How to become a
home inspector in
Congratulations on starting the road to become a home inspector in West Virginia! We know the journey can be hard on occasion, but it has been absolutely worth it for many inspectors like you. We at InspectorPro Insurance are cheering you on–one way that we want to help out is by simplifying the West Virginia home inspector requirements into a simple list. That way, you have one less thing to worry about.
What are the West Virginia home inspector requirements?
To become a certified home inspector in West Virginia, you must follow the certification process established by the West Virginia State Fire Marshal. The West Virginia home inspector requirements are as follows:
- You must have a high school diploma, a GED, or the equivalent.
- Complete an 80-hour home inspector training course.
- Pass the National Home Inspector Examination.
- Obtain general liability coverage with limits of at least $250,000.
- Complete a Criminal Background Check with fingerprints.
- Send in a valid copy of your West Virginia business license (issued by the WV Dept. of Tax and Revenue).
Once you have completed each of these West Virginia home inspector requirements, you may submit your application for approval (including your business license and the $150 application fee) at the following address:
Office of the State Fire Marshal
1207 Quarrier St
2nd Floor - Licensing
Charleston, WV 25301
Once it has been reviewed, you can begin inspecting homes. Let us look at the major requirements in a bit more depth, though.
Complete an 80-hour training course.
To fulfill this West Virginia home inspector requirement, you must successfully complete an 80-hour home inspection course. This course will teach you about the systems you will inspect, reporting practices, as well as how to run your inspection business successfully. Find a list of approved course providers here on their website. Each of these providers have met the standards to teach you what you need to know as a new West Virginia home inspector.
Take these courses as an opportunity to begin your journey with your best foot forward. As you strive to become a home inspector in West Virginia, you will want to develop skills, relationships, and your knowledge of home inspection practices. Aside from teaching you the necessary basics, these courses can help you network with other inspectors, meet experienced mentors, and ask any questions about marketing, inspecting, business setup, report writing, or any other necessary skill.
Pass the National Home Inspector Examination.
After you complete the course and the inspections, you will be in a great place to take the National Home Inspector Exam (NHIE). This exam is not only the next step in fulfilling the West Virginia home inspector requirements, but it also allows you to test yourself on everything you have learned, such as inspection practices, report writing, and professional responsibilities. The NHIE is a 200 question exam that you should absolutely study for before taking.
To prepare for this exam, review the materials from your home inspector course, and also consider using study materials from the exam provider themselves (found on their website). Also, ask other inspectors in your state about what parts of the exam they wish they had studied for more thoroughly. We know that you can pass this exam with flying colors if you have prepared well!
If you have another examination that you think will fit these requirements, contact the State Fire Marshal to see if it can be approved.
Obtain General Liability Insurance.
If you want to fulfill the West Virginia home inspector insurance requirements, provide a proof of insurance document showing that you carry at least these insurance limits:
General Liability / Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability
Limits of $250,000 (per occurrence)/ $250,000 (aggregate) or more.
General liability covers any property damage or bodily injury to others caused by your inspection. As an example, whether you leave a running faucet on and cause water damage, step through the ceiling in the attic, or someone hurts themselves after following you up your ladder (for future reference, we do not recommend this), you will be covered.
Insurance limits represent the total dollar amount your insurance company can pay toward your covered claims in a given policy period. You have two limits: your occurrence limit, which is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay per claim, and your aggregate limit, which is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay during the policy period (typically one year).
Regardless of whether or not you are required to carry errors and omissions (E&O) coverage, however, we recommend that you carry E&O coverage, as the pairing of general liability insurance with E&O will protect your business in the best possible way. E&O protects you when your clients accuse you of missing something during their inspection, like signs of water damage—or, at the very least, not mentioning the damage in your report. In other words, you’re protected when clients accuse you of not doing your job right. Obtaining E&O insurance is one of the most important steps on the road to become a home inspector in West Virginia, or anywhere for that matter.
Once you successfully bind (purchase) your coverage, you can request a proof of insurance from your insurance provider or broker, which you will submit along with your application.
All applicants must submit a fingerprint-based background check to fulfill the West Virginia home inspector requirements. You must submit a full set of the fingerprints to the West Virginia State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation so that they may conduct a Criminal Background Check, which you will submit alongside your application. You will need to process your fingerprint card through a third-party vendor, as the State Fire Marshal Office will not do so.
Congratulations from InspectorPro
If you have completed all of the West Virginia home inspector requirements, you have something to celebrate! You have taken a huge step toward fulfilling your new dream. We hope that this list has been helpful for you in your journey. Reach out if you ever have questions, need help, or want to protect your business with the best coverage available. InspectorPro is always happy and willing to serve you.