Every state regulates home inspectors differently, but buyers use the services of these professionals to determine the state of a home before buying it. Generally, when underlying problems emerge, most people think in terms of recourse of a buyer to a seller. After a sale of a home, sellers who paid for a sellers inspection are usually not liable for problems that the buyer later detects. The liability falls onto the home inspectors, and many states require inspectors to have insurance to cover the cost of legal claims.
In Kentucky, inspectors must carry liability insurance of $250,000. New Jersey requires them to perform 250 inspections as an associate before becoming a certified inspector and to purchase liability policies of at least $500,000. State regulations are intended to make sure inspectors do not face serious legal challenges because the required training and certification should ensure good quality inspections but the high dollar amounts of insurance recognize the costs involved in major home repairs.
In 2010, Florida introduced new requirements for home inspectors, but critics argue that the certification, which consists of 120 hours of in class training and no actual inspecting, is insufficient and will lead to bad inspections and lawsuits. For home buyers in Florida, the good news is the state has also introduced a new rule requiring inspectors to carry $300,000 of liability. Unlike sellers, home inspectors do not have to be accused of fraud to be sued but can be taken to court for serious oversights and errors.