Business Practices

 

Home Inspectors Insurance – How to Avoid Claims – Part 2

Published under Business Practices,News on 12/28/2011

This post is a follow up to our previous post for claim avoidance. Here are 2 more claim prevention tips…

3. Report of Observations: A common cause of lawsuits comes from assuming the sample inspection represents the whole structure. It is a fairly frequent occurrence for property owners to intentionally obstruct areas that may have defects. For example, faulty window flashing may be evident on three out of the fifteen windows in the home. If the property owners have prevented inspection of those windows state that in the report (3 of the 15 windows were obstructed from inspection). Documenting with photographs can help confirm your report and visually validate the reason for lacking an inspection. In addition, it is important to provide your expert opinion of the structure and not a definitive statement as to the condition of the structure. For example, with a well flow inspection, do not state the plumbing is in perfect condition; you haven’t seen all of the pipes. You can, however, state the plumbing system appears to be in proper working order based upon the well flow analysis.

4. Standardized Inspections: Using a standard template for all your inspections is important. If you perform multiple types of inspections (pest, residential, FHA, 1004D, etc.) having standardized templates for each class of inspection may make sense. Using such templates helps reduce potential errors. Having standardized documentation, photography, procedures, etc. reduces these errors. Property inspectors, whether part of a multi-inspector group or a sole-proprietor, need to have Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). In a lawsuit this can help establish uniformity in your services and reduce the perception of inconsistency. Additionally, quick access to information can help curb a small concern before it grows into legal action. Standardized archiving and record keeping is essential for this as well.

As we mentioned earlier, even the best inspector can have an incident or claim. That’s why we carry insurance. Even the best of us can make mistakes and when they occur our insurance company can step in and defend us through to resolution. If you want to see what we have to offer submit an application for home inspector insurance. Or give us a call at 801-610-2700.

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Busting the BCS and home inspecting?

Published under Business Practices,News on 12/01/2011

Busting the BCS and home inspecting……



College football this time of year has a habit of talking about the teams trying to ‘Bust the BCS’. This post won’t address or attempt to address the current BCS system, or make a pitch for a playoff format or any of the other conversations and dialogues that exist today. We know many of you are college football fans and we also know that a bunch of people who read this blog are home inspectors. So what we are aiming for in this blog post is to talk about the ways the current BCS can be related to home inspecting and any small business for that matter to make it through these tough economic times.

Success in business is a lot like the BCS this year. You have to persevere. In years past the BCS rating system “punished” schools that were not able to navigate their schedules loss free. It would seem that in each year the BCS had other undefeated teams that would move into the BCS title game picture when a previously undefeated team stumbled.

However, this year the BCS picture is a bit different. LSU and Alabama are ranked as the 2 best college teams in the nation at this point in the season. (Although USC could make a strong case for playing some of the best football as of late).

LSU and AL played a tough game earlier this year with many of the pundits opining that the winner, if they didn’t lose as well, were on a straight course to the BCS title game. In fact many of those same pundits also remarked there should not be a rematch of the LSU vs. AL game for the BCS title game, should that situation arise.

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For a few weeks after the LSU vs AL match-up the college football landscape had some new teams who stepped up and made some waves. Teams like Stanford, Oklahoma State, Oregon, and even Boise State was in the discussion at one time. But alas, each of these teams stumbled and lost a game down the stretch. As I type this post the current BCS Rankings are (1) LSU, (2) Alabama, (3) Oklahoma State get the rest of the poll at ESPN College Football Polls.

If the BCS championship game were played today, Alabama would be the beneficiary of having persevered. Business, especially small business is like Alabama in college football today. There are many big games and situations where we don’t come out ahead or feel like we won the battle. But we have to remember the battle is all we lost. The war is still going on. We can’t get down on ourselves or stop doing what is successful and can bring results. You have to persevere. And in the end you’ll be playing on the big stage again. You’ll have a shot at the title.

In fact most of us will try to market to the biggest referral partner in our market space at least once. Chances are our attempts were not successful the first time, and maybe not even the second, third, or fourth. But if we are polite and persistent, it can and many times will payoff in the future.

One last note…. Good football teams and good businesses also take steps and put plans in place to handle the unexpected. The biggest one I can think of is the star quarterback getting hurt. No one wants this to happen, but sometimes accidents or injuries occur.

Home inspectors are no different. As an inspector you don’t plan to miss or forget to inspect something, but sometimes errors happen. Like a football team having a back player, a home inspector should have a plan in place to help prevent errors from happening in the first place and protecting them in the event one occurs. Major components of this plan ought to include a solid inspection agreement, effective risk control measures, quality assurance steps, and insurance to handle the incidents that evolve into claims.

If you have home inspector insurance for your business and haven’t yet received a quote from InspectorPro Insurance go our home inspector insurance application. You’ll find the most comprehensive coverage at the best price. Or you can give us a call at 801-610-2700.

And of course is you want to learn more about Alabama home inspector insurance requirements or Louisiana home inspector insurance requirements click the appropriate link.

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What can a home inspector learn from Drew Rosenhaus?

Published under Business Practices,Humorous on 10/10/2011

You no doubt know who Drew Rosenhaus is, right? He’s the agent to some of the most successful and talented NFL stars in the game today. You most likely know him from one of his many exploits on behalf of his clients.

How about a few to jog your memory….

You no doubt have an opinion about Mr. Rosenhaus, regardless of whether you love him or hate him, what can we learn from him? Drew is a master at blowing a horn. Sometimes he blows it for himself, sometimes for his clients, sometimes both. Most of us may not agree with his style or the way he works, but he does one thing very well…He markets himself every chance he gets. Mr. Rosenhaus never passes up an opportunity to stand in front of a group of people market his skills. Yes, he is a good agent. He has succeeded at landing his clients big money contracts for the teams they want to play for. He is obviously a shrewd negotiator.

But in my opinion he is a better marketer.

As is true in any business, we must be proficient at our skill. That means for the InspectorPro Team understanding and being able to explain potential risks and exposures to home and building inspectors. We then need to be able to explain what the best coverage is for them and their business and why.

As a home inspector, inspecting for and finding problems or concerns in a persons home or commercial building. But we must be just as good, if not better, at marketing ourselves to others. We need to be like Drew Rosenhaus and take every opportunity to tell others about home inspecting and why they should choose is to inspect their next home.

A few ideas for you:

    1. Marketing to a different group than normal, ie. lawyers, doctors, dentists, etc.
    2. Become involved with various networking and marketing groups
    3. Make sure your website is up-to-date and optimized for your local area
    4. Give a good referral (I believe every good deed will be rewarded)
    5. If you go to church, post your services on the bulletin board, in the newsletter, take about it at the next pot luck. Don’t be shy
    6. Write and article for the local newspaper. Next time they have a question about something in the home, they just might call you!!

If you want more information about home inspector insurance, what coverage you need for your business, or what your current coverage is, give the InspectorPro Team a call. We are happy to help with whatever questions you have. 801.610.2700

Take every advantage of the opportunities in front of you to talk about and prove you are the home inspector expert. It’ll pay off for you just like it has for Drew Rosenhaus.

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Does Ozzy Osbourne need a home inspector?

Published under Business Practices,Humorous on 10/03/2011

Home inspectors throughout the nation are always looking for new ways to generate business for themselves. Offering a home inspection to sellers is a way to generate more business and can potentially open some previously untapped referral markets. If you are in southern California, you might consider calling Ozzy Osbourne and asking him if he has considered getting a sellers home inspection to help move his Malibu property.

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Could a top notch home inspector help Ozzy and Sharon sell their home?

As you can see from Ozzy needs a home inspector to sell his house, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne have listed their Malibu house again. Maybe if a home inspector told them what the issues were with the house they could correct them and get the property to move.

As a home inspector if you are marketing to real estate agents and other referral sources you will want to secure for yourself and your business the proper home inspector insurance coverage. To learn more about your state requirements click here.

Or you can always call one of us here on the InspectorPro Team at 801.610.2700.

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Release Me!! – Home Inspector Insurance thoughts…..

Published under Business Practices,News on 08/24/2011

No inspector is perfect. If we all sat in a room and I asked you how many of you has missed something when inspecting a home the answer would be everyone. That old saying, “it’s not if, but when” is true. At some point in your inspection career you’ll have to deal with the results of a mistake.

There are many thoughts and opinions about how to respond and while this post won’t address all the potential responses; I do want to talk about the Claim Release Statement.

After your conversation back and forth with the claimant you may eventually settle on a dollar figure they will accept to drop the claim and allow both parties to move on. It’s your choice to pay the settlement and walk away.

HOWEVER, you must get a signed release from the claimant. Having an gentleman’s agreement will not stand up in the future. Putting a statement on the back of the check that says something to effect of “by signing this check I release ABC Inspections from any and all future claims” also will not typically hold water in the event of future claims. You’ve got to have a release that finalizes the transaction for the current claim and anything that may arise in the future.releaseimage1 Release Me!!   Home Inspector Insurance thoughts.....

Each year in the home inspector insurance industry we see situations where claims are settled. When a claim is settled the insurance company always gets a release letter signed by the claimant for this and all future claims. As an inspector, if you are going to negotiate your own settlements for incidents you should follow the same practice.

Yes mistakes happen, and yes sometimes you can settle them and walk away. Obtaining a release is a smart home inspector business practice.

Disclaimer….I am not an attorney and this post is in no way an attempt to convey or give legal advice. You should consult with your attorney to draft the release you use.

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