Painters Insurance: Cost & Coverage
Painters insurance includes several policies, such as general liability and commercial auto. Some painters may also need surety bonds, property insurance, and workers’ compensation. For a one-person business, the total cost for a business owner’s policy (BOP) with commercial auto is between $1,170 to $3,500 annually, depending on whether the type of work is interior, exterior, or a mix of both.
One of the best ways to find affordable painters insurance is to compare offers from more than one carrier. However, filling out applications can take a lot of time, so we recommend working with CoverWallet, which we named one of the best painters insurance companies. Painters can usually get quotes from multiple carriers with a single application. Get a no-obligation quote online in just minutes.
Painters Insurance Costs
Painters insurance costs can vary greatly, in part because some businesses need more than one policy. Buying both general liability and commercial property would cost you around $1,170 to $9,850. Buying other coverages increases your overall costs.
Additionally, painters who have more employees, higher revenues, and riskier operations typically pay more. For example, a painter who hires employees most likely needs workers’ compensation. The premium for workers’ comp is based partially on payroll, so more employees mean higher premiums.
Estimated Painters Insurance Costs by Policy
$1,000 to $9,500
$1 million per occurrence
$2 million aggregate
1,000 to $2,500
$1 million per occurrence
$2 million aggregate
Property deductible at $500
$170 to $850
$1,800 to $4,500
$3,000 to $17,000
$0 to $1,000
How Business Operations Impact Painters Insurance Costs
Business operations have a big effect on insurance costs in any industry, but for painting contractors, it can be the difference between getting an offer or not. Many insurers can quote policies for interior painters but decline painters who work on exterior jobs—particularly if the job takes them above three stories—because they have a greater chance of injuring others or themselves.
Even insurers who’ll write policies for exterior painters often charge more. To demonstrate the difference, we got quotes for two painting contractors, one who only does exterior painting and one who only does interior work. Here’s what we found:
- General liability for the interior painter costs $530 to $870 per year.
- General liability for the exterior painter costs $1,183 to $1,925 per year.
While not exactly a scientific study, the results clearly show that even if an exterior painter can get an offer, the premium is going to be significantly higher.
How to Save on Painters Insurance
Painters insurance costs can vary greatly, so the first step to saving money is to compare quotes from top painters insurance carriers. Most should be able to offer painters a special package called a BOP that combines general liability, property insurance, and business interruption coverage at a reduced rate. Our research puts the higher end of the general liability premium range at approximately $1,700 per year, but a similar business might pay another $100 to $200 for a BOP that bundles multiple policies.
Types of Painters Insurance Policies
Every type of business insurance covers a particular type of loss, so painters need to evaluate their risk to determine which policies they need. For example, most painters need general liability in case a third party, like a vendor or a customer, sues over bodily injury or property damage. Below are some of the most common policies and what they cover:
Common Painting Insurance Policies
What It Covers
Third-party claims of bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, and advertising injury
Business-owned tools, equipment, and supplies when they are lost, damaged, or stolen
Business Owner’s Policy
Combines general liability and commercial property into one business insurance policy
Your liability for accidents in vehicles your business owns or uses
Your promise to fulfill contractual requirements in a professional manner
Medical costs and lost wages for employees who suffer workplace injuries
General liability insurance covers third-party bodily injury, property damage, and reputational harm. A third party is essentially anyone who doesn’t work for your business, so general liability covers events like:
- Bodily injury: A customer suing for medical bills after you drop a paint can on their head
- Property damage: The cost of replacing your customer’s new flat-screen television after your assistant slams into it with a ladder
- Products-completed operations: A customer accusing you of using poor judgment when your paint peels and bubbles after you finish the job
General liability is an essential policy for most businesses, but it’s especially important for painters because they work at customers’ homes and offices. Also, some states require general liability to obtain a painter’s license.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance pays to repair or replace business-owned property, such as ladders, sprayers, brushes, and scaffolding, if it’s damaged by a covered event. Normal wear and tear isn’t covered by property insurance, but painters can typically get office space and equipment covered if they’re damaged by events like fire, theft, and vandalism.
Many painters and independent contractors who have tools stored in commercial vehicles often make the mistake of assuming their auto insurance covers items stolen out of the trunk. This isn’t the case. Instead, painters need another coverage called inland marine, which most insurers include in their painters’ property policies.
For cost-efficiency, many small business owners consider getting a BOP instead of separate general liability and commercial property insurance policies. Getting a BOP will help painters cover their businesses from claims resulting from fire, theft, or other disasters. If you’re a painter with a one-person business, a BOP won’t only save you money but also give you the best coverage, especially for claims that can arise from your business operations.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial auto insurance helps cover repair bills and medical costs related to auto accidents, depending on the type of coverage you add to your policy. Most states require drivers to have some liability coverage, but painters can also choose additional coverage like collision, comprehensive, uninsured and underinsured motorist, and medical payment insurance.
Painters who use their personal vehicles for business purposes may not be covered by their personal auto policy. Insurers tend to see business driving as riskier than personal driving, so most personal auto policies don’t cover business use.
A surety bond is a financial guarantee between three entities:
- The principal, or you, the business owner
- The obligee, or the client who wants you to get a bond
- The surety, or the company that issues the bond
By issuing a surety bond, the bond company is guaranteeing that you’ll perform a job ethically and according to your client’s requirements. If your client files a claim, the bond company covers the client’s damages but expects you to reimburse the costs.
Most states require painters with employees to get workers’ compensation insurance to cover their staff’s work-related injuries or illnesses. Coverage typically includes medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation services. Coverage requirements vary by state—there are penalties for not having a policy if you’re supposed to, so it’s a good idea to learn your state’s requirements.
Painter Insurance Requirements by State
Whether you’re a one-person operation or have a staff of 50, painters insurance is a good idea because it protects your business assets if things go wrong. However, some states also require painters to have certain insurance or bonds before they can get a license or register their business with the state. You can click below to find a brief description of the requirements in your state.
Note: The information provided is only the requirements to get a state license or register with the state. Cities and counties may have additional requirements. Moreover, most states mandate employers to carry workers’ compensation, even if they don’t require it for a license.
Painters insurance is a wise investment, whether you’re an independent contractor, a residential or commercial contractor, or an interior or exterior specialist. Insurance requirements for each painting business will be unique, but each business needs at least some level of coverage.
To ensure that you get the coverage your business needs without overpaying, it’s important to find the right insurance provider. CoverWallet is an insurance broker that offers insurance policies through an easy-to-understand application. Answering a few simple questions will help them find the ideal insurance provider for your business needs.