A painting contractor takes care of indoor and outdoor painting jobs, including walls, ceiling, trim and baseboards, cabinets, and other surfaces in your home or office. Aside from the painting aspect, painting contractors are responsible for a variety of other functions including removing switch plates, covering furniture with drop cloths, cleaning the area after their work is finished, and other small details of getting their job done. Painting contractors often work as independent contractors or operate their own painting business. Being a painting contractor has many perks, but it also includes a variety of risks. These include injury to employees or homeowners while they are doing their work, property damage, and other operational liabilities. Painting contractors insurance is therefore an essential part of being a painting contractor and protecting your financial assets.
Types of Painting Contractors Insurance
There are a variety of types of painting contractors insurance policies that are designed to offer protection to the contractor for a range of risk exposures associated with this profession.
The most basic of insurance policies for painting contractors is the general liability policy. General liability offers protection from financial burden as a result of bodily injury or property damage that can occur during the painting contractor’s job. For example, if they have an employee who accidentally knocks over a paint can that ruins a piece of furniture not properly protected with a drop cloth, the homeowner can sue the painting contractor’s business. General liability offers financial protection for that type of occurrence.
While the painting contractor most likely has a commercial automobile insurance policy, it doesn’t cover the materials inside the vehicle that may be damaged or stolen during an accident. Inland marine insurance offers additional coverage for equipment, materials and tools inside the painting contractor’s vehicle such as a paint sprayer that costs several hundred dollars.
Painting contractors move around as part of their job, working on a variety of residences and businesses, and using a company vehicle for transporting tools, machinery, and materials. For this reason, commercial auto insurance is essential. When the vehicle is being used for business purposes, commercial auto offers protection against damages incurred during an accident. Commercial auto offers coverage for damages to the vehicle in an accident as well as vandalism and theft, along with bodily injury caused from the accident.
Most states in the US require businesses to have a worker’s comp insurance policy for any and all employees. If you operate a painting contractor’s business and have at least one employee, you should protect your employees with worker’s comp. If your employee gets injured or an illness on the job, worker’s comp steps in and offers them medical treatment and income assistance while they are out of work. For example, if an employee falls off a ladder while painting a commercial building, their medical expenses from the fall will be covered by worker’s comp, and the time spent recovering will be paid for.
Professional Liability (E&O)
Professional liability insurance, also called Errors and Omissions (E&O) is an insurance policy that protects the financial assets of the painting contractor in the case of a liability related to their job. For example, if the painting contractor fails to cover the homeowner’s furniture properly, and it gets ruined from paint splatter, they can sue you for the cost of the furniture. In this case, professional liability insurance helps to pay for the cost of damages. It also covers bodily injury that may be caused to the clients as a result of your job, such as in the case of an office worker tripping over your painting equipment while you are painting inside a commercial building.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance
If you own a painting contractor’s business, you should protect your financial assets from possible employment practice lawsuits and litigations. This includes certain lawsuits an employee can bring up against your company, such as wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, hiring or promotional decisions, or other such practices. For example, if you fail to promote an employee and they feel it is due to a disability, this is discrimination and they can sue your company. Employment practices liability insurance helps to avoid financial turmoil as a result of the lawsuit.
Being a painting contractor offers its benefits and can be a rewarding job, but it can also be a burden if you are in the middle of a liability lawsuit. Protect yourself and your painting company by obtaining adequate insurance.