An Extra Handy Insurance for a
TLTR: Learn why insurance for a handyman is essential and what sort of coverage options are viable for a handyman business.
From installing a cat door to fixing faulty cabinetry to everything in between, a handyman offers valuable services to homes and businesses. People will always require the assistance and expertise of professionals when it comes to maintaining the fundamental assets of a property. And that’s a good portion of what a handyman does.
As a handyman you take care of your customers and make sure that their various appliances and fixtures are in good working order. But who makes sure that you’re well taken care of in times of need?
As with any other occupation, there are many things that could go wrong which could lead to some form of financial loss for you. To protect yourself from such losses, a good handyman insurance policy is a must.
In this blog
What Positions Are Available for Handymen to Specialize in?
According to Zippia, 17% of the total employed handymen in the U.S. work in retail, followed by construction (11%), and professional services (10%). About 79% of handymen prefer to work with private establishments over the government or the public.
Specific handyman positions include:
- Home improvement contractor
- Utility worker
- Maintenance worker
- Repair technician
These designations are based on the most common jobs. A handyman’s scope of work is vast and depends on an individual’s skill set and the demand for specific types of work.
What is Handyman Insurance?
Handyman insurance can help protect you and your business when unforeseen events occur, such as injury or property damage. According to Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm, some common risks a handyman might face are:
- Accidental falls
- Injury while installing kitchen equipment
- Working outside of a job site
- Moving heavy loads
There’s also the potential for serious equipment damage due to weather events such as heavy rain or hailstorms.
According to IBISWorld, in 2021, the handyman service had a market size of 4.4 billion U.S. dollars based on revenue alone. That’s a huge sum of money crying out for insurance protection.
For you and your business to be secure, you’ll need the best handyman liability insurance. Luckily, with the right amount of research you can find the handyman liability insurance that will fit your needs or budget. If you can’t or don’t want to find them on your own, an experienced insurance agent can give you a professional hand in finding insurance for your handyman business.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry has the highest number of fatal work injuries. Given the skillset of handymen, they can find themselves in similarly dangerous situations which carry the risk of potential injuries. As a handyman, you can’t afford not to have a financial safety net in place.
Do You Need A Handyman License
The answer is yes.
Having a handyman license is proof that you are approved by the state and customers can trust you. Although the requirements of getting licensed differ from state to state, some of the basic steps to getting licensed are:
Checking State Requirements
Most states will require you to apply for a “contractor’s license.” This license is specifically for occupations defined as a contractor, such as plumbers, electricians, and general contractors.
In some states, there can be instances where you’ll need a contractor’s license if you’re planning to work on projects that cost more than $500. In other states, you may only require a license if you’re undertaking projects above $1,000.
States that don’t require a handyman license are: Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Nebraska, Missouri, and Montana. However, you may need to register at the municipal or county levels.
You can find your state’s license requirements through Simply Business.
Note: If you’re a flexible handyman who can be a plumber, carpenter, contractor, electrician, and more, you might need to have a specific license for each of those specialties. Make sure to check your state’s requirements.
State Training Requirements
It’s a no-brainer that you would need some experience in the field and/or formal training to have a handyman license. Most states require applicants to provide proof of relevant work experience or go through a state-approved training program.
If you’re just getting started, it’s a good idea to reach out to your colleagues in the field to find out what sort of training they took for their license.
Registering Your Business
You can register your handyman business with the state or a local handyman association. The governing bodies will require you to fill out some paperwork which includes:
- A business plan
- Initial capital
- Your service rates
Registering a business is vital as customers are more inclined to work with reliable, licensed and registered handymen.
Submitting Your Licensing Application
Just fill out your licensing application from your secretary of state or the state’s small business department.
Getting your handyman license is a necessary step that will benefit you and your business in the long run. If you provide your services with a proper state license it will reflect well on your business.
What Policies Are Included Within Insurance
For A Handyman Business?
Generally, you should consider the following coverage while getting a specialized insurance plan for handyman services:
General Liability Insurance
As a handyman, you would start with a general liability insurance policy to cover third–party accidents, property damage, or injuries while running your business on clients’ property. The policy will cover costs for repair and replacement of any damaged property, and medical and legal expenses.
Workers Compensation Insurance
Your employees can get injured and may not be able to perform their duties for an indefinite period of time. They can get injured while fixing electrical wiring, handling delicate equipment, or transporting heavy machinery. Workers compensation insurance will protect your business and employees in such situations. This policy will cover their medical expenses and lost wages while they are temporarily unable to work.
Commercial Auto Insurance
At times your business may utilize a vehicle for moving equipment or going to and from a job site. In the event of an accident, commercial auto insurance will cover any damage to the business vehicle, third–party vehicle, and property damage. It will also cover the medical expenses of any injured parties.
Commercial Property Insurance
If you own a business property, it is susceptible to damage from disasters such as fire, rain, floods, and other natural disasters. Commercial property insurance helps you keep your business premises and assets secure and will cover their cost of repair and replacement.
Note: The policy will not cover equipment that was damaged in transportation. Pairing inland marine insurance with your commercial property insurance is a viable option to consider since it covers goods that are damaged while in transit.
Professional Liability Insurance
A client may not be satisfied with your services or may claim that you did not provide the quality of service they expected. This could lead to an expensive lawsuit if the client suffers loss of some sort due to your faulty service. Professional liability insurance can help cover your legal costs against claims of negligence and protect your business.
This is also known as errors and omissions insurance.
Commercial Umbrella Insurance
Let’s assume you incur a $50,000 loss in your commercial auto claims, but your insurance only covers $30,000. In this case, a commercial umbrella insurance policy will extend the existing coverage limit of a policy and protect the exceeded claims amount so that you don’t have to pay for it from your own pocket.
But do note that an umbrella policy doesn’t increase the limit of an insurance policy. It only covers any claims amount that exceeds it.
Business Interruption Insurance (BII)
There may be days where your business cannot operate due to a widespread natural disaster or an unforeseen event. If your business shuts down, you would of course lose income and potentially incur some loss. Business interruption insurance can help you cover the lost revenue due to the temporary shutdown. It will also cover rental costs if you must shift your business and operate at a lower efficiency level.
Keep in mind that a BII is best paired with other insurance policies.
These are some of the viable insurance options for your handyman business. What you require can vary based on your business situation. Always consult with a reliable insurance agent concerning your coverage requirements.
Note: A business owners policy (BOP) can also be a viable option since it’s a packaged insurance policy that can be modified according to your needs.
How Much Does Handyman Insurance Cost?
Handyman insurance costs will vary based on the type of policy that you choose. It’s vital to make sure your contract covers all risks associated with running your business. Usually, a handyman insurance policy includes coverage for property damage, legal fees, settlements, medical expenses, and equipment breakdowns. Taking this coverage into consideration, the cost can depend on factors such as your policy limit, risks faced by your business, the value of the equipment you use, your coverage length and the number of people you employ.
One of the basic requirements in handyman insurance is general liability insurance. A typical general liability insurance plan will cost around $360 to $1,000 annually (which is about $30-$83 per month). Additionally, as per Insureon, it also includes liability coverage of $1,000,000 per claim, a $2,000,000 annual aggregate coverage limit, and a $1,000 deductible.
These estimates are subject to change depending on the state you live in and the prevailing situation. Make sure to consult with your agent to stay updated with the latest information.
Having handyman insurance coverage is the basis of a secure handyman business. The specific insurance coverage you need for your handyman business and the licensing requirements depends on your situation, operations, and business plans. So be sure to write down all your needs and compare policies from multiple carriers to find the best one.
Remember that you can easily get expert assistance for finding the handyman insurance coverage that you need. Feel free to contact an insurance agent if you have any questions.
Did you find the blog helpful? Feel free to reach out to your local insurance agent for additional details for your handyman insurance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my handyman insurance cover the equipment I have recently purchased?
Your newly purchased equipment can be covered under your existing policy if you have enough coverage. Although you might need to make specific changes after consulting with your insurance carrier. There can be instances where your insurance may not automatically provide coverage for items that are not specified in your policy.
Is a handyman and a general contractor the same?
No. A handyman is generalist who is skilled in various tasks around the house and has a multitude of skills. Whereas a general contractor has a specific set of skills ranging from electrical contractors to HVAC contractors. They typically tend to manage projects and have a strong understanding of their trade.
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