A good home inspector should be thorough enough to identify the need for a specialist (or technical expert) without becoming one. Members of the American Institute of Inspectors® have a tool that sets a high standard and still limits liability. A.I.I.™ members call this the “Umbrella Philosophy.” In every aspect of operating your inspection business, you have first defined what a proper inspection includes. That definition is detailed in our Standards of Practice & Code of Ethics.
The “Umbrella Philosophy” is simply our shorthand for remembering to stay within the guidelines of those Standards. By staying under the umbrella of the definition of a reduced liability inspection, each member diminishes his/her exposure.
Reducing our liability means skillfully dealing with the most frequently asked questions about our report: “How to?” and “How much?” without stepping from under the umbrella. It also means staying out of the area of expertise of other professionals such as the:
And technical fields that may require other licensing such as:
It is often this issue that separates those inspectors with longevity from those whose businesses struggle in the inspection industry. We believe it is the ability to provide a useful report without becoming a “technical expert” that is key to a successful home inspection career.