Does Your Building Inspector Have Insurance?
Currently, the building and property inspection industry in Western Australia is without regulation. For this reason, it is extremely important to verify the insurance coverage of anyone you hire for building consulting or inspection in order to make sure that it is adequate.
The inspection of your properties and any consultations regarding them are very serious transactions, and if a hired individual does not have insurance coverage that is adequate to perform the job for which they were hired, there is no guarantee that the report or information you receive from the inspector or consultant is factual or of a decent quality. In order to make sure that you get positive results for your financial output, always verify the adequacy of a building inspector or consultant before hiring them.
A company which performs professional consultation must be in possession of the following insurances in order to be considered adequately insured to perform their job without risk of financial loss on your part.
1. Professional Indemnity Insurance
Professional indemnity insurance is a type of insurance coverage which offers protection to you as a client of the company in regards to any omissions of data or failure to observe relevant information on the part of a building inspector while inspecting a property and making a building inspection report. It is possible for anyone to accidentally make a mistake or omit important data, even a consummate professional.
Unfortunately, without the coverage offered by professional indemnity insurance, you are liable for any damages or issues which result from the omission or lack of observation on the part of the building inspector. In order to obtain this insurance, a company must have suitable qualifications. At the bare minimum, any building consultant must be a registered builder. It is preferred that the consultant have a minimum of ten years of onsite experience within both the residential and the commercial building industries.
2. Public Liability Insurance
Public liability insurance is an extremely important type of insurance coverage. This coverage indemnifies you and financially covers the consultant in the case of any inadvertent harm that may come to any individual during the property inspection. This coverage also extends to the property itself. If the building inspector does any damage to the property during their inspection, public liability insurance will cover the cost of the repairs.
3. Worker's Compensation
Worker's compensation, a very basic type of insurance coverage, is also absolutely essential for any building inspector or consultant. When performing property inspections, there is always a risk of injury, whether major or minor. Worker's compensation guarantees that if an employee is injured while performing a duty in their line of work, their medical expenses and any necessary time off for recuperation will be accounted for financially.
All of the aforementioned types of insurance are non-optional for any professional property inspection or consultation company and its employees. Because insurance coverage comes at a large cost to a company, being the single largest fixed cost a consulting company faces, many start-up companies choose to omit insurance coverage due to the lack of regulation in Western Australia.
When the time comes for you to schedule an inspection for your building or property, remember that it is essential that you verify the adequacy of the insurance coverage of the professional inspector or consultant that you hire and the business that they work for. The primary way to verify this information is to request that the company or individual provide you with a detailed copy of all of their insurance coverage. Any reputable company will provide this information for you without any hesitation.
Brad Porteus is the Managing Director of BSP Construction Consultants, investment property inspection specialists. You can find Brad on Google+ and LinkedIn as well!