Chairman, Bob Mulloy, in a recent note wrote:

Joe –

I am preparing a future seminar for ASHI, titled “Disclaimers, Will They Protect You?” 

I have numerous sample disclaimers for systems and components that I plan to present for discussion. 

Let me ask you some questions:

How would you define the difference between an Exclusion and a Disclaimer?


When Claimants Simply Make Allegations Up

Dear Joe – I am a Home Inspector of 5, very busy and successful years, here in [New England], despite the down housing economy.

I have just learned of you and have visited your website. I am very interested in learning more of your ClaimIntercept[™] Program.  Also I would like to know if your seminar titled “ Law & Disorder Seminar” is available as a DVD that I could purchase. I reside quite far away from the areas where you do any public speaking on a regular basis. I am a member of InterNACHI, and watch on their website for any further info about your Seminars maybe coming to [this] area.

Can you send me to any further information about ClaimIntercept?

My other reason for writing is that I am, for the first time, going to have a lawsuit filed against me for a “claimed omission” on a job, which is a false claim by a seller.  I do not feel I am responsible for the situation and that I did nothing wrong; it is the seller’s word against my word, basically. And that the seller is using this situation for his own gain, at my expense – to the tune of $15,000.


Happy Anniversary!

As hard as it is for me to believe, today marks the first anniversary of this website. One year ago, at the urging of my very young, very talented and very savvy internet media advisors, I took a giant leap of faith and launched this website which is dedicated to providing home inspectors with timely, accurate and useful content and commentary on the myriad of issues that arise where their home inspection businesses intersect with our legal system.

As a serial entrepreneur, I am accustomed to launching new enterprises. And though I am always almost pollyannishly optimistic about their prospects, the truth is that you never really know how successful any new venture is going to be. Especially one that’s entirely dependent on generating fresh content twice a week, week in and week out.

As it happens, my faithful home inspector readership, their often quite delusional clients, the alphabet soup of national and regional home inspection associations, state home inspection licensing boards and the often suicidal professional liability insurers that serve the industry are an evergreen source of new material.