Frequently Asked Questions About
Commercial General Liability Insurance
How much does small business insurance cost?
Costs can vary widely based on industry and are also determined by zip code and often payroll and/or gross sales. Request a free quote to get an exact number. (read more)
What kind of business insurance do I need?
Most business owners need General Liability Insurance at the very least. If you have any non-owner employees, you will need workers compensation insurance too.
What is a Certificate of Insurance?
A Certificate of Insurance is proof of coverage. It lists the type and amount of liability coverage you have and other policy information when a third party requests it. (read more)
Is business insurance tax deductible?
Yes. you can deduct the cost of commercial insurance premiums. The IRS considers insurance a cost of doing business as long it benefits the business & serves a business purpose.
Handyman Insurance. A "handyman" or "handyperson" is an unlicensed contractor who offers home maintenance, small home repairs and simple installation services. They may do minor carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, painting, plastering or drywall work, but nothing requiring a license or permit. Specialties such as roofing, air conditioning or furnace installation do not fall into the job description of a handyman.
At some point in time, everyone needs the services of a handyman, and your handyman business likely fills a need in your neighborhood and community. But are you protecting yourself, your assets, and your business against potential litigation and loss?
If not, then you need a business insurance review with a seasoned agent to determine your business' areas of weakness and correct them with policies designed for your individual business' needs. Handymen do a wide range of work and you to be sure your policy covers you for what you are doing.
Handyman insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
If you work as a carpenter, plumber, home maintenance helper, electric installer, flooring professional, or contractor, then you likely need handyman insurance that's tailored to the risks that you face in your line of work. Packaged coverage that protects you from particular perils is important, since it can make a difference between personal and business financial ruin and staying afloat with a business model that works.
As a handyman, you and your business face many common risks each day. The type of services you offer largely dictate the risks you face, but some are common, including:
- Loss due to personal injury or property damage claims that are caused by you or others working for you during the course of business.
- Damage, loss, or theft of equipment and tools during the course of business. This can be on the job site, at your place of business, or while in transit to a job.
- Claims arising from damage caused by you or an employee when traveling in a company or personal vehicle. This includes damage to your vehicle, injury to employees, and damage or injury to third parties.
How Does Handyman Insurance Help?
Handyman insurance is a generic term that is used to describe the suite of insurance products that a handyman might consider during the course of his business to protect his assets and guard himself from personal liability. Perhaps the most important of these is a general business owner policy, or BOP policy. This coverage is ideal for those businesses with fewer than 100 workers and revenues of less than $5 million annually. BOP policies cover business property damage, personal property damage, loss of income due to covered stoppages of work, general liability to property, and general bodily injury to employees and others.
Besides a BOP policy that provides the general coverages, your business may need additional addendums or policy riders to cover your business activities. Sometimes these policies are also purchased as standalone coverage alongside a general liability or BOP policy. For example, inland marine covers will cover rented or owned tools and equipment as your workers move from one job to another, while theft insurance protects equipment, vehicles, and tools. agents who look over your particular business model are better able to deduce what types of handyman insurance policies your business should buy.
Why Not Carry Just General Liability Insurance?
It is possible for some handyman businesses to cover their businesses fully with just a general liability insurance policy. For handymen who have no office buildings to protect, no operating expenses and no payroll, general liability insurance may be sufficient. This type of policy covers damage and bodily injury caused by you or others working on your behalf when you perform work.
One of the biggest concerns for repairmen, handymen, contractors, painters, and others who provide in-home services is liability. These workers use power tools, hand tools, electric saws and other types of equipment that can cause injury to both the property in which they work and the people around them. Having the right level of handyman insurance protection in place makes good business sense.
What About Worker's Compensation?
requires that businesses carry worker's compensation insurance for all non-owner employees. Check with your insurance agent to make sure that you stay compliant with any laws governing the purchase of worker's compensation insurance, which protects you and any employees from damages resulting from work-related accidents and injuries.
What About Commercial Auto Insurance?
You no doubt use a vehicle in your line of business as a handyman, so protecting that vehicle with commercial auto insurance is important. Personal auto policies do not usually cover accidents that occur in the course of doing business in a personal vehicle. Check with your agent to make sure that your commercial insurance is up to par and that it protects you as you drive from job site to job site.
Most commercial vehicle insurance policies cover bodily injury and property damage liability. If you purchase collision and comprehensive coverage, then your vehicle is protected regardless of whose "fault" the accident is. Some policies also cover theft and damage to the vehicle from vandalism, acts of nature, and related occurrences.
Handyman's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures at the contractor's shop or office are generally limited due to lack of public access. Off-site exposures include potential bodily injury to the client or damage to the client's property. Tools, power cords, building materials and scrap material all pose trip and fall hazards even when not in use. Use of saws and other power or hand tools may be hazardous due to sharp edges and moving parts.
If there is work at heights, falling tools or supplies may cause bodily injury and property damage if dropped from ladders and scaffolding. If woodworking is part of the job, the buildup of dust and scraps can result in fire and explosion. Disposal of waste materials (dust, scrap, varnishes or paints) could create an environmental hazard. There may be significant contractual liability exposures if the handyman is responsible for finding licensed contractors to handle jobs outside the handyman category.
Completed operations liability exposures should be fairly minor since handymen usually do not handle or install items where incorrect installation would result in significant damage. It is important for a handyman to work or perform duties within his or her ability. Clear guidelines should be established with clients as to what jobs can and cannot be completed by the handyman.
Property exposures at the handyman's own location are generally limited to an office plus storage for tools, materials, equipment, and vehicles. If the handyman does shop woodworking or repairs for customers, fire can result from the flammability of wood, paints, varnishes, and wood dust.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty. Background checks, including criminal history, should be performed on all employees providing services to customers or handling money. All ordering, billing and disbursement should be handled as separate duties with reconciliations occurring regularly.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the handyman offers credit to customers, contractors' equipment and tools, goods in transit, installation floater, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. A handyman's tools and equipment may represent the majority of the physical assets. Since the handyman is not a specialist, a variety of tools is needed. Tools travel with the contractor and are not normally left at the jobsite.
Business auto exposures are generally limited to transporting workers, equipment and supplies to and from the job site. Since most jobs are small, the handyman may drive to several job sites during one day. The exposure could increase if the radius of operation is large or if there are any service time guarantees. MVRs must be run on a regular basis. Random drug and alcohol testing should be conducted. Vehicles must be well maintained with records kept in a central location.
Workers compensation exposures vary depending on the size and nature of the job. Work with hand tools and sharp objects such as saws, chisels and nails can result in cuts, piercings, and accidental amputation. Electrical work can result in burns or electrocution. When work is done on ladders and scaffolds, there is a potential for severe injury or death from falling, being struck by falling objects, or adverse weather conditions. Back injuries, hernias, strains and sprains can result from lifting.
Small Business Economic Data & Insurance Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. Maybe you want to contribute to the economic growth of your community. Whatever the reason is, if you're thinking about starting a small business, it's important to understand pertinent information relating to small businesses in the United States; namely economic information and insurance regulations. After all, if you want your small business to succeed, you have to understand the economic trends organizations of a similar size in your area.
Likewise, you want to ensure that your small business is well protected with the right business insurance and that you are in compliance with the rules and regulations that pertain to commercial insurance in your region.
Read up on economic statistics and insurance information that relates to small business owners in the United States.
Small Business Economic Data In The United States
Here's a look at some information that was compiled by the Small Business Association (SBA) regarding the economic data that pertains to small businesses in the United States:
- In 2015, small businesses in the United States employed an estimated 58.9 million American workers, or 47.5 percent of the nation's private workforce.
- Largest shares = fewer than 100 employees. The small businesses that employed 100 people or less had the largest share of employment amount small businesses.
- Employment increased by nearly 2 percent. In 2018, employment amongst small businesses increased by 1.8 percent, which is an increase of 1 percent from the prior year.
- Increase in proprietors. In 2016, the number of small business proprietors increased by 2.3 percent.
- In 2015, small businesses were responsible for creating 1.9 million net jobs. Organizations that employed 20 people or less had the largest gains, as they added an estimated 1.1 million net jobs.
- There were 5.7 million loans that were value less than $100,000 issued by lenders in the United States in 2016. These loans were issued under the Community Reinvestment Act.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the incorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $50,347 in 2016.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the unincorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $23,060 in 2016.
Small Business Insurance Information
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage. The SBA recommends the following insurance plans for small business owners:
- Commercial Property Insurance: In the case of an unplanned disaster - fire, flood, vandalism, theft, etc. - this type of coverage will help you avoid paying for the damage out of your own pocket. Even if you rent the property, you should still carry commercial property insurance.
- Commercial Liability Insurance: In the event that a legal situation arises - a negligence lawsuit, for example - commercial liability coverage will provide financial protection. It will cover the cost of legal defense fees, court fees, and even moneys that may be awarded.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: If you operate a vehicle for any activities that are related to your business - transporting and/or delivering goods, or meeting with clients - commercial auto insurance is legally required for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses.
Additional Resources For Contractors & Home Improvement Insurance
Learn about small business contractor's insurance, including what it covers, how much it costs - and how commercial insurance can help protect your contracting business from lawsuits.
- Air Conditioning Systems Installation Repair
- Blacksmith & Metal Workers
- Builders Risk
- Cable And Satellite TV Installer
- Chimney Sweep
- Contractor Liability
- Door And Window Installers
- Dryer Vent Cleaning
- Drywall Contractor
- Electrical Contractors
- Environmental Remediation Contractors
- Fence Installation
- Fire Sprinkler Contractors
- Fire & Water Restoration Contractors
- Flooring Contractor
- Garage Door Installer And Repair
- Glass Contractor
- Glazier Insurance
- House Cleaning
- HVAC Contractor
- Insulation Contractor
- Janitorial Cleaning Services
- Lawn Care
- Paperhanging Contractors
- Plastering And Stucco Contractor
- Pressure Washing Contractors
- Propane And Fuel Dealers
- Rug, Upholstery & Carpet Cleaning
- Sandblasting Contractors
- Security Alarm
- Septic Tank Cleaning
- Siding Contractor
- Solar Panel Installers
- Snow Plow
- Stone And Tile Installer
- Swimming Pool Contractor
- Tree Surgeon
- Tree Trimming
- Upholstery Shop
- Waste Haulers & Garbage Collection
- Water Well Drilling
- Welding Contractor
- Wildlife & Pest Control
- Window Cleaning
A contractor that wants to begin or stay in business, liability coverage must be obtained for the premises or operations, off-site locations and products/completed operations exposures. These coverages may be included as a part of a businessowners policy (BOP) or purchased in a commercial general liability (CGL) policy. Owners and contractors protective liability and railroad protective liability coverages may also be required in certain cases in order for a contractor to obtain a particular job.
Physical damage coverage for tools, supplies and equipment, both on and off the contractor's premises, is a concern. Liability exposures at the premises of the contractor, and at the premises of the contractor's customer, must be properly addressed along with completed operations. Business insurance is very important as is workers compensation insurance protection for employees.
Contractors may work under a general contractor as a subcontractor in larger construction projects - like a new commercial site or residential subdivision. They can work on smaller projects directly with a home owner, usually specializing in renovations or remodels.
In business insurance speak, often called 'artisan contractors' or 'casual contractors', they are involved in many aspects of construction and contracting work – and include various trades and skills. Carpenters, painters, plumbers, electricians, roofers, tree trimmers, landscaping are just a few examples. They may do roofing, fencing, drywall, tile work and many other trades that involve skilled work with tools at the customer's premises.
An artisan contractor performs a single trade or job, and each has its own specialized liability needs with its own exposures to risk and accidents. Contractors liability insurance can offer coverage for bodily injury, property damage, advertising injury and medical payments.
Most artisan contractors should have commercial general liability at the very least, but many need broader coverages - like an umbrella to increase their limits of liability, inland marine policy to protect their tools, workers compensation if they have employees, and even commercial auto if they use vehicles for business purposes.
Quotes from leading small business insurance carriers including: ACE, AmTrust, Chubb, Cincinnati, CNA, Colony, Employers, Evanston, Fireman's, Foremost, Guard, Hanover, Hiscox, Liberty Mutual, LLoyd's of London, Markel, MSA, Nationwide, Penn America, Philadelphia, Prime, Progressive, Scottsdale, The Hartford, Travelers, USLI, Utica First, Western World, Zurich & others.