Painters insurance includes several policies, such as general liability, business property, and commercial auto insurance. Depending on their operations, some painters may also need surety bonds and workers’ compensation. The most common painting insurance policy is general liability, which covers customer property damage and injury lawsuits. General liability for painters typically costs $400 to $2,000 annually.
As an online insurance broker, CoverWallet offers painter insurance policies from some of the top carriers, and that gives you the chance to compare premiums and policy terms. Whether you’re a mature company bidding on large contracts or just getting started, CoverWallet can help you find affordable insurance. Get a no-obligation quote online in minutes with one short application.
Types of Painters Insurance
Every type of business insurance covers a particular type of loss, so painters need to evaluate their risk to figure out what 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
Commercial Auto Insurance
Your liability for accidents in vehicles your business owns or uses
Your promise to fulfill contractual requirements in a professional manner
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
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 her medical bills after you drop a paint can on her 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 your 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 painter’s property policies.
Small painting businesses and contractors can often combine commercial property and general liability in a special package called a business owner’s policy (BOP). Designed specifically for small businesses, BOPs are usually the most cost-efficient way of getting these two fundamental policies.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial auto insurance helps cover the repairs bills and medical costs, 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 motorists, and medical payments.
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 principle, 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 will 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, but 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.
Who Painters Insurance Is Right For
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 on the link below to find a brief description of the requirements in your state.
Please note: The information provided is only the requirements to get a state license or to register with the state. Cities and counties may have additional requirements. Moreover, most states mandate employers carry workers’ compensation, even if they don’t require it for a license.
Painters Insurance Costs
For small, independent contractors, painters insurance costs for small businesses range between $400 and $3,500 per year, depending on the policies and amount of coverage you get. Painters with more employees, higher revenues, and riskier operations typically pay more.
Painters Insurance Costs by Policy
$400 to $2,000
$1 million per occurrence; $2 million aggregate
$170 to $750
$1,000 to $2,500
$2,500 to $7,000
$0 to $1,000
Painters who qualify for a business owner’s policy may be able to get general liability and property coverage at a reduced rate. For example, a painter who ends with quotes on the higher end of the premium range on our chart pays approximately $1,750 for these policies every year. However, we received a quote for just $1,450 on a BOP for a similar business.
How Business Operations Impact Painters Insurance Costs
Business operations have a big effect on insurance costs, but for painting contractors, it can be the difference between getting an offer and 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—simply because they have a greater chance of injuring others or themselves.
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 of the interior painter cost $530 to $870 per year
- General liability of the exterior painter cost $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.
Painting Insurance Providers
Painters working on projects three stories or higher who want quotes on multiple policies
Interior painting contractors who need affordable general liability insurance
Painters who want to bundle general liability, business property, and commercial vehicle coverage
Interior painters who want affordable and customizable coverage
Small painting and wall covering contractors that want to compare prices on general liability insurance
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 exterior jobs above three stories. These businesses can be difficult to insure, but CoverWallet can often find coverage for them and for painters with less risky operations. General liability policies through CoverWallet start at $39 per month.
Hiscox is a large insurance provider that does a good job of delivering quick quotes, broad coverage, and quality service. As an A-rated provider, Hiscox provides general liability insurance for interior painters that costs 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.
Painters who want to bundle most of their policies through a single provider should get a quote from Progressive Commercial. Its Progressive Advantage Business Program combines several policies, including BOPs, workers’ comp, and commercial auto. Painters with a business owner’s policy or general liability may be eligible for up to 15% off their commercial auto insurance.
The Hartford is a national insurance carrier with a team dedicated to covering small businesses. Painting contractors who work exclusively indoors should get a quote for its BOP that not only combines general liability and property insurance but has 37 optional add-ons, including up to $150,000 in coverage for property off your business premises. Contractors can also get a blanket additional insured endorsement that automatically extends coverage to any client who requires it by contract.
Simply Business is a new online insurance broker, but the company works with many top-rated carriers, such as CNA and Travelers. This gives Simply Business the ability to offer general liability to businesses with both interior and exterior painting operations as well as contractors who add on other services or those who do sign painting and lettering.
Painters insurance is a wise investment whether you are 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 needs at least some level of coverage. Most painters insurance costs start between $400 and $1,000 annually.
To ensure 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. Simple questions you answer help them find the ideal insurance provider for your business needs.