I inspected the home in March. 15 year old house with zero cracks in the brick or mortar. There was one cracked tape joint in an upstairs hall. The homeowners called the realtor this Monday irate saying I missed all these cracks in the Sheetrock and now there is a crack across the master bath tile floor. When I went out to check what was going on it was obvious he had not watered the lawn at all. The soil is mainly clay and was all dried up and pulled an inch away from the foundation all down the right side. He admits the cracks in the Sheetrock and tile were not there when I did the inspection but still wants to file a claim against my insurance. Foolishly I have a habit of only taking pictures of defects so do not have photos of the ceiling where the cracks are now. I do have several pictures that show the soil was tight to the foundation when I did the inspection. I met him and a foundation repair guy he called today. The back of the house is the high side and across 40’ to the front of the house the largest deviation is 3.2 centimeters. Used car salesman esqe foundation gave an estimate for 13 piers across the front. Homeowner wants to file a claim against my insurance. I talked with a structural engineer who just what I explained said was most likely a irrigation problem and if he waters for a couple months all will be good. Insurance company has my report but I haven’t told them to file a claim yet. What would y’all do. First time I’ve encountered a post inspection issue that was not easily resolved
I do not think she can file a claim, only you can do that. She has to sue you.
Enough said and NO!!
This is my comment from the report. Sorry If its one I cherry picked off one of yall
Inspection of the foundations is limited to visual observations of accessible interior and exterior components. Movement of the foundation can sometimes be detected by vertical cracks in sheetrock, doors and windows that appear out of square and separations of the exterior cladding. This inspection does not include any engineering studies or measurements to determine previous or future movement
I observed no structural deficiencies in the condition of the visible portions of the concrete slab-on-grade foundation. Most of the slab was not directly visible due to floor coverings. In my opinion the foundation is adequately supporting the structure and performing as intended.
The foundation performance stated above does not address future settlement or movement. The inspectors opinion is based on visual observation of accessible and unobstructed areas of the structure at the time of inspection. Future performance of the structure cannot be predicted or warranted. Should you have present or future concerns regarding the foundation’s condition, you are strongly advised to consult with a licensed professional engineer for further evaluation.
Apparently you didn’t miss the sheetrock cracks, since he’s even admitted to that, and the cracks in the tile floor are “now there”, assuming they were not previously. I would tell him they need to contact their own insurance company
No one can “file a claim” on an insurance policy except the named insured which, in this case, is you. Your insurance company has no duty to settle a claim in favor of anyone with a complaint against you that it does not want to even if you were to ask them to; rather (at their option) they can pay an attorney to defend you (and them) against someone’s claim against you.
The myth that a home inspector’s insurance policy protects his client is exactly that. A myth. I’ve always wondered why states mandated it for licensing purposes and I chuckle when I see a home inspector highlighting his “insured” status in his marketing materials.
At any rate, once the homebuyer learns that he has no rights under your insurance policy, he may decide to try his chances with the seller or agent and leave you alone.
He asked for my insurance phone number. I did not give it to him. I sent the info to my insurance and they asked me if I want to file a claim. Should I just tell them yes and hope they defend me. I already told the homeowner I am not willing to take responsibility for the movement because it was not there 4 months ago before an extreme drought and heat wave. Should I just wait to see if he sues me?
What is your deductible?
Not sure, will check.
500.00 is the deductible
That’s low for an Errors and Omissions policy. You must have a pretty high premium.
you are correct was looking at wrong line. 5,000.00
If you can afford to throw that much away, offer it to him as a settlement and get a release. You’d have to pay it anyway if you file a claim for your defense. If you want to keep it and call his bluff, you can do that, too.
This is a public post and he is probably reading it right now. PM me and I’ll give you some ideas.
cant figure out how to send a PM
Your trust level is browser. You may not be allowed to, but James can PM you.
First I do hope you have enough pictures from the inspection to display all you have described as the condition during the inspection. Next I do hope you have A HELL OF A LOT of pictures from your recent visit to compare with your inspection pictures and document the conditions on site. You know that we are in a drought and temperatures have been very high this year. Houston is no different than the DFW with high levels of high plasticity index soils (high shrink/swell rates). Anyone who has not been properly maintaining their foundation watering needs will be lucky not to see any signs of movement.
Regardless what you hear give the client your E&O claims contact information. You paid for the insurance to protect you from these instances and part of that is legal representation to prevent a claim. If your documentation is solid your carrier will deny the claim.
With regards to giving the client the E&O contact information remember the Rules Subsection 535.220 Professional Conduct And Ethics. If you do not provide your E&O contact information your client CAN obtain it from TREC and TREC WILL provide it to them and/or their Attorney if they get one involved. If you give it to them and they do not involve an Attorney they may realize after the Carrier denial it is not worth involving an Attorney and possibly not even TREC.
In either case (with or without Attorney) if they contact TREC then TREC WILL record this in your jacket and WILL now be involved. If you run afoul of TREC (any time someone contacts them for something negative you have run afoul of them) then TREC can take action against you if you are not working with the client to resolve this. In any case TREC now has you on their radar when possibly they may not have. No matter what the client says to TREC then TREC may even take action against you for not cooperating with the client.
Thanks Emanuel. I am in contact with the client and have been back to the house twice this week. I will send him the insurance claims number in the morning when I get it from them.
He is a dirty gold digger. I hope he gets what he deserves…nothing. He knows this is not your responsibility but he is chasing a check (which will cost the innocent real money. He is a thief). Ugly way to behave. I hope he is reading this.
You want that quote in an email, on camera, or whatever.
Someone likely told him to do that, as everyone assumes the big, bad insurance company will pay their claim.