No compulsion for Certified Home Inspectors to hold public liability insurance

Home sellers forced to employ home inspectors to provide a Home Information Pack (HIP) are being advised by CETA Insurance to ask inspectors for their insurance details before granting access.

CETA has pointed out that there will be no compulsion for Certified Home Inspectors to hold public liability insurance that would cover any damage caused during an inspection.

David Quick, managing director of CETA commented: “A home inspector could accidentally break a window, knock over a vase or put a foot through the ceiling while checking the loft. There are more than a million property transactions each year so inevitably problems will arise. The home seller needs to check this kind of damage will be paid for without having to claim on their own household policy.”

Quick said the start of the HIP era – now delayed until August 1 – raised some interesting insurance questions. “It seems that any certified inspector carrying out Home Condition Reports will need Professional Indemnity cover to pay for mistakes or negligence,” he said.

“But HCRs are now optional so most sellers won’t bother with them. So does that mean there is no insurance requirement at all for home inspectors compiling a pack without a HCR?”

“It seems amazing that there are not clearer guidelines and rules for those working in an industry that will quickly be worth millions of pounds a year and involve probably thousands of home visits every week. I have heard the organisations that certify home inspectors are strongly advising them to trade as limited liability companies to cap any potential losses, so it is clear they have some concern that costly mistakes will happen.”