Many states have no minimum insurance requirements for home inspectors. For the ones that do, it is usually general liability or errors and omissions insurance, or both, in amounts from $100,000 to $500,000. The only state that we know of that specifies a surety bond is North Carolina, and it is only necessary if the inspector chooses not to carry errors and omissions insurance or provide proof of meeting a minimum assets standard.
A surety bond effectively guarantees an amount of money that will be provided by the insurance company to meet an obligation of the insured, such as due to a lawsuit. It is often required of building contractors in an amount so that the funds to complete a contracted project will be available if the contractor defaults. Home inspectors generally have short-term obligations to the customer, which are fully covered by general liability and errors and omissions insurance, and a bond is unnecessary.
The approximately 23,000 members of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) provide a slightly different type of bond to their customers that they receive as part of their membership. InterNACHI calls it an “Honor Guarantee,” but it is technically a fidelity bond, and guarantees payment for any theft of personal property by an InterNACHI member during a home inspection.
Also, see our blog post How can I check to be sure a home inspector is licensed?
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Here’s links to some of our other blog posts about HOME INSPECTION:
• The home inspector says I have construction defects. How did my home pass inspection by the building department?
• Does the seller have to make a repair requested by the homebuyer, even if the home inspector did not call it out as a defect?
• The one home inspection question we get asked most often: "Will that be in the report?"
• Does a homebuyer need to ask the seller's permission to do additional inspections after the initial one?
• Do home inspectors inspect barns and other agricultural buildings on a farm?
• What is the difference between a structural defect and a cosmetic defect?
• Can a Florida licensed contractor do home inspections without having a home inspector license?
• Do home inspectors inspect outbuildings?
• Does a home inspector give cost estimates for repairs?
• The seller gave me a report from a previous home inspection. Should I use it or get my own inspector?
• Who should pay for the home inspection?
• Do I need a home inspection to get insurance?
• I can't find a local home inspector. What should I do?
• Do home inspectors test the appliances?
• Should I trust the Seller's Property Disclosure Statement?
• What makes a house fail the home inspection?
• Can a home inspector do repairs to a house after doing the inspection?
• What are the requirements for a room to be classified as a bedroom?
• Do home inspectors lift up the carpet to look for cracks in the floor?
• What can I learn from talking with the seller?
• What is the difference between a home inspection and a final walkthrough inspection?
• Do home inspectors go on the roof? Do they get in the attic?
• What are the questions a home inspector won't (or shouldn't) answer?
• Should a home inspection scare you?
• What questions should I ask the home inspector during the inspection?
• What should I bring to the home inspection?
• Does my home inspection report give me everything I need to evaluate the price of a house?
• Should I hire an engineer to inspect the house?
• How can I find out if all the home improvements had a building permit?
• Does a home inspector make sure the house is up to code?
Visit our DOES A HOME INSPECTOR…? page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.