NACHI needs to help with unfair trade practice - workers comp issue

Since a few builders seem to think that one-man inspection companies need workers comp insurance, why can’t nachi find us a basic policy for cheap.

I have heard about W/C policies that are just issued with the agreement that no claims can actually be filed. Sub-contractors have these in this area.

Any insurance experts on here that know what the builders policies actually require?

I would think the builders insurance requirements only pertain to their sub-contractors and not inspectors. If not, then why are realtors allowed to work on the property without it?

Nachi lawyers might need to look into an unfair trade practice that is being imposed on us by some builders. I can understand the need for general liability insurance being a requirement.

I know for a fact that some builders have a seperate agreement for those that visit the property for short term/delivery situations. We should fall into that category.

Westport Homes is the most recent one that has cost me income.

If nachi can help with this it would be greatly appreciated.
Westport Homes
2300 Sardis Rd. North Suite M
Charlotte NC 28227
704 847-2533

Bruce…you have a good point. This issue has not cost me any income but it has been an issue that I wanted to take care of before it ever did. I contacted my state’s insurance regulatory agency a month or so ago and posed the question to them. I had heard that there was a form or a ‘waiver’ available to prove that, as a sole proprietor, that Worker’s Comp was not needed, required nor even available for such. The regulatory dept said, in effect, “Hmmm, you have a good point but we do not have nor know of any such form or waiver but we will look into it.”. Yeah, right, like I’ll hold my breath.

Insurance companies aren’t friendly at times.

Example, I needed insurance for a car for a special situation. So in discussion about compensation(replacement insurance) on a car only worth $900(blue book), and a $1000 deductable, they wanted $1500/year.

Do the math, they were 0% liable for the replacement cost of the car, due to the car bieng worth less than the deductable, but they wanted almost twice the cost of the car.

I have another situation, where I requested insurance for a state license reuqirement. I signed affidavids saying I would never do what I was askign for insurance for. So 0% liablity on the company, even if I did do the work, I would have committed insurance fraud, jail for me and still 0% liablity for the insurance company. $600/year.

So figure what you arent’ making(missed inspections) and the cost of insurance that offers you nothing. As for builder restrictions, I’ve learned where I’m at, you are an invited ‘guest’ so once you have WC, they can request life insurance with them as the benifactor too. Rules can be made up on the fly, the goal isn’t to make sure you are ‘safe’, it’s to keep you out.


This is one way for the builder to keep you off of the property.

Another way is to require a city business license.

In the Kansas City area, builders are turning home inspectors in to the city Public Works dept for each municipality (over 90 in the KC area) they build in. In spectors get fines for working in a city they have no city business license to work in…while pizza deliverers, taxi drivers, (and so on) continue business as usual.

I haven’t checked in years, as I have not had a reason to, but some years ago this idea was proposed here in Escambia county (by builders) to require home inspectors to have Workman’s Comp. When we called the local offices for information we were told emphatically that Home Inspectors were not considered in a construction trade (by the State) therefore it was not only not necessary but in fact we could not buy Workman’s Comp if we wanted to. I seriously doubt that has changed but you got to give them credit; anything to either discourage, slow down or keep you out of the loop is their goal. Ive also heard of contractors here who make clients sign a contract forbidding them from hiring a HI before they close. Ive offered to do their warranty inspections for half of the normal fee. I guess I should note, I haven’t had any takers but it has not been a year yet. We’ll see.

Schuyler Hellings explained that it is in the works and coming. Watch second half of


It sounds like that is going to be a policy that is similar to workers comp.

We need actual workers comp to inspect some new homes OR an attorney to provide documentation to these builders explaining why we are not considered part of the builders construction process any more than the realtors and home lookers that go on site (they climb into attics also).

When I went on my own in construction, I was not required until I hired any W-2 employees. Now I sub everything out, mostly to subs who have no W-2 employees. Me nor my subs are required Workman’s Comp. I always tell contractors to prove that I need Workman’s Comp. None of them have came up with anything yet. I make my clients and their Realtors aware of this fact.
A good Realtor will fight for their client. If they are not a good realtor, I prefer not to deal with them anyway.

Every real estate agent I’ve run into is a 1099Misc contractor. Are they covered by workman’s comp?

<a rhetorical question>

A very good way of looking at it.

Unfortunately, from the builders stand point he is the owner until closing and can set whatever requirement they feel like setting, any if they are Bull Sh–. If they are a good builder and it was built right there should be no problem.
I have a couple down here that only want other builders to be able to inspect, kind of a scratch my back kind of a thing.

Here the builder can only require you to have G&L insurance. Nothing more.

Happens frequently in SC.

Builder’s rep (for New Construction) says “Need your insurance paperwork faxed to the office to include WC” After I explain none available to a sole proprietor LLC they say “parent company requires it, sorry”…

What can you do?
I already work too damn hard for this hassle; let it go, live without the stress…:wink:

This may be a long shot but you could try sending a copy of your general liability insurance directly to the parent company, and see if they notice.
I had a lender request a state home inspector license (my state has no such thing) after I inspected a foundation on a house. So I sent them a copy of my state sewer inspector license. Believe it or not they excepted it.

This particular builder has a form that states the requirements, it clearly says that WC is required as required by the state.

The state does not require it for me and they still told my client that he would have to find another inspector.

I am waiting for a response from todays letter to them.