How Painters Liability Insurance Protects Your Business from Risk
You can think of painters liability insurance much like the protective coating you apply to your finishing work. It acts as a shield, keeping your painting company covered in all types of “weather”. As a painter, you face risks to your personal health & safety and business risks and liabilities that need to be managed to keep your business rolling. Insurance for painters could also be the difference-maker that helps you win more lucrative bids and is necessary for government contracts. In this post, we cover the basics of painting safety, painters liability insurance and other types of insurance that you may also want to, or need to consider for bigger jobs/contracts/RFP’s.
Health and Safety Issues for Painters
How Much is Insurance for a Painter?
Insurance for a painter depends on many factors, such as the types of insurance you buy, the services you provide, the size of your painting business, how much insurance coverage you want, and more. Insurance companies likely have their methods of calculating how much weight each factor has in determining the premiums for your insurance policy. The number of employees helping you, the number of jobs you take on, and the number of years you’ve been in the painting business can also have an impact on your overall insurance premium. Most painters can expect to pay around $400 to $800 per year for a painting insurance policy.
What Insurance Should a Painter Have?
A painter should carry general liability insurance, which is the most common type of insurance policy. It protects painters from third-party claims of bodily injuries and property damage. Painters also need property insurance to cover their paintbrushes, frames, ladders, studios, and more. Commercial property insurance can protect painters against financial loss when an insured peril causes unexpected damage to the painter’s commercial assets. Commercial property insurance also extends to business interruption coverage to provide coverage for lost revenue and temporary accommodations during repairs.
A painter should also carry commercial auto insurance. Painters often rely on vehicles to transport their equipment and travel to different job sites. A commercial auto insurance policy can insure your commercial vehicles when you file claims. Their tools, equipment, and commercial property also should be insured with coverage for business interruption compensation.
What Insurance Does a Self-Employed Painter Need?
A home insurance policy typically doesn’t cover any business activities painters operate out of their home office. Purchasing a general business insurance policy protects their business from financial loss from insured perils and third-party claims of property damage or bodily injury. Self-employed painters should also carry commercial auto insurance and commercial property insurance to insure their equipment and office space.
Do Painters Need to be Licensed?
Trade certification isn’t required for painters or decorators in all provinces and territories except Quebec, where it’s compulsory. Usually, painters would take an apprenticeship program to learn the skills for being a successful painter in the trade. Although a license isn’t required, comprehensive insurance coverage should still be considered to operate the business confidently and mitigate financial risk from operational risks.
Below are some of the more common hazards and safety concerns identified by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety faced by painters. They include:
- Painting job at heights.
- Ladders, platforms and scaffolds.
- Working in confined spaces.
- Risk of eye injury.
- Slips, trips and falls caused by snow plow or weather hazards and wet surfaces, etc.
- Risk of bodily injuries from falling objects.
- Exposure to moulds, fungi and bacteria.
- Exposure to bird and rodent droppings.
- Exposure to paint products, solvents, lead and other toxic substances.
- Proximity to flammable or combustible materials.
- Working in awkward positions, or performing repetitive physical tasks.
- Standing for long periods of time.
- Lifting heavy or awkward objects.
- Exposure to heat and ultraviolet radiation.
- Electrical hazards from working close to live electrical power lines or equipment.
- Shift work or extended work days.
And these are the preventative measures and safe-working practices to help minimize the risk of bodily injuries and/or illness that they recommend:
- Learn correct procedures for working at heights.
- Select the correct ladder for the job.
- Avoid awkward body positions or take frequent breaks.
- Learn safe lifting techniques.
- Know how to prevent injury from electrical hazards. Maintain safe distances from energized electrical equipment or utility lines.
- Keep tools and equipment, and their safety features, in good working order.
- Wear appropriate personal protective equipment and footwear.
- Keep work areas clear of clutter and equipment.
- Learn safety procedures for working in confined spaces.
- Maintain good ventilation during painting.
- Know how to prevent exposure to bird and rodent droppings.
- Practice safety procedures for:
- Follow company safety rules.
- Learn about chemical hazards, WHMIS and MSDSs.
- Know how to report a hazard
- Follow good housekeeping procedures
Protect Your Business From Risks and Liability
Aside from the personal safety risks painters face, there is always the potential of client’s property damages. For example, windows or valuable customer property could get broken from falling ladders, moving drop sheets etc. Nobody plans to have an accident, but they happen. That’s why every business has to protect itself from the unpredictable. Below are some of the coverages recommended as part of a painter’s liability insurance package.
Commercial General Liability Insurance – potential liability could come from claims that your business operations caused personal injury or property damage. Protect your painting company from those lawsuits and others that can also include claims of false advertising and libel/slander.
Commercial Property Insurance – can protect your commercial property such as building, painting equipment and supplies and other business assets from perils like fire, flood or theft.
Commercial Auto Insurance / Commercial Vehicle Insurance – motor vehicle accidents happen in the blink of an eye. Your trucks and other painting vehicles can only be covered with a commercial auto insurance policy as your personal vehicle insurance will probably not cover an accident involving a vehicle used for work purposes.
As mentioned in the intro, in order to bid on bigger, more lucrative projects, your painting company will need commercial surety bonds. Some of them may include:
- Contractor License Bond – required for some types of contractor to get licensed, contact us to find out if you need one.
- Bid Bond – used when your painting company bids on a contract; guarantees your ability to complete the contract. (click here for more info)
Painters Liability Insurance – ALIGN Your Painting Business with Another Layer of Protection
Our insurance broker works with Canada’s top insurance companies and works hard to get you the liability insurance coverage you need at rates you can afford. Contact an ALIGNED advocate to get a painters insurance quote in minutes or use our free online tool.
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