Essential Guide: General Liability Insurance for Painters

Essential Guide: General Liability Insurance for Painters

Essential Guide: General Liability Insurance for Painters
Charles Munyi
Nov 17, 2022
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Whether painting is your everyday job or a side business, insurance is necessary to safeguard your financial interests.

At a minimum, painters should consider general liability insurance to protect their business against any losses resulting from claims of damages or injury. 

In this blog post, learn more about general liability insurance for painters, what it covers, and the expected costs to obtain coverage.

Who Needs Painters Insurance?

who needs painters insurance

Painters insurance is designed to protect handymen and contractors who deal with interior or exterior painting in commercial buildings or residential homes.

The policy matches a wide range of job risks, including paint spills and slip and fall accidents. This coverage protects you from any compensation claims for bodily injury, customer property damage, and lawsuits.

You also may need general liability insurance to get a license from your state. While various states like Connecticut, Arizona, and Alaska require licensed painters to have insurance, others like Illinois and Colorado may not have the same stringent insurance requirements for painters.

What General Liability Insurance Covers for a Painter

general liability insurance types of coverage

For professional painters, general liability insurance covers a wide variety of risks such as owner’s property damage, paint spillage, and third-party injury. It also safeguards your small business from the expensive charges related to compensation lawsuits.

Bodily Injury

General liability insurance protects your painting business from claims against injuries your operations inflict on others, such as a homeowner tripping over your paint can. This coverage will offset any medical costs and legal expenses you are sued for relating to the injury. 

Product Liability

Some general liability policies include product liability coverage to protect your business if your finished operations cause property damage or bodily harm due to something about how the work was completed. Damages could include your customer’s wall peeling off after the painting job is completed.

Property damage

The hands-on nature of painting puts you at risk of damaging other people’s property. A general liabilities policy insures you against expenses to repair or replace property accidentally damaged in your line of work.

Personal and Advertising Injury

This insurance coverage protects your business from claims that cause reputation harm or tarnish the other party’s image. Some of these offenses include copyright infringement, libel and slander, false advertising, and invasion of privacy.

What’s Not Covered Under Painter General Liability Insurance?

Despite its comprehensive coverage, there are gaps in general liability insurance. As a result, your business may need to purchase additional insurance. Here are some examples:

  • Theft or damage of your assets or equipment during transit
  • Theft or damage of your property or equipment while at work
  • Repaying dissatisfied clients
  • Business vehicles
  • Employee injuries
  • Over-spraying may not be covered depending on the specific policy terms

What are the Insurance Policy Limits?

A policy limit is the highest amount an insurance carrier will payout to the policyholder if an insured loss occurs. They are often defined according to what’s insured and the types of insurance policies.

Some small businesses obtain the $1 million per occurrence/ $2 million aggregate policy limits. In case of a risk occurrence, the policy will pay up to a maximum of $1 million for one claim and a $2 million limit for the policy duration (usually one year).

Also,  the amount of coverage you require varies based on factors, such as the size of your business, number of employees, and potential common risks.

If you’re buying general liability insurance to meet the terms of your contract or lease, ensure that the coverage satisfies the requested policy limits.

How Much Does Painter Insurance Cost?

A painting business can expect to pay a median of $50 per month for a general liability insurance policy with a limit of $1 million per occurrence. However, costs differ from business to business depending on the exposure to risks, limits, nature of business, coverage, and provider. 

You can save money on general liability insurance by bundling it with commercial property insurance in a conveniently packaged business owner’s policy. 

If these policies don’t meet all your needs, some insurance providers will customize a package to cover your specified risks. Most insurers require you to meet your policy deductible, typically $250, before paying out your claim. 

When Do I Get The Certificate of Insurance?

what is a certificate of insurance

A certificate of insurance is a document that shows the coverage types and limits of your policy. When you buy liability insurance, it triggers the issuance of this certificate, which serves as proof of insurance.

Some clients require this proof of insurance before you can start at the job sites. Your professional license may also require that you have a certificate of insurance.

Most insurance companies include the insurance certificate in their customer’s initial documents. However, if you do not get this document, you can request your insurance company to provide you with one. 

Painting Contractor's Risks & Exposures

Painters face liability risks such as property damage and bodily injury. General liability insurance protects your business against financial loss in the following scenarios.

Third-party, non-employee bodily injury

General liability insurance protects you from the costs of bodily harm to third parties. For example, you lay a tarpaulin sheet on the floor to collect paint drips and protect the floor. Unfortunately, as your client is inspecting progress on the painting job, they step on the slippery tarp and fall breaking their leg. 

In such a case, your insurance will pay medical expenses and court-awarded compensation. Also, in cases where severe accidents lead to death, it will cover funeral expenses. 

Property Damage

Painting jobs carry the likelihood of damage to property from paint oils and stains. Handling paints poorly can lead to spills on floors and furniture. For example, you knock over a paint bucket leading to a large spill on a client's carpet.

Also, physical tools such as ladders can cause unintended property damage. An unstable ladder might tip over, crashing into the client's home entertainment system.

Your insurance will pay for the repair or replacement of the damaged property and settle lawsuit costs if your client sues.

Legal Expenses

After completing a painting job per the agreement, a customer might pursue a claim against your business. Even though the lawsuit may be malicious or based on unfounded claims, you may need to retain a lawyer.  A protracted legal battle will result in substantial defense costs that your general liability insurance will pay.

Personal and advertising injury

Defamation through libel or slander, advertising injury, copyright infringement, or invasion of privacy can trigger lawsuits. If you disparage a competitor by saying their products are inferior, they can sue for slander claiming your statements damaged their reputation.

You can cause personal and advertising injury by copying advertisements or using someone's name or image without their consent. Also, copyright infringement can occur unintentionally by using a logo that closely resembles that of another brand.

General liability insurance may protect against such cases by covering your legal costs and court settlements.

Why Do Insurance Agents Use Pathpoint for Painters

Insurance agents trust Pathpoint to find instant, bindable E&S quotes for their clients. Small commercial E&S is our specialty, and Pathpoint helps reduce quoting from days or weeks to just minutes. 

You can jumpstart your submission with your ACORD forms. You’ll also receive a fully pre-filled supplemental application, so no additional questions after you get your quote. Plus, you can save time by e-signing binding paperwork within our platform 

Get General Liability Insurance for Painters

Your painting business is important to your peace of mind. General liability insurance can protect your business from possible losses. Contact your licensed agents and ask them to get you a Pathpoint quote today.

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