The best painting insurance companies offer painters the coverage they need at a fair price. However, every painting business is unique, so figuring out what that looks like for your operations can be tricky. We evaluated dozens of painters insurance providers based on their coverages, typical premiums, and online experiences to identify the five best.
- CoverWallet: Best overall painters insurance company
- Simply Businesses: Best for comparing painters liability insurance quotes
- Hiscox: Best for microbusinesses
- Progressive Commercial: Best for commercial auto insurance
- Thimble: Best for short-term painter liability insurance
What Is Painters Insurance?
One reason finding the best painting insurance companies is so difficult is that painters insurance actually refers to several policies. Each policy provides protection for different risks. For instance, most painters need general liability in case a client sues for property damage or physical injury. Some painters might also want property insurance for their equipment or commercial auto for their work truck.
Long story short? What’s right for one painting business may not be necessary for another. However, that means you need to think about how you run your business as you decide which company has the right painters insurance for you.
CoverWallet: Overall Best Painting Insurance Company
As an online insurance broker, CoverWallet works with an extensive network of carriers, which makes it the right choice for painting companies that take on both interior and exterior jobs, including those above three stories. These businesses can be difficult to insure, but CoverWallet can often find coverage for them and painters with less risky operations. General liability policies through CoverWallet start at $39 per month.
Online quotes for most policies from multiple carriers
Claims processing varies by carrier
Assistance available via chat, email, and phone
Financial strength varies by carrier
Creates instant, downloadable certificates of insurance (COI) for free
Broker fees may apply
Online account for policy management
Offers surety bonds
CoverWallet doesn’t write the coverage it sells, but it does provide access to numerous carriers that can provide a full lineup of fundamental painting insurance policies, such as:
- Business owner’s policy (BOP)
- General liability
- Commercial property
- Professional liability
- Commercial auto
- Workers’ compensation
Additionally, CoverWallet partners with a few insurers that can write surety bonds. While not technically insurance, bonds are often an essential protection for painters and sometimes are required for licenses.
CoverWallet lists minimum premiums, such as the lowest amount a carrier charges for a policy, on its site. For painters, it offers minimum premiums for three levels of coverage:
- Basic: General liability, starting at $39 per month
- Standard: General liability plus professional liability, starting at $89 per month
- Pro: General liability, professional liability, and workers’ compensation, starting at $89 per month
Painters can also choose to add in any number of policies through CoverWallet’s carrier partners. One of the nice things about working with a broker like CoverWallet is that you can opt to buy all of your painters insurance through a single carrier or mix and match coverage from multiple carriers. Both can result in cost savings, depending on the offers you receive.
Simply Business: Best for Comparing Liability Insurance Policies
Simply Business is a new online insurance broker, but the company works with many top-rated carriers like CNA and Travelers. This gives painters a chance to compare coverage options and premiums to make sure they’re getting the right deal for their businesses. Simply Business can offer general liability and workers’ comp to businesses with both interior and exterior painting operations as well as contractors who add on other services or who do sign painting and lettering.
Simply Business Strengths
Simply Business Weaknesses
Provides multiple quotes for general painters liability insurance
Property coverage not always available
Simple, online application
Financial rating and claims process varies by carrier
No online policy management
Despite working with top carriers, Simply Business is a bit more limited in the coverage it can sell. It only lists workers’ compensation and general liability as available policies. However, the application does ask if you want business property coverage if it’s available.
Simply Business does not list any minimum premiums on its site, but we received quotes for a one-person operation taking interior painting jobs with annual premiums in the $700 to $900 range. Premiums were similar for interior sign painting and lettering but went up significantly for exterior work, landing in the $1,000 to $2,000 range.
Hiscox: Best for Microbusinesses
Hiscox is a large insurance provider that does a good job of delivering quick quotes and broad coverage to microbusinesses with 10 or fewer employees. As an A-rated provider, Hiscox provides general liability insurance with a minimum premium of less than $30 per month. The carrier also offers payment plans at no extra charge and a discount of up to 5% for home-based businesses.
Strong appetite for business with 0 to ten employees
Only offers general liability policies for painters online
Discounts for home-based businesses and purchasing multiple policies
Coverage not available in all states
14-day money back guarantee
Online quotes and purchasing available
A (Excellent) rating from A.M. Best
Hiscox only writes general liability insurance for the painting business, and that’s only for interior and sign painting operations. On the plus side, however, Hiscox is also one of the few carriers comfortable with insuring microbusinesses. Plus, it’s general liability comes with many great features for painters, include:
- Per occurrence limits as low as $300,000 or as high as $5 million
- $10,000 limit for damages to premises rented to the business
- Up to $25,000 in optional business equipment coverage
So, while Hiscox does not offer a true BOP, it can cover some of your business-owned property.
The minimum premium for general liability from Hiscox is $350 per year, or slightly less than $30 per month. Not many business owners get that rate, so we tried getting a few quotes ourselves and found premiums for one-person painting operations, all interior, around $600 to $1,194 per year. Location appears to make the most difference in price.
Progressive Commercial: Best for Commercial Auto Insurance
Painters who have a work truck or van to insure and who already have liability coverage should get a quote from Progressive Commercial. The Progressive Advantage Business Program gives painters with a BOP or general liability up to 15% off their commercial auto—even when those other policies aren’t purchased through Progressive Commercial.
Progressive Commercial Strengths
Progressive Commercial Weaknesses
Offers eight commercial auto discounts
Most policies outsourced to an online broker
Allows painters to get quotes and buy policies online
No online claims filing for commercial customers
24/7 claims handling
A (Excellent) rating from A.M. Best
The only policy Progressive Commercial writes is commercial auto insurance. Virtually everything else gets outsourced to online brokers. That said, Progressive Commercial is one of the top business auto insurance providers in the United States.
Progressive Commercial states that commercial auto, the policy that covers cars, light trucks, SUVs, and vans, costs painters $181 per month on average. That is dependent on several factors like your driving record, location, and vehicles. Additionally, Progressive Commercial offers money off to its policyholders, including discounts for:
- Having business experience
- Maintaining continuous coverage
- Buying multiple policies
- Paying premiums upfront
- Paying by electronic fund transfer
Thimble: Best for Short-term Liability Insurance
Thimble offers a new way of getting painters liability insurance. Its on-demand platform lets painters purchase general liability by the year, month, week, or hour, making it easier for them to manage their cash flow. Moreover, Thimble lets painters with monthly policies pause their coverage for up to 30 days.
Offers painters liability policies by the month or on demand
Other policies are available but on an annual basis
Allows you to pause monthly policies for up to 30 days
Quotes much more likely for low-risk operations
Online quotes available
Not available in Kentucky, New York, or Washington
Unlimited free additional insureds
Coverage provided by A.M. Best A-rated carriers
For painters, Thimble only offers general liability insurance, which is usually sufficient for most contractors. The policy is offered on a short-term basis, and the initial quotes lists coverage limits of:
- $1 million per occurrence/$1 million aggregate
- $5,000 in medical expenses for any one person
- $1 million for advertising injury claims, such as defamation
- $1 million for product and completed operations liability
The initial quote is only for the painter purchasing the policy performing only the work initially indicated in the application. For example, if you select “Painting (Exterior Only),” your quote is for a policy that only covers that activity. However, you can add crew members and other services plus increase your coverage limits after the initial quote. All of these add-ons cost more money.
Note: Thimble does offer coverage to exterior painting operations but excludes anything more than three stories.
Thimble doesn’t list any minimum premiums on its site, but its application is so easy to complete that we ran through it four times for different states and business types. The quotes came as an average paid per month for a year and fell in the following ranges:
- Exterior only: $114 to $205
- Interior only: $64 to $114
- Sign painting and lettering: $125 to $176
Multiplied out for the year, and these quotes seem pretty much on par with others on our list. Remember, however, that the coverage limits are set at either $1 million or $2 million. Other insurance companies we reviewed are often more flexible in setting limits, and selecting lower limits can reduce your premium too.
Another thing to note about Thimble is that your premium varies every month you continue your policy. The earlier months are usually more expensive because of the risk exposure to the insurer, plus Thimble charges less for shorter months.
How We Evaluated the Best Painting Insurance Companies
Cost and required coverage are the biggest concerns when painters buy business insurance, so we focused on carriers and brokers that had the right policies and offered them at a fair price. However, we also looked for companies that make quoting, buying, and managing policies easier. Features like online applications and policy management platforms save business owners time.
Painters insurance may not be the first thing you want to spend your money on, but it’s essential for protecting your business. The best way to keep costs down is to compare quotes from multiple top-rated painters insurance companies. That way, you can select the right coverage for your business and your budget.