Every Ohio licensed home inspector shall maintain, or be covered by, a comprehensive general liability insurance policy or a commercial general liability insurance policy. What does that mean for you?
Who must be covered by a comprehensive general liability insurance policy or a commercial general liability policy?
Any Ohio home inspector licensee or an applicant to be an Ohio home inspector licensee.
Do I need to have both types of policies?
No. For licensing purposes, you only need a comprehensive general liability insurance policy or a commercial general liability policy.
How much coverage must I have?
A licensee or an applicant to obtain an Ohio home inspector license must have coverage limits of at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per occurrence and at least three-hundred-thousand-dollar ($300,000) aggregate limit.
Can I have more coverage than the minimum amount of $100,000 per occurrence and $300,000 aggregate limit?
Yes. You can obtain higher amounts of coverage if you so choose, but you can not have less than $100,000 per occurrence and $300,000 aggregate limit.
How do I show I have the proper coverage to the Division?
At the time you file an initial license application with the Division, you will submit a certificate of insurance (COI) from your insurer showing you are covered by a commercial general or comprehensive general liability policy for at least the required coverage amount in the above question.
What if I have professional errors and omission insurance? Will that be accepted in lieu of a commercial general or comprehensive general liability policy?
Generally speaking, errors and omission insurance does not satisfy the requirement. Ohio Revised Code Section 4763.11(A) specifically states or requires licensees to show proof of a commercial general or comprehensive general liability policy. The law goes on to state the insurance policy shall provide coverage against liability of the licensed home inspector for loss, damage, or expense as a result of an act that occurred while the licensed home inspector was on the premises performing a home inspection.
Should I get an errors and omission insurance policy even though I have a commercial general or comprehensive general liability policy?
You are not required by law as a licensee to have an errors and omission insurance policy. However, it may be something you want to consider. The Division recommends you contact your insurer or your business attorney to determine if errors and omission insurance is right for you.
What if I am a licensee who obtained a license through the grandfather license application and if for illustration purposes only, I submitted a certificate of insurance (COI) with my application that showed I had coverage for one year (i.e., December 31, 2019 to December 31, 2020). What are my responsibilities, if for illustration purposes only, if I was issued a license by the Division on January 7, 2020?
Every licensee must submit proof to the Division through a certificate of insurance that shows he or she maintains a valid comprehensive general liability insurance policy or a commercial general liability insurance policy at any point during the term of the license. The term for each Ohio home inspector license is three years. So, in the above example, the term for the license is January 7, 2020 to January 7, 2023, and the proper insurance coverage would be required between those dates. If you only have a certificate of insurance on file with the Division submitted with your original application indicating you were covered for only one year (in the above example you had coverage between December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2020), you must submit to the Division your new or updated certificate of insurance prior to the insurance coverage expiration date (i.e., December 31, 2020 in this example) on file with the Division.
What if I don’t obtain an updated certificate of insurance or fail to timely provide the Division with a new or updated certificate of insurance?
Your Ohio Home Inspector license could be subject to disciplinary investigation and action by the Ohio Home Inspector Board.
What if I work for a home inspection company and the company’s commercial comprehensive general liability insurance policy or a commercial general liability insurance policy covers me while I work there? Do I need to get my own policy?
If your employer maintains a policy that specifically names you as a covered person in their policy, then you are not required to have an individual policy while performing home inspections for your company as an Ohio licensed home inspector.
What if I leave my employer, a home inspection company, and I was covered under my company’s policy? What should I do?
You will need to obtain your own personal commercial comprehensive general liability insurance policy or a commercial general liability insurance policy and maintain that policy throughout the term of your license. You could also go to work for another home inspection company who has a company-wide policy that specifically identifies you as a covered person. In either scenario, you will need to provide a new or updated certificate of insurance to the Division as soon as possible. The certificate of insurance can be mailed or emailed to the Division of Real Estate at OHIB@com.state.oh.us.
Please ensure your name, as it appears on your license, and your license number are on the communication to ensure the updated information is properly attributed to your license. Any period of time where the licensee is not covered by the required insurance may subject the licensee to disciplinary action by the Ohio Home Inspector Board for failure to maintain proper insurance coverage as required by law. As a result, it is strongly advised you review your insurance situation to ensure proper coverage exists prior to leaving your employer.
What is the Division’s mailing address?
Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing
77 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Is there a fee submitting a new or updated certificate of insurance to the Division?
How do I contact the Division if I have any questions?
The best way to reach the Division is to send an email to OHIB@com.state.oh.us