As I mentioned earlier, you must pull a permit for almost all applications, short of changing a device. You are required to pull a permit shortly after the completion of work, or in certain cases, when you are prepared for rough-in inspection. ESA is a very strict governing body, but for good reason. The smallest mistakes in electrical work can cause the biggest issues. Every single ESA inspector is well versed in the CEC, which minimizes any possible risk the homeowner could have. But if you were doing some work under the table, you wouldn’t pull a permit, and unless you are watching the contractor like a hawk, you don’t know what corners they could cut.
Anyone can call and book their own permit. If some work was completed and you feel unsure, you can always call ESA for an inspection after the face. However, if any of the work was covered by drywall, or even buried underground, the ESA has full rights to demand you remove, and redo any work that was not previously inspected. I was talking with a fellow Electrician, and they told me about how someone was doing electrical work under the table, without a permit.
They even went as far as to replace the panel. But, since all of this work was done without permits, they requested that the panel be changed again. What happened next, I am not sure.
We have not established any level of certainty, what Insurance companies would do if a fire, or injury were to be caused by unpermitted work. We touched base with a few insurance companies for our own knowledge, and they may still provide protection if something were to happen, but every insurance company operates differently. Remember that your house, and your family is at stake when you do electrical work without a permit.