Insurance for inspectors

What kind of insurance do you carry?

We carry liability, greater than required by the state
We have E&O insurance
We also have worker’s comp.

The liability will cover accidents we have but will not cover items “missed” on an inspection. This is why we carry E&O. We do not tell everyone that we have this insurance.

I am not exempt from Worker’s comp and all of my crew are covered. If we(I) were injured on the job we would not be covered without it. If we did not have it, we could file a claim with the homeowner’s insurance(seller) but the seller has a contract that may require the buyer(our client) to be liable.

I have had a couple of studious home sellers realize this and ask me for a copy and to be named on the policy. If word spreads about this many homeowners may also ask for it. If I were an agent I would not want to be in the mix on this, especially if an inspector had a debilitation injury, so I would require it also.

Does anyone carry all of this insurance?

I carry E/O and liability for 500K each. I am exempt from Workers Comp…I also am signed up with Joe Ferry for a monthly fee to represent me if I ever have a claim against me. Cheaper than hiring a lawyer to get involved in something he may not be sufficiently experienced .

Good post John. I think most licensed home inspectors carry the minimum insurance required by law. I think you will find worker’s comp generally being carried by the multi inspector firms only. While workers comp. does provide “some” protection to the business owner and employee in the event of an injury, the real value of it is used as a marketing tool as a scare tactic for the agents and sellers to only use the multi inspector firms.

EandO 500k/500k
General liability 2mil
Workers comp
Blanket liability 1 million
Attorney on retainer
Company vehicle insurance
Tool coverage addd to GL

$1,000,000 liability and E&O with a $1500 deductible,
includes agent referral coverage (InspectPro).
Joe Ferry to help squash claims (never used YET).
Worker’s comp officer’s exclusion, have personal health ins.
$500,000 on vehicle.

I think the only thing we have to have is $300K liability.
IMO, worker’s comp is a serious matter, not a scare tactic.
Woould you want a contractor working in your home, getting injured?

I have a work rider with my wifes insurance policy and a waiver that will release the seller of any liability if needed. So far, not needed.

And incidentally, I don’t know how workers comp is today, but back in the day, it wasn’t very good. You had to use their doctors…which I found out was a big mistake! The Ugly Elbow

Hey guys great post. I was just curious who is Joe Ferry and how do I get info on his services?

I think the real value of worker’s comp is to the injured. There have been several inspectors I know of that have been injured on the job.

It wasn’t in my case and, at least back then, you couldn’t sue the doctors.

Are you saying no insurance is better than poor insurance. What about getting paid while you are out?

I don’t think I did.

What I did say is what I have. The reason I have it is because I have been through the WC wheel, and to me, having the best insurance is preferable to none. I also have a disability rider in the event I am out for an extended period of time. One of the perks of having a wife who works in the healthcare industry, good insurance.

So…when I get a phone call asking if I carry WC, I tell the client, I have something much better! :wink: The other inspector who boasts about having WC is just using it as a gimmick… :wink: And, as is usually the case, when a gimmick is exposed for what it really is, the Client is smart enough to see it for what it was…

Another good point John. Again, poor worker’s comp insurance is typically required for employers to provide for their employees (multi inspector firms). Since it is required for employees, why not try to use it as a marketing tool (make lemonade out of lemons concept). For the small business owner (mom and pop shops) who take the exemption as allowed by law for owners, workers comp does not make economic sense (for most of them). I should clarify and say that is does not make economic sense for those small business owners who have good money management skills and do not live from paycheck to paycheck or distribution to distribution. I would speculate that many of the small business owners have better insurance than what worker’s comp would provide for them and that they don’t live paycheck to paycheck. As for getting paid when you are injured, typically short term or even long term disability insurance may be a better option for the business owner.

I am not sure how having Worker’s Comp is anywhere near a gimmick. It is far from that. It protects all involved in the current environment. The seller is protected, the buyer is protected, the worker is protected, and so on. Is it the best insurance for the injured? Maybe or maybe not. But Health insurance nor Aflac with protect the buyer and the seller. Its like before we did radon testing in Florida people would ask if they needed radon testing…the common response from everyone was “there is no radon in south Florida”. You know how many elvated homes we test?

The point is if you don’t carry a type of insurance that protects other parties interest it is not a gimmick for those that do. I posted on my facebook a few days ago about a story of an inspector filing a law suit against the seller for the inspectors injury. This is a real concern. If you were the seller or buyer would you not want protection?

Saying exempt without actually filing paperwork doesn’t count. How many actually have an exempt certificate?

I know you did, but here is a question for you: After the inspection is completed and the inspector trips over the sidewalk on the way back to his truck, and breaks his back, who covers him now?

? Why would you assume that someone would claim the exemption without filing the paperwork?

Most don’t even know they have to. Also just claiming exempt does not protect. WC policy stops a claim against other parties instantly. How many single inspectors take a helper even if it is once in awhile?

If you fall on the sidewalk outside you could go after the homeowner or city or both. With a WC policy it would be that insurance that kicks in and pretty much stops any other claim dead in its tracks

I don’t think so…
In fact, I know of an inspector that this happened to. The WC agent stated “The inspection process was concluded, therefore, this is a non-work related injury”. He ended up having to sue the homeowner.

The same goes for regular insurance. Every time I have a surgery, I get a questionnaire in the mail and one of the questions is was there a third party involved. They also want to know where and exactly when the “accident” took place.

Don’t even see how that is possible. Your WC covers you at work. That includes driving, walking, while at the office, loading your truck, etc