Lower Premiums on E&O: Something to Smile About



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Lower Premiums on E&O: Something to Smile About
by David Brauner, Senior Broker at OREP.org

There are some advantages to getting older—one is perspective. And as we look forward into the New Year, we can find something to smile about by looking back (wait for it)… at home inspector E&O insurance. I know, I know. But give me a few minutes to make my case!

We’ve all had a rough road of late, so what is there to be “happy” about when it comes to insurance? First, the cost of E&O for home inspectors is about what it was 25 years ago when I first began servicing the insurance needs of this profession. As I recall, there were only a handful of carriers willing to even write inspectors. The minimum premiums were close to what they are today or higher and they did not include most of the coverages you find standard in most policies today: general liability and/or BIPD Off-Premises coverage, radon, pest, sewer, and so forth. No one offered coverage for mold or mold inspection in a home inspector policy—if you wanted that, you needed an environmental policy. And most deductibles were higher, too—certainly nothing in the range of OREP’s $1,500 deductible (most inspectors).

In those days, the average turnaround time for underwriting a home inspector’s application and producing a quote was 30 days! I can still remember when the company I was working for at the time introduced into the marketplace the first “fast application” that could quote most inspectors in minutes (similar to what we use online at OREP.org today). We sold a lot of policies back then with our “fast application” to inspectors who had never enjoyed good service before.

So, what happened to drive these improvements? Well, the trade of home inspecting became a more regulated profession, and as that unfolded, the insurance underwriters/actuaries became more comfortable insuring it. Once states began regulating home inspecting—requiring licensing and a code of conduct/standards of practice—the insurance folks loosened their ties a bit and “embraced” the profession (many are still skittish at level of claim activity!). All along the way, groups like the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) set the standards and drove acceptance of the profession to consumers and insurance professionals alike.

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Free Market Wins Again

Competition has brought premiums down and added valuable coverages and technology and innovation have improved service. Most home inspector policies have a very broad definition of coverage including the ancillary services that home inspectors provide. OREP’s policy, for example, includes coverage for termite inspections, pool and spa inspections, carbon monoxide testing, radon testing, lead paint inspections, drones, EIFS/Stucco inspections, and more. Mold, Septic/Water Testing, and Cyber are also available upon request. All of this coverage at rates equal to or lower than what you might have paid for E&O only 25 years ago!

As noted, in “the old days” if you wanted coverage against breaking something at job site or hurting someone, you needed to buy a separate general liability policy. If you wanted to test air quality or for mold or radon, you needed an environmental policy—for another $2,500!

So Happy New Year to you and yours and all the best in 2021, including health. If you’re looking for an inclusive, competitively priced E&O insurance policy, look no further than my company, now in its 19th year—OREP. If you get anything less than stellar service at OREP, you can tell me about it directly at dbrauner@orep.org.

About the Author
David Brauner is Publisher of Working RE magazine and Senior Broker at OREP, a leading provider of E&O Insurance for appraisers, inspectors and other real estate professionals in 50 states (OREP.org). He has provided E&O insurance to appraisers for over 25 years. He can be contacted at dbrauner@orep.org or (888) 347-5273. California Insurance License #0C89873. Visit OREP.org today for comprehensive coverage at competitive rates.


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Presenter: David Brauner, Senior Insurance Broker OREP
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Note: The Winter/Spring 2021 issue of Working RE Home Inspector is mailing now to over 25,000 home inspectors nationwide. OREP Insureds enjoy guaranteed delivery of each print magazine and many more benefits.

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