Home inspection vs wind mit liability

I am curious about what everyone else thinks.

Mold inspections/surveys.

Let me be the first to say legally I really do not know. I would think that there is more you could miss in a whole home inspection and therefore you would expose yourself to more liability. :-k

It seems to me that there are statements on the home inspection form that can be written that can reduce your liability, that can’t be added to the wind mit form.

like this one the wind mit form?

The definitions on this form are for inspection purposes only and cannot be used to certify any product or construction feature as offering protection from hurricanes.

Like Mike said, whole house inspection has more areas and systems to be liable for, but another side of the coin is if a house is a total loss due to a windstorm taking the roof off the dollar amount could be greater. Same with Mold I would say

Far more risk of liability in HI. A screw up here could be costly. Civil courts do not have to find you guilty or not guilty. They can find you partially responsible. Lots of sellers, try to hide defects. A jury may feel you should have been able to see through walls.

With WM, the only liability is in negligence or fraud. You have to be prepared to be challenged and defend your results. Proper taining, due diligence, and professionalism.
The house is what it is.

I would say there is more liability with a home inspection than a wind-mit.

I think there is more liability with a home inspection than a wind mit. But I also believe that it will be easier to get in trouble with a wind mit or four point.


If you buy E&O insurance the insurance company will calculate your liability. You liability will be proportional to your premium. If you don’t have E&O your liability will be determined by the courts if you have a claim. So in reality your liability is in the hands of someone else. All you can do is do your best and hope its enough.

I have not found anyone who will do E&O for wind mits.

It will take one hurricane and one law-firm and we will all see the outcome. The insurance companies are looking to protect themselves. We are either going to have people very upset with us or the insurance company or both. I would after say just because a regular inspection is more of all around inspection isn’t a major concern on this subject.

Great question! So not easily answered, many minor and major items on a home inspection which might not be in the report may not be noticed by the homeowner for a period of time where they would choose to think they could not recoup expenses of a lawsuit. The contractual limitations in a home inspection may dissuade some people who feel they have been wronged from pursueing the issue. Often we are in a position (right or wrong) of simply denying the existence of a defect at the time of the inspection.

Fact is the insurance companies have the report and lawyers ready and able to take any inspector to court, pursue disciplinary actions through the state and generally give us all a bad name. Top that off with following behind with their own inspectors working in their best interest and I would have to say that the greater RISK of liability is with the four points and wind mits. John, you asked the question… what is your opinion?

That simply exonerates the inspector from any responsibility for product failure at standards which are established by the astm or other ratings and specific installation practices (such as sheathing or roof covering performance) which are beyond the ability of the inspector to determine. I don’t believe if the straps are missing on one side of the house in an area which was not viewed that the disclaimer you cited would in fact discourage the insurance companies lawyers from pursueing the matter.

I posed the question because many here have stated that they do not want to do wind mits because of the liability. I believe most of them do not do them because they could not. Then again I pose many questions here that I have the answer to(IMHO), for the benefit of the group.

I have stated many times: Doing insurance inspections is not like home inspections in many ways. Many assume, contractors and home inspectors alike, that they can read the form and go out and do the inspections. They lack the knowledge and skills and make us all look bad. (There is a guy in our area that I have redone no less than 25 of his wind mits because they were grossly wrong).

I believe that if you learn what you can and try to do wind mits correctly there is much less liability than a home inspection.

Please provide some examples of how they were grossly wrong.

Personally I don’t do them because I do not have one of the licenses that the state requires. I also didn’t think it was right too do them working under a contractor. I did do them from 07-08 when the OIR said that licensed or certified building inspectors could perform them.

As a licensed home inspector we are supposed to be able to do them someday. Even with that I am still sitting on the fence about doing them. I would fell a lot better about doing them if there were written guidelines. Until that time everything is subjective.

I feel for you guys that have done a lot of them from 07 till now. I can just imagine all of the upset homeowners that are going to be calling you once they lose their discounts. IMHO a lot of reputations are going to be ruined once these reinspections start.

I have seen it all, from marking wraps when it was clips. Marking 8d 6x6 when it was clearly staples. I have seen roof geometry so wrong that you would think they were at the wrong house. My all time favorite is a pre 2001 house or roof that meets the the 2001 building code. I once argued with an agent about a roof from 2000. He stated that he worked at Lowers and knows the the roofs back then all met the 2001 code. I can not even count how many inspectors never went in the attic. Some people found the 1802 taped to their front door because they were not home and the form was filled-out.

I have always included pictures with my reports, so there is rarely a question about my reports. People lose credits when they redo the form to change companies, not just because the form changed.

The re inspections have been going on for some time now and I have had two reports that they wanted to change. One they wanted to take away the shutter credit, but the sky lights were over an open patio( I won). On another they changed the nailing pattern from box C to box A the home had 6d deformed shank nails. I lost that argument, but still feel I was correct in my assessment. The client understood and had to pay an increase in premium.

I usually get an email from the agent ahead of time if something is not right or is going to change. The agent has the situation corrected or explains it to the customer.

I had a client on Friday that had a report without a picture of a clip, with clip credit and a 2000 roof that met the 2001 building code.

Here is the email form the agent and my office

Nope, he had 2000 with a FBC roof
Should have gone with Honor Construction to avoid such problems lol


On 9/10/2010 1:44 PM, Honor wrote:     * *No… Michael said there was no way.  I sorry! :o)*
     *Not sure why the other inspector put that…. did he             have a different roof date????*
     *Happy Friday*
                             ***From:** Amy XXXXX                 
            **Sent:** Friday, September 10, 2010 1:34 PM
            **To:** Honor Construction & Inspection Services
            **Subject:** Re: XXXXX, Sandy 833 XXXX Ave.                 Melbourne 1802*
     *Thanks Michelle!  And thank you Michael for           getting out there so quickly!! 

      Still no determination on the roof deck attachment though,           huh?  Tight squeeze? Just confirming before I submit.  *           *

      She is keeping the clip credit but loosing the FBC roof           credit.  Not sure why the prior inspector but FBC           equivalent..it's a 2000 roof.*           *

      Have a great weekend :)*                                                       
     *-- *         *Best Regards, *                  *Amy *

We redid the report, the client was unhappy but not with me.

During the period when I did these working for a WCE I had several problems with the quality control personell. I wouldn’t change some things they wanted changed on reports I reinspected due to homeowner complaints that I had not inspected originally. The original program was full of problems and nothing is changed. The form is still wrong and has nebulous areas open to interpretation it is too specific for us to adequately determine answers about roof coverings and tie downs and too nebulous with respect to wall construction, are gable ends really walls now? Experts disagree on roof geometry issues, wall issues and opening issues. How to fill it out properly is anyones guess right now.