Approved Inspector insurance - what you need to know

21.08.2019
News
Building inspector at work

UPDATE: We have now published FAQs aimed at building owners in relation to this issue.

Read the Approved Inspector insurance FAQs.

 

LABC is aware of a number of private Approved Inspectors (AIs) whose professional indemnity insurance has expired meaning they cannot continue to lawfully operate. The largest of these is Aedis who have many thousands of customers. In some cases the Approved Inspector (and particularly Aedis) have tried to pass work in progress on to another private building inspector. This is illegal.

What to do if your Approved Inspector no longer has the insurance cover required to trade

The procedure is as follows:
 

  1. Either the AI or the person carrying out the works (the builder) must cancel the existing Initial Notice lodged with a local authority.
     
  2. If work has started on site, any work not covered by a lawfully issued Final Certificate must - by law - be passed back to your local council to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations. Only if work has not started then another AI can submit an Initial Notice for the work.
     
  3. You will have to complete a Reversion Application as agreed with your local council and fill in a copy of Form 7 under the Approved Inspector regulations which cancels the Initial Notice submitted by the AI. These should be available on your local council's website.
     
  4. When work is ‘reverted’ to a local LABC team in this way, you will need to provide them with as much information as possible to help them determine the work so far complies with the relevant regulations. All local authorities are obliged by law to levy a fee for work that is reverted to them but this fee will be individually assessed based on the size of the project and the amount of time needed to determine compliance with the Building Regulations. So any information you have about inspections undertaken so far, plus any building plans, structural calculations or photographs of the work in progress will be of great assistance and may help to limit LABC fees.
     
  5. The LABC team will then assess all of this and advise you of the next steps in the process and any applicable fees.
     
  6. If your LABC team cannot ascertain compliance with particular parts of the work they may have to ask for certain works to be uncovered for inspection. It is always LABC's aim to keep this to a minimum.

LABC understands there are a lot of people (including thousands of homeowners) now out of pocket and facing the prospect of having to open up works previously inspected by a private inspector. 

Unfortunately it is a situation out of our control and we expect further cases of Approved Inspectors being denied renewed insurance. Dealing with reversions from Approved Inspectors is a statutory duty of local authorities – the Approved Inspector’s ability to trade and the issue of any previously paid fees is outside our remit or control.

Complaints related to the behaviour of any Approved Inspector should be directed to their designated body CICAIR Ltd (appointed for this purpose by the Secretary of State) in the first instance and to the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) thereafter.

LABC is also disappointed there has been no comment made in public by CICAIR, ACAI or MHCLG about any of these issues despite LABC providing detailed examples of what was happening.

Public service building contol teams are there to assist you through the process so that you can attain a Building Regulation Completion Certificate and have building works that comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations.

Read the full Approved Inspector insurance FAQs

Comments

Insurance

Submitted 1 month 2 weeks ago

What’s public indemnity insurance?

In reply to by Gonzo (not verified)

Thanks

Submitted 1 month 2 weeks ago

Hello

Many thanks for pointing that out - we've amended it to professional indemnity insurance.

LABC

(No subject)

Submitted 1 month 2 weeks ago

Approved Inspectors have Professional Indemnity Insurance, not ‘Public’ as the article states ... I assume this is a typo?

Work can be transferred between Approved Inspectors but the correct procedure must be followed. The Building Control Alliance (a public and private sector joint document) outlines this process.

In addition, complaints must be addressed in the first instance to the Approved Inspector, not directly to CICAIR.

Thanks

Submitted 1 month 2 weeks ago

Hello

Thanks for your comments. In relation to complaints, we're advising that customers address CICAIR simply because an Approved Inspector would no longer be trading in the circumstances outlined above.

LABC

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Submitted 1 month ago

Is there a system to check on AI as individual or a Company has valid insurance cover including the date of expire.

Reply to: Professional Indemnity Insurance

Submitted 3 weeks 4 days ago

Hi there,

Yes, you can check the status of an Approved Inspector's insurance on the CICAIR website: https://www.cicair.org.uk/approved-inspectors-register.

Regards,

LABC

(No subject)

Submitted 1 month ago

Its really reassuring to know that Local Authorities are there to help with this unforeseen need for a transfer of duty. Thankfully the legislation has meant that Local Authorities can act as a backstop and projects that have commenced can maintain a legal status with a Reversion Application and inspections by the Local Authority. Its also reassuring that Local Authorities still have the capability to deal with all types of Building Regulations projects. The charge levied by a local authority for a Reversion Application is an unexpected additional cost for the homeowner, but this will be money well spent in getting a project certified as Building Regulations Compliant . It will avoid having an unauthorised building or building work that doesn't have permission. I fully sympathise with all of the contractors, homeowners and businesses and Approved Inspectors who have been affected by this situation. There will be lots of people out of pocket, and facing financial loss, but it does show how flawed and vulnerable the current system is. Like I mentioned earlier - its reassuring to know that the Local Authority is able to deal with this situation and pick up the pieces.
QUESTION -- I'm presuming that if the CICAIR regulators of Approved Inspectors decide to remove from the Register companies that no longer hold PI Insurance that the Form 7 Cancellation will not be needed as all projects without a Final Certificate become void / invalid ?
Thanks everyone at LABC for helping to guide us through this awful situation

CICAIR Approved Inspectors Register

Submitted 3 weeks 4 days ago

Hi, many thanks for your comment.

To answer your question, CICAIR do not appear to remove Approved Inspectors from the register when their insurance lapses or when they enter into liquidation so we believe that Form 7 should be submitted by the person carrying out the work regardless.

Kind regards,

LABC

What Insurance does LABC Carry ?

Submitted 1 month ago

Can you confirm what insurance LABC carries as 'Building Inspectors' please ?
Many thanks.

Reply to: What Insurance does LABC Carry?

Submitted 3 weeks 4 days ago

Hello there,

LABC as a company holds suitable insurances for all the services we provide, including PI insurance.

Regards,

LABC

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