Finding the right insurance for your handyman business is an important step in protecting and growing your business.
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As a handyman, you’re a tradesman skilled at a variety of jobs. You’re working hard to patch walls, make plumbing and electrical repairs, and hang art, mirrors, and televisions. Having the right insurance is an important part of protecting your business and setting it up for growth.
In your work as a handyman and business owner, you never know what kinds of challenges you’ll face. From unforeseen accidents to natural disasters, unexpected and unfortunate incidents can happen. Business insurance can help protect you from a number of risks and liabilities and keep your business running in the face of any financial setbacks. Having a comprehensive business insurance package can also help you win more business, by signaling to potential customers that you’ve got them covered in case anything happens. The right insurance will also give you and your employees peace of mind, knowing that you’ve put a solid safety net in place.
It’s important to consider business insurance if:
- You visit customer homes or offices as part of your work
- You work in environments or with tools and materials that elevate your risk of injury
- You work directly on or around other people’s property
- You drive a vehicle for business purposes
- You employ others
- You own or lease tools, equipment, or materials and transport them to job sites
What insurance coverage do I need as a handyman?
Some of the most common insurance coverages for handymen are listed below, along with relevant examples of incidents that would trigger these coverages.
A critical coverage for every handyman and often required by customers, general liability insurance protects your business if you unintentionally injure another person or cause damage to someone else’s property. Because handymen generally work at customers’ homes or offices and work with materials and tools that can be dangerous, there is an elevated risk of causing third-party damage or injury. You or an employee could directly injure someone or damage property, or it could be your finished work that ends up causing damage.
If you have your own commercial office space or storefront, you are exposed to the risk of someone visiting your business property and accidentally injuring themselves. General liability can also protect you from this type of liability.
- Property damage: You are at a customer’s home installing a tv mount, and you accidentally drop a hammer, damaging the customer’s custom flooring, which is expensive to repair.
- Bodily injury: You are at a client’s office installing a new ceiling fan. As you are lifting the fan into place, you lose your grip, and the fan crashes to the ground, sending broken pieces of plastic and wood flying. Your client was in the room at the time and suffers severe lacerations. He sues your business for the physical injuries you’ve caused.
- Products and completed operations: You hang a television on the wall for a client, but it is improperly secured. A week after installation, the television falls off the wall and injures your client. They sue your business for damages.
If your handyman business employs others, then it’s likely you’ll need to obtain workers’ compensation insurance, which is required in most states. Workers’ compensation insurance, also known as workers’ comp, provides financial benefits to your employees if they suffer a work-related injury or illness while working for your business.
If an employee suffers a work-related injury or illness, workers’ comp will cover:
- Medical expenses
- Ongoing care, including rehabilitation and physical therapy
- A portion of lost wages during the time the employee is unable to work
For handyman businesses, workers’ comp is a key coverage, given the nature of your work. Even if you practice extreme caution and safety, accidents happen, and if your employees are working with potentially dangerous tools, equipment, or materials, injuries are more likely.
- One of your employees is hanging a door frame for a client. While using a nail gun, he accidentally shoots a nail through his thumb. Workers’ comp would cover any medical expenses, as well as a portion of your employee’s lost income if he’s unable to work due to his injury.
Commercial auto insurance protects your business if you or one of your employees causes injury or damage to someone else while driving a business vehicle or while driving for business purposes. This is an important coverage for handymen as much of your work necessitates traveling to and from customer homes, offices, or worksites. Moreover, most states require a minimum level of liability for all registered vehicles, making commercial auto insurance a must-have coverage.
Commercial auto insurance can not only protect you from liability in car crashes, but it can also protect the value of your company vehicles. The property portion of commercial auto insurance can pay for physical damage to your vehicle from covered perils, as well as theft.
- You are driving the company truck to a customer’s home, and on the way there, a cat runs in front of your car. You swerve to avoid the cat and end up crashing into a parked car. Commercial auto would cover the damages to both cars.
- Over the weekend, the company vans are broken into. Thieves smashed the rear windshields and stole tools and equipment. Commercial auto insurance would cover the damage to the windshields.
As you or your employees travel from job site to job site, you likely are transporting tools, equipment, and materials that are critical to your work. Often times, these items can be expensive and hard to replace. Inland marine insurance is a form of property insurance for property that does not stay in a fixed location and is not covered by a commercial property policy. This can include property that is:
- Being moved or transported. This might include a new crystal chandelier you are transporting to a client’s home.
- Being held for someone else. This might include a fireplace screen you have taken back to your shop to repair.
- Installed in a vehicle. This might include a hoist you’ve installed on your truck.
- Usually moved from place to place. This might include equipment and tools you use at different worksites.
- You have parked your company van in front of a client’s home while you are working inside the home. At some point during the day, your van is broken into, and all of your power tools and specialized equipment are stolen. Inland marine insurance would cover the costs to replace the stolen goods.
- Commercial property insurance can protect any buildings or office space you own or lease, the property inside that space, and any property that is under your care, custody, or control.
- A business owner’s policy can provide a convenient bundling of coverages, including general liability, property, business income, and extra expense coverage, tailored for small and midsize businesses. This type of policy can also save you money, as purchasing each individual type of coverage separately will likely be more expensive.
- Business income insurance can provide funds for lost income and operating expenses if your business is forced to close due to a covered peril, such as fire, storm damage, or other property damage.
Handymen are in a profession where property damage, injuries, and lawsuits may have a higher likelihood of occurring. Investing in the right business insurance coverage for your handyman business is an important part of protecting your company from liability and risk, while also giving your employees and customers peace of mind. From general liability insurance to protect against any unexpected accidents and injuries to inland marine insurance to protect the value of your tools and equipment, the right set of insurance policies can help you steer clear of the financial consequences of any unfortunate events.