Like many small business owners, you’ve probably asked yourself, “Do I really need business insurance?” For painters, the answer is probably yes. The work you do opens you up to potential risks that could translate into expensive claims or lawsuits.
Business insurance can help protect you, but it can also help open the door to new clients and contracts. It can help you ensure that your business is operating legally and even help you attract new employees!
Let’s dive deeper into the reasons why painters may need business insurance.
Protect Your Business and Personal Finances
Property damage claims are a very real risk for residential and commercial painters. During a typical job, you might need to:
- Enter a client’s home
- Move around the exterior of a client’s property
- Move furniture
- Work near breakable items or things that could be damaged
- Open gates
- Place ladders against walls or fences
- Apply painters’ tape to surfaces
- Open windows
- Construct and take apart scaffolding
Unfortunately, these normal parts of your job could result in expensive property damage.
A client might demand compensation if you damage their property, even if it was an accident. Shattered windows, broken furniture, or paint spills might be expensive to replace, fix, or clean up. Without painter’s insurance, compensating your customer would fall on your shoulders.
Many business owners believe that only their business is liable for claims and lawsuits. However, this is not always true. If your business does not have enough money to compensate a client fully, you may need to dip into your personal savings to make up the difference. Sole proprietors are especially at risk in these scenarios, as their professional liabilities can quickly become personal ones.
A lawsuit or claim from a third party can be financially devastating. Having self-employed painter insurance could help you protect your hard-earned money where it belongs—in your bank account.
Stay on the Right Side of the Law
Most states require business owners to have insurance coverage. Though laws vary by state (and even at the city or local level), you will likely need to have two types of insurance to start a painting business:
General Liability insurance provides coverage against third-party allegations of property damage or bodily injury. Governments often require businesses to have this type of insurance to help compensate consumers if they are harmed financially or physically because of your work.
Workers’ Compensation insurance covers employee injuries and illnesses sustained in the workplace. You will typically need to buy this coverage before hiring your first employee, which includes full-time and part-time staff plus subcontractors. You might even need Workers’ Compensation as a sole proprietor in some instances.
You typically need to show proof of insurance when you apply for a business, general contractor, or painter license. Again, requirements vary depending on where you will be working. Always check your state and local government websites to understand your insurance and licensing obligations.
Show You’re a Professional
It can be challenging for new businesses to find their first customers. Anything you can do to build trust and convince them to hire you helps, including having painter contractor insurance.
An insurance policy shows that you are a serious business owner, not just someone picking up painting jobs on the side. It can also give customers confidence in your abilities. Someone with paint company insurance values their professional reputation—and is prepared to defend it if necessary. They will treat each client’s home or office with the care it deserves.
There are many ways to let customers know that you have painter’s insurance. Places to consider advertising this information include:
- on your website
- social media profiles
- business cards
- your business truck or van
- marketing materials
You don’t need to give customers all your insurance details in these places. Adding phrases like “fully insured” may be enough. Then, if a customer asks for more information, you can provide them with proof of your specific policy.
Get More Painting Jobs
Painting business insurance is more than just a necessary expense. It can also be an investment. Having painter’s insurance could help you get more work and grow your small business.
As we’ve already discussed, painter contractor insurance can give customers confidence in your business, which may motivate them to choose you over another company. Those clients could lead to word-of-mouth referrals and positive reviews that, in turn, may result in more business.
A painter’s insurance policy might be necessary to secure specific jobs. Commercial and government clients often require the contractors they hire to have General Liability insurance. This requirement may be written into the business contract you sign, and you will likely be asked to provide proof of your insurance before beginning work.
In this way, paint company insurance might be essential to expanding your services and taking on larger clients.
Show Your Employees You Value Them
As your business grows, you may need to hire painters or office employees to help manage the company. You might find that having painting business insurance helps you attract talented and reliable staff.
People want to work for employers that take their health and safety seriously. Workers’ Compensation insurance (which is often mandatory, as we’ve discussed) is one way to show your employees that you care. These policies typically cover medical costs and lost wages for staff who are injured or fall seriously ill in the workplace. Your employees can work with confidence, knowing they will be protected while they recover if an accident does happen.
General Liability insurance can also help attract high-quality employees. These policies typically cover everyone who works for your business. So, if an employee accidentally damages a client’s belongings or causes them an injury while working, your paint company insurance policy should protect them.
Back-Up Your Risk Management Plan
Business owners often take steps to help prevent accidents from happening while they work. These actions, often called a risk management plan, can help protect your business, employees, customers, and other members of the public you might interact with. But it’s always wise to have a backup plan!
Insurance for painters can add an extra layer of protection to your business. Accidents can still happen, even when you’re being careful. If something slips past your risk management plan, your painter’s insurance policies are there to pick up the slack. Your coverage shields your business and personal finances, so you can relax and get back to work.
Along with General Liability and Workers’ Compensation coverage, you might consider other insurance policies to protect your business. Coverage for your tools, vehicles, business interruptions and other issues may be helpful.
Who needs painter insurance?
As you can see, painter’s liability insurance can not only help you protect your business but also promote and grow it. However, you might still be unsure if painter insurance is really something you need.
Every business is different, and so are your business insurance needs. However, you may want to think about the following as you consider insurance:
- Are you a sole proprietor? Business liabilities can easily become personal ones for sole proprietors. Self-employed painter insurance helps protect your personal assets (i.e., bank accounts, home, car, etc.) as well as your business.
- Could I afford a lawsuit? Claims and legal action can be expensive to resolve, particularly if they drag on for months or years. Business insurance covers expenses related to lawsuits, so they don’t drain your accounts.
- What does the law say? Skipping certain types of business insurance might result in business stoppages, fines, or other legal penalties. This could seriously affect your business, potentially causing you to close forever.
- Do my clients expect me to be insured? Your clients probably want to work with insured contractors. Whether this is a requirement written into a business contract or an industry standard, meeting these expectations can strengthen your professional image.
Is it time to protect your painting business?
There are many reasons why you may need painter’s insurance for your business. Insurance coverage could help you meet professional and legal obligations, find new clients, hire talented employees, and perhaps most importantly, protect your growing small business.
So, who needs painter insurance? Painters who typically get coverage for their small businesses include:
- Self-employed business – Insurance can help protect your business and personal finances in the event that a claim or lawsuit is brought against your sole proprietorship.
- Paint company – Insurance may be necessary to not only protect your business, but also your employees.
- Painter contractor – Insurance might be a requirement for you to work as a subcontractor for another company.
Your painting business may be small, but the risks you face on the job might be bigger than you think. Insurance for painters can help you meet these head on, giving you important peace of mind as you focus on growing your business.
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