Getting Handyman Insurance is an important proactive step to take when building your business. Accidents happen, and the right insurance policy can keep your assets safe. If you are the sole proprietor of your business, your personal assets may even be at risk if you’re involved in an accident or lawsuit.
At the minimum, you should strongly consider General Liability Insurance for your handyman business, and potentially additional policies depending on the specific work you do and assets you want to protect.
Are You Required to Carry Handyman Insurance?
The definition of a handyman and whether or not you’ll need insurance varies wildly from state to state. For example, certain states set regulations that distinguish a handyman from a contractor and that impacts how you handle your insurance.
In California a handyman can’t charge more than $500 for a job. This cap includes fees for labor and materials. To charge more than that, a handyman needs to be licensed as a general contractor. California handymen and contractors aren’t required by law to carry insurance, although the state license board does strongly recommend it. However, if you have any employees you legally have to have workers compensation insurance. Furthermore, a licensed general contractor in California legally has to tell customers whether or not they carry insurance, and how to contact their insurance company.
When you’re looking for insurance, check with your state license board to make sure you understand how it defines a handyman in contrast with licensed contractors, and make sure you know whether or not you’re required to carry insurance.
Being a Handyman Is Risky Business
While insurance is a good idea for all businesses, being a handyman involves certain risks and requirements that make a specialized handyman insurance policy essential financial protection.
You work with power tools, fix basic electrical problems, and fix small plumbing issues. In the event of an accident, these jobs could lead to accidents such as fire or water damage. Because of this risk, it’s important to have thorough insurance coverage. A specialized insurance broker will consider the specific risks you face based on the types of jobs you take when advising you on which policies you need.
Insurance May Land You More Customers
Savvy customers will ask you for your proof of insurance before hiring you. If you’re not insured, you’re putting your customers at risk. If something goes wrong and an accident occurs while you’re on the job, they could be the ones on the line. They would either have to pay for the damages themselves, file a lawsuit, or check to see if their homeowners policy will cover the incident.
What’s more, a good insurance policy can open doors. Retail businesses and apartment complexes may require you to have insurance in order to hire you. The fact is, an insured handyman is a much more appealing hire than an uninsured one.
Even if you’re not required by law to have handyman insurance because of how much you charge or the state you operate in, it’s still a good idea to get insured. It will allow you to proactively prepare for the risks you face on the job and help you land more customers. While handyman insurance is an intangible asset and may not seem as as important as your truck or your tools, it’s a vital part of keeping both you and your finances safe.