In respect of the inspection process, the most significant change in AS 3660.2:2017 is the following recommendation for the carrying out of ‘Additional Tests’ using specialist non-destructive tools:
Where areas of high moisture are detected during an inspection that cannot be readily explained, or termite activity is suspected, but can’t be readily located, specialist non-destructive tools such as a termite radar unit and/or thermal imaging camera and/or a termite detector animal should be used. If a termite radar unit, a thermal imaging camera and/or a termite detector animal inspection suggest current termite activity, more invasive inspection (e.g. cutting plaster, borescope inspection) and treatment is recommended.
From an insurance perspective, the above use of specialist non-destructive tools should be endorsed by inspectors as it promotes the most thorough non-invasive inspection possible. Inspections carried out to this level involving ‘Additional Tests’ will help reduce the incidence of termite activity not being detected and if backed by strong reporting defect statement recommendations should over time assist in reducing the incidence of inspector professional indemnity insurance notifications/claims.
To support the introduction of ‘Additional Tests’ the Report Systems Australia termite reporting paperwork definitions that appear in both the pre-engagement inspection agreement and the report are being updated.
For example, the existing definition of “Tests” is being revised to include the carrying out of Additional Tests, if recommended by the consultant.
A definition for “Additional Tests” is also being introduced.
Defect statements can include new recommendations such as:
The result of carrying out Additional Tests strongly suggests the possibility of termite activity in concealed areas. To confirm the presence of termite infestation, a further more invasive inspection is recommended. For further advice consult the person who carried out this inspection.
The My Reporting App software is also currently being updated to include the above changes and the introduction of a Defect Statement Generator. The aim of the Defect Statement Generator is to produce a uniform and concise statement whereby reducing the risk of consumer misunderstandings.
In conclusion, it is in the interest of all inspectors to reduce the incidence of insurance claims by improving work practices. The above Additional Tests recommendations could also apply to timber pest inspections.