June, 2008
You Tell Us
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

E & O Insurance


To the editor,

I have been buying E&O insurance for about 20 years, and have always assumed (dangerous word) that the termite exclusion was referring to services provided by inspectors who also provide termite treatment. It didn’t occur to me that it did not cover structural damage from termites.

Specifically, the exclusion for my policy reads as follows: “The Policy does not apply to any claim based upon, arising out of, directly or indirectly, or in any way involving termites or other wood destroying insects.”
This year, I decided to call the representative for the ASHI-endorsed program to be sure the exclusion meant what I thought it did.

She told me that the exclusion meant that anything related to termites or wood-destroying insects was not covered. This included structural termite damage, which is a major item to all inspectors who work in the warmer states (I am from Georgia). She said that the insurance company attorneys would fight such a claim on my behalf, but that there would be no monetary coverage. Coverage is available, however, at an extra charge, which I immediately purchased.

I think that any insurance that is endorsed by ASHI should include coverage of all the usual issues that we run into, including termite-related damage.

I suspect that I may not be the only member who failed to understand this or other policy exclusions. Read your policy carefully. I hope that the ASHI committee that endorses the E&O provider each year would address this issue with the providers.

Ned Dominick, ASHI Certified Inspector #1547
National Home Inspections, LLC
Macon, Ga.