What Kind of Liability Insurance Do Painters Need?


Whether you are a one-person operation or you have a team of fifty painters working for you chances are you need painters insurance. Painter’s insurance can help protect your business in case things go wrong.


Some states also require painters to carry insurance. Keep reading to learn about the different kinds of painter's insurance and what they can do for your business. 

Types of Insurance for Painters

The type of business you are running will dictate what type of insurance you need. Painters can buy general insurance, commercial property insurance, commercial vehicle insurance, worker’s comp insurance, and surety bonds. 

Evaluate your business’s risk to determine the type of insurance you need, Most painters need general liability insurance in case a customer sues over property or bodily damage. If you don’t own an office you probably don’t need commercial property insurance. 

Here are some common types of insurance for painters explained in more detail. 

General Liability

General liability insurance covers third-party property damage, bodily harm, and reputational harm. Third-party simply means anyone that is not employed by your painting business. 

General liability insurance for painters covers things such as a customer suing you if you dropped a paint can on their head or if a customer slipped on your tarps. 

It can also cover damage to the property such as damaging part of the roof with your ladder or breaking knick nacks. 

If a customer decides to sue you because your paint bubbled and peeled off the wall your general liability insurance will also cover this. General liability insurance is essential for most small businesses but it can be especially important for painters because you are working in someone’s home or office. 

Some states also require painters to get painter's insurance in order to get a painter’s license. Check with your state to see if this is a requirement before you start accepting painting jobs. 

Commercial Property

Commercial property insurance covers repairs or replacement of your business-owned property. This could be ladders, brushes, scaffolding, or anything you use as a part of your normal everyday work. 

Commercial property insurance doesn’t cover normal wear and tear on this property, but it does cover your equipment in case of fire, theft, or vandalism. Many people make the mistake of believing their auto insurance will cover work equipment that is stolen out of their truck, but that isn’t the case. 

Painters must have commercial property insurance to cover these items. Many small businesses combine their general liability coverage with commercial property and receive discounts.

Ask your insurance agent about the most cost-effective way for you to get both of these insurances for your painting business. Painting insurance cost a whole lot less than replacing all of your equipment after a fire or after it was stolen. 

Commercial Auto Coverage

Another common type of painting insurance is commercial auto coverage. Commercial auto insurance can help cover medical bills and repair bills in case you are in an accident while driving your work vehicle.

Most states require some type of commercial auto insurance for work vehicles although the amounts of coverage may vary. 

You can also choose to add on additional coverage such as collision, uninsured motorists insurance, and comprehensive insurance. Painters who decide to use their personal vehicles to drive to jobs may not be covered under their personal auto insurance. 

Most insurance companies see driving vehicles for work as more of a risk than driving for personal reasons. For this reason, personal auto insurance plans usually do not cover driving your vehicle for work.

You’ll need to take out a commercial auto coverage policy. 

Worker’s Compensation Insurance

Painters are required by most states to obtain worker’s compensation insurance for their employees. If your staff member gets hurt or sick on the job this type of insurance covers their medical bills, lost wages, and can pay for rehabilitation until they get better. 

The amount of worker’s compensation coverage you need depends on which state you do business in. There are also penalties for businesses that do not carry worker’s compensation insurance so it is good to brush up on your state’s requirements to make sure you are on the right side of the law. 

Surety Bonds

A surety bond is a financial guarantee between you, the client, and the company that issues the surety bond. A surety bond guarantees that you will perform the job ethically, and according to the specifications of the individual client. 

If your client files a claim against your work, the bond company covers the client’s damages but they do expect that you will reimburse the costs. This type of painter’s insurance is different than the other types. 

This type of insurance makes sure that the painter will complete the job according to the client’s wishes. If the painter fails to do the job or doesn’t live up to the conditions of the client then the client can file a claim. 

In traditional insurance, the insurance company absorbs the entire amount of the claim but in a surety bond, the painters are on the hook for the cost of the claim.

The insurance company will pay the client immediately but the painters will have to pay the insurance company back the money they paid for the claim. 

Surety policy writers assume the policies they write do not have any risk. This type of insurance protects the clients and ensures that the painting company they have hired will do the work and will do a good job. 

By purchasing a surety bond the painters agree to work according to certain regulations and standards. This protects consumers from potential financial losses. 

Painters Insurance Is Something Your Business Needs

If you own a painting business it is important to have insurance to cover your work, your equipment, and protect your employees. Painters insurance can help protect your business from damages and harm in case a client decides to sue over your work or an accident. 

You’ll pay a lot less in insurance payments than you would if you get sued and don’t have insurance, so look into getting painters insurance today. If you enjoyed this article check out our latest insurance articles now.