Finding the right insurance for your painting business is an important step in protecting and growing your business.
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Companies that provide painting services for houses, apartments, commercial buildings, and other structures should be aware that they could be exposed to a variety of risks. Common hazards include unintentional property damage or physical injury that occurs in the course of their work, auto accidents that take place in company cars, or unexpected disasters like a fire. It’s important to consider purchasing business insurance coverage to financially protect your company from unpredictable incidents.
What insurance coverage do I need for my painting business?
There are many types of insurance coverage to consider, but these policies are particularly relevant to commercial painters:
General liability insurance provides protection for incidents of accidental third-party property damage, bodily injury, personal injury, or advertising injury. If your employees accidentally cause someone else injury or damage their property in the course of your work, this coverage will protect your business. If your business is sued, general liability insurance can cover legal fees and damages, in addition to medical payments in the case of an injury.
Painting businesses are constantly involved in performing work at customers’ homes or offices, so the risk for third-party injury or property damage is high. Whether from paint fumes or falling objects, there is an elevated risk for injury, in addition to potential property damage through work such as old paint removal. Moreover, if your painting business has office or retail space that customers, vendors, or partners may visit, any accidents that occur on your business premises could result in expensive lawsuits.
- Bodily injury: While performing a job at a client’s home, your client trips and falls over a ladder left on a sidewalk by one of your employees. The client suffers a fractured wrist in the fall and requires medical treatment. Your general liability insurance would pay for medical expenses and legal fees if the client sues.
- Property damage: Your team is at a client’s office building for a job, and one of your employees accidentally drops a paint can from a ladder, shattering a glass table. Your general liability insurance would cover damages.
Painters typically depend on company vehicles that employees use to visit worksites and transport painting supplies. If your business owns or leases vehicles or if your employees use their own personal vehicles for business purposes, commercial auto insurance is a key coverage that is legally required in most states.
If your employees are involved in a car crash, commercial auto insurance can provide coverage for physical damage to vehicles, third-party bodily injury, and property damage. Commercial auto insurance can also provide coverage for damage to your vehicles caused by covered perils, including theft, falling objects, fire, and more.
- One of your employees accidentally backs a company van into a client’s garage door, damaging it. Commercial auto insurance would provide funds to cover the damages to both your own van and the client’s garage door.
Workers’ compensation insurance provides financial and medical benefits for employees who suffer occupational injuries or diseases. Workers’ comp also provides death benefits for dependents in the case of a work-related employee death.
Painting can be a physically demanding occupation, and employees may be involved in work from dangerous heights on ladders or scaffolds. Employees may also be exposed to toxic substances from the removal of old lead-based paints or exposed to fumes from paints and solvents they are working with.
If an employee is injured or falls ill, he or she may require medical attention and may be unable to work while recovering. In these situations, workers’ comp can provide funds for the injured employee’s medical treatment, a portion of their lost income, and in some cases, physical rehabilitation expenses.
Workers’ compensation insurance regulations vary from state to state, but almost every state requires employers to secure this coverage. Check with your local workers’ comp laws to understand what is required of your business. Failure to secure adequate coverage can result in heavy fines and penalties for your business.
- While working on the exterior paint of an office building, one of your employees falls off a scaffold and breaks her leg. Your workers’ compensation insurance would pay for her medical expenses and a portion of her lost income while she is unable to work.
Commercial property insurance will provide funds to replace or repair your business property if it is destroyed or damaged by a covered peril. For painters, the risk of fire is high due to the storage and use of highly flammable paints, paint thinners, and other solvents. If a disaster strikes, you could lose essential property, and costs to replace or repair it could be high. Commercial property insurance can help protect the value of your business property, providing funds to replace or repair damaged property in the event of a fire, storm, explosion, or other covered peril.
Commercial property insurance covers the following:
- Buildings belonging to or leased by your company
- Contents of the building, including furniture, equipment, and tools
- Property of others while it is under your care, custody, or control
- During a storm, lighting strikes your offices and causes a fire that damages the building and destroys paint, equipment, and tools. Your commercial property insurance would cover the loss.
Inland marine insurance provides financial protection for your business property that does not remain at a fixed location and is not covered by a standard commercial property policy. Since painters typically transport paint, equipment, and tools to job sites, this is an important coverage to consider.
For contractors and subcontractors, installation floaters are a common type of inland marine insurance used to cover materials and equipment for installation projects. These policies are specifically designed to cover your business while building or renovations are in progress. Installation floaters cover materials, supplies, and equipment while in transit, waiting to be installed, and during the installation process. Coverage plans can cover a specific project or projects over a period of time.
- One of your company’s vans is involved in a car accident that ruptures a large amount of paint containers as well as damaging equipment. Your inland marine insurance would cover the loss.
- Pollution liability insurance covers third-party bodily injury, property damage, cleanup costs, and legal defense that results from pollutants released by your company. Disposal of paint and solvents can lead to environmental pollution claims.
- For small painting companies, a business owner’s policy (BOP) could help provide a wide range of coverage in a convenient package. A business owner’s policy combines the major property and liability risks that small businesses face, including general liability, commercial property, business income, and extra expense coverage.
- Business income coverage will reimburse you 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.
- Employment practices liability insurance protects your business against lawsuits by prospective, current, or former employees accusing your business of wrongful treatment such as discrimination, harassment, or other employment-related issues.
Pricing and Quotes
Pricing for painters insurance will vary based on the type of insurance coverage and the risk profile of your business. Insurers consider factors such as:
- Business size
- Number of employees
- Claims history
Businesses with higher risks will have higher premiums than those deemed lower risk. For example, a painting business with a history of frequent claims will face higher premiums. Premiums also rise as you increase the limits of insurance. Different insurance companies have different models for rating risks, so it is worth comparing pricing across different insurers.
In order to get an accurate estimate on pricing, it’s best to get a quote from a reputable insurance company. Below we’ve highlighted a few of our trusted partners who offer coverage for painting contractors:
|Provider||Business Interruption||Business Owner's Policy||Commercial Auto||Commercial Crime||Commercial Property||Cyber Liability||Employment Practices Liability||General Liability||Product Liability||Professional Liability||Workers' Compensation|
Painting businesses could be held liable for many significant risks. From accidental damage to a client’s property to auto collisions or unexpected disasters like storms or fires, there are many incidents that can consume a large portion of your company’s resources, making it difficult for you to continue operating. It’s a good idea to consider your business’s needs and purchase insurance that will financially protect you in the event of an unforeseen catastrophe or lawsuit.