Professional painters make our work and living spaces look beautiful. 

These skilled individuals specialize in applying paint, coatings, and finishes to various surfaces. They transform the appearance of spaces by enhancing or changing the colour and texture of walls, ceilings, and other surfaces, focusing on improving the appearance, protecting and preserving exterior surfaces from weather, deterioration, and other environmental factors.

But as with any profession or business, there are liability risks. An exterior painting insurance policy can offset the cost of those risks if you need to file a claim.

Professional painters at work.

Download Our FREE Insurance Whitepaper

Learn everything you need to protect your small business.

Your email address will be used by Zensurance to provide latest news, offers and tips. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Zensurance - Small Business Insurance Guide

What Liability Risks Do Exterior Painters Face?

Exterior painters face various liability risks in the course of their work. These risks can lead to financial losses, legal claims, and potential damage to your reputation. Some common liability risks an exterior painter may encounter includes:

  • Property damage: One of the primary risks exterior painters face is causing damage to a customer’s property or adjacent properties. Accidental paint spills and overspraying damages surfaces, windows, landscaping, or fixtures.
  • Bodily injury: Exterior painters may be exposed to the risk of bodily injury to themselves, their employees, or others on a job site. For example, falls from ladders, slips, trips, or being struck by equipment or falling objects, are all real hazards. If someone is injured due to the painter’s negligence or unsafe work conditions, a third-party bodily injury claim may be filed against them.
  • Negligence or poor work: If a client alleges an exterior painter performed the work negligently or did a subpar job, you can be sued. You can be liable for the costs of correcting the work or damages caused by improper surface preparation, inadequate paint application, or failure to follow industry standards or deliver on your promises.
  • Environmental damage: Working with paints, coatings, and other chemicals brings additional risks. If proper precautions are not taken, environmental damage, such as spills or improper disposal of hazardous materials, can happen. Such incidents can lead to significant cleanup costs and legal consequences.

What’s Included in an Exterior Painting Insurance Policy?

A professional exterior painting insurance policy includes three basic coverages. They are:

  • General liability insurance: A fundamental coverage for exterior painters. It protects you against third-party claims for bodily injury or property damage arising from your painting activities. For example, if you accidentally damage a client’s property or a passerby gets injured due to your work, general liability insurance can help cover the associated costs.
  • Tools and equipment insurance: Your transportable tools and equipment – ladders, paint brushes, safety gear, extension poles – can be damaged, vandalized, or stolen. Tools and equipment insurance covers those losses if they occur.
  • Pollution liability insurance: Pollution liability insurance covers you for environmental liabilities associated with exposure to pollution while working. It pays third-party claims against bodily injury, property damage, and legal and cleanup expenses caused by hazardous pollutant exposure from your operations while completing a project and after your work is done.

There may be additional coverages you need to include in your policy to enhance your protection, including:

  • Commercial auto insurance: The vehicles you use, such as vans, trucks, and trailers, need commercial auto insurance. Suppose you’re involved in a car accident. In that case, it covers third-party liability and accident benefits as well as coverage for your vehicle if you’re at fault or not for an accident and funds to pay for damages to your vehicle if involved in a hit-and-run or a collision with an uninsured motorist. Most private-passenger car insurance policies don’t cover accidents and damages involving a vehicle used for business purposes.
  • Professional liability insurance: Also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, professional liability insurance covers you against claims of errors, mistakes, or negligence in your painting services. For instance, if a client alleges you made a mistake in colour selection or improperly applied the paint, professional liability insurance can help cover legal defence costs and potential damages.
  • Commercial property insurance: Commercial property insurance covers damage or loss to your office or workplace, your business contents, and supplies resulting from theft, fire, water damage, vandalism, or severe weather. 
  • Cyber liability insurance: Cyber insurance covers expenses and damages to your computing systems and software if you suffer a cyber-attack or a data breach that exposes your customers’ confidential information. For example, if a hacker infiltrates your network and steals data, compromises your point-of-sale (POS) system, or takes over your website and demands a ransom, cyber liability insurance can help pay for the damages.

3 Reasons Why Exterior Painters Need Insurance and How to Get Covered

Whether you’re doing residential or commercial painting work, an exterior painting insurance policy provides you with three benefits:

1. Protection for You and Your Customers

Accidents can happen to any professional painter. A comprehensive insurance policy can cover damage and loss expenses that you or one of your customers suffer.

2. Covers Your Equipment and Materials

You can’t complete your work if your painting supplies, equipment, or tools are damaged, lost, or stolen. However, insurance can reimburse you for those items.

3. Instills Confidence in Your Customers

Whether or not your customers ask if you’re insured, they probably assume you are or expect you to be. Regardless, showing them your certificate of insurance instills confidence and builds trust.

Get a free quote for exterior painting insurance by filling out our online application for a free quote. With more than 50 insurance providers in our partner network, we can get the low-cost policy you need and tailor it to suit your needs.

Recent Posts

Share This Story:

About the Author: Ryan Insalaco

Ryan Insalaco is a licensed broker and Practice Lead, Digital Solutions with a background in medical malpractice insurance at Zensurance.