Considering Pool Inspections?

Head ScratcherMy client was considering taking a job to inspect a large commercial pool and forwarded me the insurance requirements provided by the property manager.  Imagine his surprise when I told him that general liability policies don’t provide proper coverage for inspections and that he would need to purchase a separate insurance policy.

General liability policies cover bodily injury and property damage resulting from the contractor’s negligence, however, these aren’t the usual claims that result from a pool inspection.  Typically, the claimant argues that the pool inspector failed to notify of defects in the pool, such as cracks or code violations, and that he would have paid less for the property had he been aware of those defects.  The damage sought by the claimant is neither bodily injury or property damage as defined in the general liability insurance policy and is therefore, not covered.

We’ve handled some significant pool inspection claims in the past, including one where an inspector failed to report a 15 foot crack on the pool floor.  It was windy on the day of the inspection and the crack wasn’t visible from the pool deck.  The inspector nevertheless wrote a report stating that the pool was in good condition and he was served with a lawsuit the following month for monetary damages based on professional negligence.  He pool owner wanted $235,000, which was the amount he said he overpaid for the house because he didn’t know of the pool defect.

Coverage for pool inspections is available under a “professional liability” insurance policy.  The cost is not excessively high for anyone doing more than a few inspections and we can provide details and pricing by phone.

My client ultimately decided not to do the inspection for the property management firm given the risk involved and the cost of the additional insurance policy.  He only did one or two inspections a year, so it is probably a wise decision.

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