Inspection went wrong

Now that we have your attention @jbushart2, what is the best thing to do if contacted by a homeowner’s insurance company? Not give up any info and redirect them to your lawyer and/or insurance company? Answer any questions but not admit guilt? This would be good info to have and I appreciate any insight.

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Not @jbushart2 but if they are asking for $, on behalf of your previous inspection client, I would contact my insurance company.

Good question.

Just out of curiosity, what is the meaning “PA, PCLA, LPCS” ? Not directed at you Ryan, but to James. Just trying to clarify as to the question presented.

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“Check is in the mail”…

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Yeah, but what if you are innocent, or at least think that you are?

The OP seems to think right off the bat he is guilty and I’m not saying he is or isn’t. Truthfully, it is odd because he states the faucet had a slow drip when “open.” May just be a language thing though.

Anyhow, one could get contacted out of the blue with no warning by a homeowner’s insurance company so it would be nice to know what the best protocol is. Maybe it’s time for NACHI to put together a few classes on legal issues?

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I think it’s mostly insurance lingo. Found on Google…

LPCS - Legal Principles Claim Specialist
PCLA - Property Claim Law Associate
PA - Public Adjuster

:man_shrugging:

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Makes sense now. Thanks! :+1:

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Lawyers and courts…

We have a legal system NOT a justice system.

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Ouch! The condo owner down below is not your client, take it easy. It’s not like the OP took someone’s head off. Mold is all around us, it’s not the end of the world. Leaks happen ALL the time, 99.9999999999% of people don’t die from it. It gets fixed and life goes on. Lived in a building for a long time, ceiling leaked yearly, or so, because people would spill stuff or something would break. Nobody died!

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Kashif

You said the faucet was leaking 1 drop/minute so you didn’t do anything to an already leaking faucet with a detached drain line. I would have shut off the stop valve and mention it to the agents immediately but damage is done.

Do not fix the ceiling yourself! You are not a licensed contractor. Also, not sure why you are a realtor AND an inspector. That’s is little conflicting. If you are concerned about insurance claims then maybe negotiate with the guy on finding an independent general contractor that will get a professional drywall guy out there to match and repaint the entire ceiling. Its going to cost you a couple grand but so is a deductible and hit. It is worth a shot.

Mike

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It’s a ceiling, not brain surgery. Something structural? Sure… A finish repair? What’s the worst liability-wise? He uses Eggshell paint and the original was Satin? Just because lawyers and insurance companies make their living scaring the hell out of all of us doesn’t mean all of us need to always let them. Make contact with the complaining tenant and see where it goes from there. If they are a nut-job sure, let it escalate. If they are a reasonable person (which despite news media and all the doom and gloom there are a lot more of than we are led to believe), work it out. Again, it’s a ceiling paint job. Has the world really fallen this far?

Did the neighbor below call the mold remediator grifters yet?
The estimate will be $10,000.00

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Kashif … Several things sound wrong here.

#1 … The statement about the 1st 20 inspections can go wrong. In 38+ yrs and around 15,000 inspections we have refunded inspection fees 4 times and 1 time paid for a ceiling redo when a helper stepped off an attic joist and put his foot thru a ceiling. The cost to repair, texture, paint, etc to match existing ceiling area was about $1,200 by a professional (and it got the homeowner off our back if he had a quality problem).

#2 … Constantly dripping faucet + disconnected drain pipe. You pointed it out in your report AND told them about it and recommended repair by a plumber, etc. AFTER that its no longer your problem, SO how did you let it become your problem versus the sellers problem?

#3 … Telling everyone that an existing problem was your fault AND offering to pay for it. Hell NO!

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First, you should understand what it means to be contacted by the homeowner’s insurance company. It means (a) the homeowner has already filed a claim and been paid by their insurance company, (b) the insurance company is now coming after you to be reimbursed for what they paid the homeowner, and (c) the insurance company has millions of dollars set aside to sue under such circumstances.

In this case (as in others), the injured party is not a party to the pre-inspection agreement. Accordingly, there is no limit to the inspector’s liability.

With that understanding, an insured home inspector would be insane to violate the conditions of his policy and attempt to deal directly with the homeowner’s insurance company while leaving his own insurance company out of the loop, and thereby forfeiting his own insurance coverage.

My advice would be to refrain from providing any response at all and providing a copy of their notice to you to your insurance company so they may determine how to respond. In this case it appears that it is the condo owner and not his insurance company making first contact with the home inspector, but my advice is the same since there is no limit to the inspector’s liability.

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Hello Kashif -
IMHO:
A couple of things…
If you’re conceding that all of the damage is your fault - then you’ll be paying for it. It may be pricey.
It’s ‘you’ that contacts your insurance (if necessary), not the client’s neighbor.
You should first arrange for contractor estimates. Those estimates should be presented to you.
BUT I’m wondering - since the client’s drain was detached (and they now know that thanks to you), how do you know how long the drain has failed, how much water has been sent through that fixture with the owner not aware of the drain failure, and how long it has been leaking to the neighbor’s ceiling? And how do you know that the damages in the ceiling below occurred in one day? It could’ve been trickle leaking for months.
I ask because in your photo, you can plainly see an older stain in the ceiling of the next room.
A qualified contractor can determine the origin and approximate age/duration of a water stain through simple visual analysis. You should request that the age/duration of these damages be included in the contractor estimates.

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Thanks James. Sounds like good advice. It’s nice having someone on here that is fluent in how to manage these situations.

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