Home Inspection Insurance Minnesota Policy Information
Home Inspection Insurance Minnesota. If you are a home inspector, you may not realize that you are at risk for litigation from unhappy clients. You do what you can to provide the best possible inspection results to your clients, but no one is free from the potential to be sued.
Home inspectors provide non-invasive dwelling inspections to identify deficiencies. An acceptable inspection is often a final condition of a home purchase and may be requested by the lender, the real estate agent, or the prospective buyer. Insurers may also request an inspection. After the inspection is completed, a report is prepared for the client with details and recommendations for remediation or correction.
The inspector does not warrant the work or offer advice on the purchase of the home. The inspection is visual only. The inspector is not required to enter closed areas, walk on the roof, or enter an attic or a crawl space. Regulation of inspectors, certification and educational requirements vary by state. Three major associations encourage professional ethics and standards of practice. Inspectors can belong to one or more of these associations.
Mistakes happen, and human errors are made. If a homeowner believes that you have made a mistake, then it is possible for you to be sued. This is why home inspection insurance Minnesota is so important. Home inspectors run a high risk for being involved in litigation, particularly when realtors are handling requests for clients based on realtor leads.
Home inspection insurance Minnesota protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $97/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Home Inspection Businesses Need Liability Insurance
In the past, there have been thousands of lawsuits against home inspectors for so-called soft inspections. In these inspections, the claim usually alleges that the inspector is biased toward selling the house on the behalf of the lead-generating realtor, so they doubt the accuracy of the inspection's findings.
In Minnesota, a couple brought suit against Housemaster of America, Inc., accusing the company of consumer fraud after they purchased a home that the company had inspected only to find that the home had bad wiring, flooring problems, and a leaky roof. The couple was awarded $37K.
Since a home is one of the biggest purchases that most people will ever make, home inspectors can be subject to major liability if their inspection results are less than accurate. With home inspection insurance Minnesota for your home inspection business, you can edeoy protection from major financial loss that might otherwise leave your business in ruins.
Home Inspector Facts
Home inspectors usually operate as sole proprietors; 63 percent of inspectors work for themselves. Around 57 percent of inspectors have no non-inspector staff that work with them. When you are a sole proprietor, any claims that are launched against you end up being your responsibility. If an award is given to the claimant, it's up to you to pay it. You must also pay your own legal costs.
General Liability Insurance for Home Inspectors
All entrepreneurs and small business owners need general liability insurance. This type of insurance gives your business financial protection for claims of ideury or damage that results from the service that you provide to clients.
Errors occur when inspecting a home; everyone is subject to human error, regardless of how well-prepared and trained you are. For instance, it is possible that when you place a ladder on the side of a client's home, you may accidentally cause a window to break. To ensure that you have protection, you need liability insurance to cover all the potential scenarios and the damage that these scenarios can cause. In performing inspections, unintended property damage and claims of bodily ideury are not uncommon, so mitigating that risk with liability insurance makes a lot of sense.
This type of insurance pays out for the cost of any property repair and third-party medical costs. In addition, it covers the cost of hiring an attorney to represent you in defense of your actions, and it can pay awards and judgments ultimately ruled against you up to the limits that you select in the policy. Speak with a knowledgeable agent to find out how much home inspection insurance Minnesota you need to be fully protected.
Do You Need Business Owners Insurance (BOP)?
It is oftentimes the case that home inspectors need business owners insurance, which is known by the acronym BOP. This type of home inspection insurance Minnesota combines the most important coverages into one larger policy. A BOP policy is a good choice for the smallest businesses - those with revenues of less than $5 million and less than 100 people on staff. It is also a good option for firms where there are multiple employees and several home inspectors, since these businesses often need additional coverage to ensure business assets are fully protected.
With a BOP policy, your MN home inspector business generally edeoys:
- General liability insurance. General liability insurance that protects the business against claims of property damage or personal ideury. This is the foundation of the BOP policy.
- Property insurance. If damage occurs to property that you lease or own, including your office building, warehouse, garage, or storage facility, property insurance kicks in and pays for replacement of tools and other items or structures.
- Business income insurance. If your home inspector business is interrupted, this policy covers lost income and provides for operating expenses for a particular period of time, usually a year.
- Errors and Omissions insurance. Also called Professional insurance. An E&O policy protects you against mistakes you make in crafting inspection reports. It also provides for your legal defense in defending yourself against claims of errors or omissions that result in litigation, such as claims related to testing and inspecting for septic and sew, radon, lead paint, or mold inspections.
- Business auto insurance. This is an essential insurance for vehicles used in the course of carrying out business activities.
Work with a MN licensed agent to find out how to protect your home inspection business from liability. A seasoned agent can help you find the best quote for the level of home inspection insurance Minnesota you need based on your risks and individual needs. Agents can also help you compare quotes with multiple insurers to find the right fit for your business.
Minnesota Home Inspector's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures are limited at the firm's office due to lack of public access. Off-premises exposures are at the sites of homes being inspected. Hazards include property damage, theft and perhaps invasion of privacy. There must be training, guidelines, and procedures concerning appropriate off-site behavior. Customer complaints should be dealt with promptly and decisively.
Professional liability exposures are generally light as the contracts for home inspection services stipulate that inspections and reports are not warranties and are based on visual inspection only. Inappropriate and undisclosed business relationships with real estate agents could lead to allegations of impropriety and nonobjective findings.
Workers compensation exposures arise from office operations and site work at customers' premises. Work done in the office is done on computers. Potential injuries include eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and similar cumulative trauma injuries that can be reduced with ergonomically designed workstations. Travel may be extensive.
Off-site exposures may include climbing on ladders or working on uneven terrain in unfamiliar environments. Trips and falls are common. The inspector may be attacked by unrestrained animals while performing home inspections. Since inspectors often work alone, injuries may go unnoticed, which can lead to delayed response and delayed first aid. Inspectors may be injured in vehicle accidents.
Property exposures are generally limited to those of an office, although there may be some incidental storage or an area for meetings. Ignition sources include wiring, heating and air conditioning systems, wear, and overheating of equipment. Storage of paper should be in fireproof cabinets.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty, including theft of property from the clients' homes. If cash payments are accepted, there is a money and securities exposure. Hazards increase without proper background checks and monitoring procedures. All ordering, billing, and disbursement should be separate duties with regular audits taking place.
Inland marine exposures are from accounts receivable if the inspector bills real estate agencies, computers, special floater, and valuable papers and records for contracts and clients' information. Inspectors' primary equipment consists of a camera, clipboard, and measuring wheel, but may include ladders, flashlights, and specialized testing equipment, such as radon detectors, taken to inspection sites. Some may also carry their computers with them to record their observations and findings as they walk through the property.
Business auto exposures are moderate as inspectors travel to inspection locations. These are usually vans or pickups that can transport the inspector's equipment. If vehicles are provided to employees, there should be written guidelines regarding the personal and permitted use of the vehicle. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained, and records kept in a central location.
Minnesota Economic Data And Business Insurance Regulations
If you're an entrepreneur who is thinking about starting a business or expanding your company by opening a division in a new location, you know that there are a number of factors you have to consider. One of the most crucial elements business owners must take into consideration is the conditions of the location they are interested in; the area needs to offer conditions that are favorable for the business in order for the operation to thrive. A suitable target demographic and a healthy labor market are just some of the elements that indicate whether or not a business will thrive.
For business owners who have Minnesota in mind as their base, below, we've highlighted key details that suggest whether or not the Land of 10,000 Lakes offers favorable conditions for business owners. We also discuss the forms of commercial insurance that businesses are required to carry in the state.
Economic Trends For Business Owners in Minnesota
The unemployment rate of a state is a good indication of whether or not a state is suitable for business operations, as it provides insight into the labor market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2019, the rate of unemployment in The Gopher State was 3.3 percent, while the national average was 3.6 percent. While there has been a slight increase from 2018 (0.5 percent from June 2018 to May of 2019), the rate still indicates that the labor market in the state is favorable, which is a good sign for entrepreneurs.
Anywhere throughout the North State offers suitable conditions for businesses; however, there are some areas that are particularly ideal. These areas either large cities or areas that surround the state's largest cities, including:
- Eden Prairie
- Golden Valley
- Little Canada
- Mendota Heights
- St. Paul
- Thief River Falls
Certain industries do better than others in MN, and businesses that are centered on these industries have a greater chance of achieving success. The leading industries within the state include:
- Agriculture and forestry
- Hospitality and tourism
- Information technology
- Sustainable energy (specifically wind power)
Commercial Insurance Regulations For Businesses In Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Commerce regulates insurance in Minnesota. Commercial insurance is designed to provide business owners and the individuals they associate with (employees, customers, and vendors) from a multitude of risks. To ensure proper protection for all, companies are required to carry the following commercial insurance policies in The North Star State:
- Workers' compensation insurance, which provides coverage for work-related injuries and illnesses that employees may sustain.
Business that use vehicles for business-related purposes over a certain weight, must also carry commercial auto insurance, and any company that sells or otherwise distributes alcohol must carry liquor liability coverage.
Additional Resources For Real Estate Insurance
Learn about small business real estate insurance coverages including liability and commercial property policies for realtors, mortgage companies and more.
- Corporate Office Insurance
- Home Inspection Insurance
- Mortgage Broker Insurance
- Property Manager Insurance
- Real Estate Agents Insurance
- Real Estate Appraiser Insurance
For real estate professional liability policies, the insurance company agrees to pay amounts the insured is legally obligated to pay as damages because of a wrongful act. However, this insurance must cover the wrongful act.
The insurance company not only has the right to defend any suit brought against the insured, it also has a duty to do so. That duty, which can be very expensive, does not apply to suits brought for wrongful acts that this insurance does not cover.
What type of coverage is available for real estate agents who provide insurance advice? Any claim related to the sale or purchase of insurance is not covered. In addition, there is no coverage for any recommendations or advice regarding insurance or any failure to procure or maintain appropriate insurance.
Who is considered an insured under the Real Estate Agents and Brokers Professional Liability Policy? The named insured is an insured. The named insured is the entity or individual listed on the declarations. There can be multiple named insureds.
Any entity listed in the application as a predecessor organization is an insured. The named insured must be the entity's majority successor of interest with respect to the predecessor organization's financial assets and liabilities.
Are Real Estate Brokers Professional Liability policies written on an "occurrence" or a "claims-made" basis? Insurance is written on a claims-made basis, requiring that a claim must be reported to the insurer during the policy period or during the extended reporting period.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Business Income with Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Professional Liability, Umbrella Liability, Hired and Non-owned Auto Liability & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices Liability, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage abd Stop Gap Liability.
Request a free Home Inspection Insurance Minnesota quote in Albert Lea, Alexandria, Andover, Anoka, Apple Valley, Arden Hills, Austin, Bemidji, Big Lake city, Blaine, Bloomington, Brainerd, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Buffalo, Burnsville, Champlin, Chanhassen, Chaska, Cloquet, Columbia Heights, Coon Rapids, Cottage Grove, Crystal, Duluth, Eagan, East Bethel, Eden Prairie, Edina, Elk River, Fairmont, Faribault, Farmington, Fergus Falls, Forest Lake, Fridley, Golden Valley, Grand Rapids, Ham Lake, Hastings, Hermantown, Hibbing, Hopkins, Hugo, Hutchinson, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Lino Lakes, Little Canada, Mankato, Maple Grove, Maplewood, Marshall, Mendota Heights, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Monticello, Moorhead, Mound, Mounds View, New Brighton, New Hope, New Ulm, North Branch, North Mankato, North St. Paul, Northfield, Oakdale, Otsego, Owatonna, Plymouth, Prior Lake, Ramsey, Red Wing, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Rochester, Rogers, Rosemount, Roseville, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, Savage, Shakopee, Shoreview, South St. Paul, St. Cloud, St. Louis Park, St. Michael, St. Paul, St. Peter, Stillwater, Vadnais Heights, Waconia, West St. Paul, White Bear Lake, Willmar, Winona, Woodbury, Worthington and all other cities in MN - The North Star State.
Also learn about Minnesota small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including MN business insurance costs. Call us (612) 808-9866.