Total Home Inspections News

1 October 2021

Insurance: Why your Perth Building Inspector needs to be totally covered

Congratulations on having your offer accepted for your dream home! Now, it’s time to book a Building and pest Inspection to ensure the property is free from pests and structurally sound before the settlement day. However, choosing the right Building Inspector may seem like a daunting task. Let’s explore some crucial factors to consider.

When it comes to purchasing a home in Perth, it’s understandable that you may be inclined to minimise costs and consider hiring the Building Inspector with the lowest quote. However, making a decision solely based on price could compromise the value you receive in the long run. Opting for a cheap Inspector may lead to a less thorough Building Inspection than expected, potentially overlooking crucial issues.

Moreover, relying solely on the lowest price exposes you to the risk of selecting a Building Inspector who lacks the necessary insurance coverage. It’s important to remember that any oversights or errors in the Building Inspection Report can have significant financial implications. Without proper protection, you may end up acquiring a property that becomes financially burdensome due to undetected issues.

The surprising truth about the Building Inspection industry

It is reasonable to assume that Building Inspectors work in a regulated industry, but the reality might surprise you. In Western Australia, Building Inspectors are neither regulated nor required to be licensed. To label oneself as a “Registered Building Inspector,” all that is needed is the completion of a 2-day course, followed by the issuance of a random registration number that holds no connection to the building commission.

This lack of regulation means that you could potentially have your new home inspected by someone who lacks the appropriate qualifications for the job. While they may possess basic knowledge of buildings, it is risky to entrust such an important task to an amateur.

What you should be seeking in a Building Inspector is someone who is also a “registered builder.” This designation necessitates the completion of a Diploma in Building and Construction, along with a minimum of seven years of experience in carrying out or supervising building works and/or constructing homes. This evidence must be provided to the building commission to obtain a registration number.

Given the potential pitfalls in unregulated building inspections in Perth , how can you protect yourself from the risk of financial disaster? The best course of action is to ensure that your Building Inspector is not only a “Registered Builder” but also fully insured. Professionals in the industry would never think of conducting business without these credentials, as they are indicative of a legitimate and professional operation.

What type of insurance should your Building & Pest Inspector possess?

If your Building Inspector were to slip and fall through the ceiling while inside the roof void, you could end up being held liable if the Inspector lacks insurance and fails to take responsibility. Any damage or injuries that occur during their assessment of your home could become your responsibility as well. To mitigate these risks, your Building Inspector should carry Public Liability Insurance, providing you with protection in such instances.

Another crucial insurance to look for is Professional Indemnity Insurance. This insurance helps safeguard you from financial losses that may arise due to issues with your Building Inspector’s report. For example, if a significant structural problem with your roof goes unnoticed by the Inspector and subsequently causes damage after settlement, this insurance would cover the expenses incurred for repairing the damage.

While it may be tempting to choose the Building Inspector with the cheapest quote, there are many considerations that should not be overlooked, such as insurance coverage and whether they are a Registered Builder. Building Inspectors in Perth who carry comprehensive insurance may come at a slightly higher cost, but the peace of mind and protection they provide in case of any issues during the inspection process or in the final inspection report are invaluable.

At Total Home Inspections, we maintain Comprehensive Professional Indemnity Insurance of $1,000,000 and Public Liability Insurance of $5,000,000. Our Principal Building Inspector, Ben Black, boasts over 25 years of experience in the building industry, holding licenses as a carpenter, building supervisor, registered builder (registration no. BC101983), and registered timber pest (termite) inspector (registration no. 7421). With Ben’s extensive and diverse knowledge of residential buildings, you can be confident that your next property purchase will be in safe hands.