As a professional home inspector, you may be named in a lawsuit (and possibly be held liable) long after you have completed your inspection, as one case reveals.
A man was spending time on his neighbor’s second story deck as a guest. The homeowner was a professional sports player and it was a higher end home, costing over 1 million dollars. Suddenly, the deck railing failed and the man fell about 15 feet. He sustained traumatic brain damage and spinal injuries. At one point, it was unsure if the man would even survive his injuries.
The guest later sued the homeowner, building contractor, and two home inspectors for 5 million dollars. The home inspection had occurred a few years earlier, but the home inspectors were still named in the suit and needed to defend themselves.
This lawsuit exemplifies your need as a home inspector to keep all your reports, photos, and notes for as long as possible. Make sure you can back up your work with proof! Also, learn the statute of limitations in your state for each aspect of your inspection. You may also want to review with legal counsel whether or not state specific statutes of limitations can be modified in your written contract for services.
In addition, following applicable Standards of Practice (SOP) “provides a strong defense against a claim that you failed to perform to a level of care or acceptable practice for the inspection profession.” (Source: 12 Steps That Help Home Inspectors Avoid Lawsuits – InterNACHI) Check out our resources page, as it provides state specific links where you can find information regarding the standards of practice (SOPs) for your state.
Regardless, being named in a lawsuit alleging negligence can still take time, money, and resources to clear your hard-earned reputation. So always protect yourself and your business with required level of professional home inspectors liability insurance required in your state.
RISKPRO has access to several of insurance providers in order to provide a variety of coverage options to help better protect your business. Call us today and make sure you are adequately protected!