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  1. #1

    Default Article: Why NOT to move things during a home inspection

    Hi InspectionNews Readers!

    As many of you have reached out with feedback on our risk management articles, we've discovered that many of the same questions and concerns keep coming up. Many of those ideas have inspired the articles we plan to write in 2020. And we explore just a piece of one in this case study.

    The concept: When is it appropriate to exceed the Standards of Practice? And what increase in liability, if any, will I experience when I exceed the SoP?

    In this case study, we see an argument against a relatively common inspection practice: moving seemingly harmless objects to conduct a more thorough inspection. While we're sure there are many cases in which inspectors did something similar without incident, we hope this claim can serve as an example of worst case scenario. And, with that example, we hope that readers like you are more equipped to make judgement calls on the job.

    Enjoy!
    Stephanie



    The Domino Effect: A Home Inspection Insurance Claim

    The following is a real general liability insurance claim from our insurance claim archives. In order to protect the insured's identity, all identifiable characteristics?including names, associations, and locations?have been omitted or removed.

    While performing a routine inspection, a home inspector stumbled upon a common problem: Some of the seller's belongings were inhibiting him from performing his inspection duties. Specifically, one of the seller's suitcases was obstructing the attic entrance.

    Wanting to give his inspection clients, the buyers, the best service possible, the home inspector decided to move the suitcase. It was just one suitcase, he reasoned, and it made the difference between inspecting an entire area of the property and omitting it from his report.

    Unbeknownst to the home inspector, the suitcase wasn't the only thing on the shelf. A stored- pressure fire extinguisher sat beside the suitcase and out of view. As the home inspector moved the suitcase, he bumped the out-of-sight fire extinguisher, sending the extinguisher crashing to the floor. Upon impact, the fire extinguisher cracked the tile floor and discharged into the cold air return of the running HVAC unit. The discharge blew throughout the house, leaving a fine layer of extinguisher dust in every room of the property.

    [READ MORE]

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    Last edited by Stephanie Jaynes; 11-18-2019 at 04:09 PM. Reason: All of the apostrophes, quotation marks, and em dashes turned into question marks.
    Member Benefits1
    Stephanie Jaynes
    Marketing Director
    InspectorPro Insurance
    We Protect. You Inspect.
    www.inspectorproinsurance.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    MONTREAL QUEBEC-CANADA
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    Default Re: Article: Why NOT to move things during a home inspection

    As to, risk management articles. The reoccurring theme. RISK.

    Why NOT move things during a home inspection.
    Liability. No more. No Less.

    Do you tell your insurance company you text and speed while driving?
    Don't answer. Presumption can be determined by the questions asked.

    You claim; relatively common inspection practice yet avoid the common articles moved and location.

    Good luck with your personal daily risk. Personally I try to avoid adding risk and needless added liability at all costs.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

  3. #3

    Default Re: Article: Why NOT to move things during a home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    As to, risk management articles. The reoccurring theme. RISK.

    Why NOT move things during a home inspection.
    Liability. No more. No Less.

    Do you tell your insurance company you text and speed while driving?
    Don't answer. Presumption can be determined by the questions asked.

    You claim; relatively common inspection practice yet avoid the common articles moved and location.

    Good luck with your personal daily risk. Personally I try to avoid adding risk and needless added liability at all costs.
    You're not wrong. Our primary focus with these articles is to point out potential areas of risk and give guidance on how to avoid them. But, as you know from experience in the field, there's a lot more to home inspecting than simply avoiding liability. We trust that every home inspector that reads these articles will apply the information to the everyday judgement calls they make based on their experience and expertise.

    Stephanie Jaynes
    Marketing Director
    InspectorPro Insurance
    We Protect. You Inspect.
    www.inspectorproinsurance.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    MONTREAL QUEBEC-CANADA
    Posts
    1,989

    Default Re: Article: Why NOT to move things during a home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie Jaynes View Post
    You're not wrong. Our primary focus with these articles is to point out potential areas of risk and give guidance on how to avoid them. But, as you know from experience in the field, there's a lot more to home inspecting than simply avoiding liability. We trust that every home inspector that reads these articles will apply the information to the everyday judgement calls they make based on their experience and expertise.
    To further add, unwarranted expectations or perceptions by the attendees during the inspection.
    1: Client.
    2: Realtor.
    3: Home Owner.

    The PIA, Property Inspection Agreement is not Notwithstanding. No matter perceived expectations.

    SOP is expressed to How the investigation will proceed.
    The PIA, Property Inspection Agreement spells out the legal definition and terms.

    If something requires movement, pass on liability to A: owners or B: sales agent.
    A hand written disclaimer if need be. It's as simple as that.

    Robert Young's Montreal Home Inspection Services Inc.
    Call (514) 489-1887 or (514) 441-3732
    Our Motto; Putting information where you need it most, "In your hands.”

  5. #5

    Default Re: Article: Why NOT to move things during a home inspection

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    To further add, unwarranted expectations or perceptions by the attendees during the inspection.
    1: Client.
    2: Realtor.
    3: Home Owner.

    The PIA, Property Inspection Agreement is not Notwithstanding. No matter perceived expectations.

    SOP is expressed to How the investigation will proceed.
    The PIA, Property Inspection Agreement spells out the legal definition and terms.

    If something requires movement, pass on liability to A: owners or B: sales agent.
    A hand written disclaimer if need be. It's as simple as that.
    Great advice on passing liability to the owners and the agents--particularly since the items blocking things from view are most often the owners' belongings.

    Stephanie Jaynes
    Marketing Director
    InspectorPro Insurance
    We Protect. You Inspect.
    www.inspectorproinsurance.com

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