Possible trouble client?

I just booked a home inspection and the first thing the client asked was if I had E & O insurance. He wants me to bring proof of it to the inspection. Is this a red flag?


not necessarily maybe he works for a large company that required it for all quotes received and he thinks he is being diligent. just keep your guard up

You have just had a “red flag” planted squarely between the buttocks.

You should immediately get the “flu” and cancel, apologetically, and refer him to your nearest lowballing competitor.

At this point, I agree.

You should have asked him why he was asking. You should have also taken the opportunity to explain to him that E & O insurance is meant to protect YOU in the case of a frivolous lawsuit, and is not an insurance policy to repair neither the inspected, nor un-inspected portions of his home. And under no circumstances would I provide the policy info to him. If there is ultimately a claim you should be the one contacting the insurance company not him.

James I could send him down your way. :slight_smile:

No, thanks.

Besides…I suggested a “lowballing” competitor. They are all over town in Springfield.

haha true

Run Away. Run far away.

As others have noted. E & O is protection for you and your company. Not a pot of gold for the consumer. Wish every home inspector who advertises being insured for the clients protection would realize this.

A word to the wise… “He wants PROOF”???.. It sounds like he has already made up his mind to sue you BEFORE the inspection is even completed!

My advice… Walk away from this inspection! .

^Advice from a CMI is nothing to sneeze at^

I look at it this way. (but im no CMI) I have had one client in my 15 year construction career ask if I was Bonded. I have never known anyone who has been (in construction) or anyone else who has asked. I did do the job for him, and he was WAY beyond satisfied. He called me for Years afterward for every little thing. I was “his guy”. If you can please a guy like this, you are winning a tough client. Won tough clients are talking billboards for YOU. If you are weak in any area, he will smell fear.

If I were building a home, I would insist that my builder be bonded and insured because I will have to personally cover whatever expenses he leaves me hanging with should he go belly up in the process of building my home.

Big difference between a builder and an inspector.

A person with the misconceived perception that a home inspection report is a warranty…and that the home inspector’s insurance covers him should he experience an expense due to something the inspector fails to fully address in his inspection report…will want to be sure that the inspector carries E&O insurance.

When a person realizes that the insurance company will apply every interpretation of the pre-inspection agreement and the SOP that is necessary to ensure that it pays out nothing…that it is there to protect the inspector from frivolous suits and not the client from inspector error…they realize how little E&O means, and how much more valuable a good inspection is, in its place.

Doctors carry malpractice insurance…but your lawyer has to take the doctor to court to collect. Like home inspectors, the doctor’s insurance protects him and not his client. The best protection you have as a patient is a good doctor.

As Don Belmont aptly points out…the fools who actually advertise to the public that they carry E&O to “protect the client” are lying in their advertisements and are enticing the misinformed to sue them.

I know one popular NACHI member who advertises such, and who also claims that he has been sued once for every year he has been in business. I still don’t think he has made the connection.

Michael has a point, if you have the intestinal fortitude to overlook it, as for me I don’t, I run screaming like a little girl with the best of them.

I have been in this business since 1972.

  • I have NEVER had a complaint and I have NEVER been sued.
  • Over the last 38 – years I have had two different people ask if I had E&O.

Since we live in a litigious society…. I told them no and that if that THEIR top priority that they should look somewhere else. They did. Both times.

It is interesting to note that in the small state of New Hampshire “everybody seems to know one another”.

One client had a brother who was a “Regular Lawyer”, the other client was the daughter of a Real Estate attorney!

The inspectors who did these jobs told me that they were a freaking nightmare! Two different clients… two different years… the SAME OUTCOME!

The daughter of the Real Estate Attorney had a one year “Home Warranty”. At 11 – months…. The AC did not cool enough to satisfy her. The Home Warranty company sent out a tech who brought the Freon up to the maximum capacity. It still did not satisfy her. She sued the warranty company and they gave her $400.00. Then she sued the inspector for a completely NEW system.
{One of my friends.}

I went to court with him and we pointed out the fact that this matter had already been settled and that she was “double dipping.” I also pointed out the fact that his contract stated that; “damages were to be confined to the price of the inspection.”
He pointed out that the AC was fully functional at the time of the inspection. The unit cooled to 68-F.

The judge dismissed the case.
Although my friend “Won” it cost him time and “lost wages”. I am a recognized Expert Witness in the judicial systems of; Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. I was more than happy to volunteer my time to protect my friend from this “sue happy” person.

My friend told me that when she book the inspection her first question was “Do you have E&O insurance”? He told me that even though “alarm bells went off” he needed the money so he did the job.
At the courthouse he told me that he should have listed “to his gut.”

The public is getting smarter every day, many have learned not to use the realtors inspector and to ask certain questions before hiring an inspector. One of those questions is about E&O and yes, it does protect the consumer from a true error or ommission that could be made by the inspector. If you miss a problem and the client wants to recover their loss the insurance payment goes to the client, not to you. I am amazed that any home buyer would hire an inspector without insurance. I get most all of the clients that have been harmed by inspectors in the past that have learned to do their own research instead of repeating their past mistakes. I have never had a problem and even had a personal injury lawyer hire me to inspect a house.


Why do you advertise your insurance on your web site? If you put it out there you are gonna have to expect people to ask for it. I do not like it when clients ask me for mine yet I will be more than happy to show them my insurance. If an agent asks for it I will in turn ask them for theirs also. Why do you have it?

I walked on only one inspection and that was when a client told me flat out “If you miss anything I am gonna sue you” My response was “Inspection is over, have a nice day” Those are the ones you cannot satisfy

Only turn the job down if it does not sit well with you, otherwise go out do a bang up job!!


I think an informed client should ask if you have E&O. Just like they should ask what your qualifications are.

Here in AZ it is mandated, like auto insurance.

I would have to speak with the client to know if it was a red flag. Be careful.

Many clients read a list of canned questions they got from some other “Expert” on Home Inspections.

This “new” information changes the entire picture and now I can see why they asked for “Proof” of insurance.

If you do not have E&O I suggest that you clarify what type of insurance that you do have or … better yet… if the E&O question bothered you…take this info off of your website.

Why put a “Bulls-eye / target” on your back!

Well the guy called back he wants me to fax my pre inspection agreement to his attorney so they can have it on file. I asked him why would he need this he said “Incase something goes wrong”. This sounds like a potential lawsuit to me