Licensed - There is no home inspector license in the state of California, so if a home inspector claims that they’re licensed, the license they have is not for performing home inspections.
Insurance - Professional liability insurance (Errors and Omissions) will compensate for items the inspector fails to properly report. General liability insurancewill cover damaged items, such as the inspector’s ladder falling through a plate glass window.
Bonded is for claims of theft.
Does the inspector offer to repair defects reported?
Performing repairs to inspected properties is a conflict of interest. In fact, it is a violation of the Business and Professions Code §7197, which prohibits an inspector from performing repairs or improvements on inspected properties for 1 year from the date of inspection.
Should I hire an inspector that has a contractors license?
A contractor’s license indicates the holder has basic knowledge of construction or experience in a trade specialty. However, it does not indicate any knowledge of home inspection issues.
Specialized knowledge is necessary to provide a thorough and diligent home inspection. A contractor’s license also provides a false sense of security that a consumer has some form of recourse against a contractor for a poor inspection.
The Contractors State License Board will not investigate complaints, or take disciplinary action against a contractor for the performance of a home inspection.
Experience in contracting, architecture or engineering can be an excellent background, but is not a substitute for the specialized knowledge needed as a home inspector. Graduation from a private, state licensed, training facility is a pertinent qualification. Inspector associations, such as the California Real Estate Inspection Association (CREIA) and the InterNational Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) tests their members for technical and ethical knowledge and require continuing education provided through numerous seminars and conferences where inspectors can access specialized training.