Handyman Insurance

Handyman Insurance

A customized insurance policy for a handyman or handyperson is designed to protect you against financial damages, losses, and injuries wherever you work.

Zensurance - Handyman Contractor

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Insurance for handyman contractors

For a jack-of-all-trades or jill-of-all-trades, handyman or handywoman insurance is a comprehensive insurance policy that’s designed to safeguard you from the various risks you are exposed to and provide you with financial support in the event something goes awry.

Whether due to an accident, error, or unforeseen circumstance, insurance for handyman contractors is a policy tailored to meet your unique business needs and provide you with the coverage you need to do your job with confidence.

Handyman insurance is a policy that’s customized to reflect the work you do and protect handyman and handywoman contractors against the liabilities and risks they faces while working at a client’s property. Mistakes can happen and potential lawsuits against your business can be financially devastating. Handyman insurance can ensure you have the financial support you need if you are sued or if an accident or event results in injury or property damage.

Handyman contractors are versatile, talented, fixers with a broad range of skills to repair or conduct maintenance work in residential or commercial settings. Their work may be interior or exterior and can vary from small, odd jobs to more significant tasks such as gutter cleaning and repairs, installations, painting, or plumbing maintenance.

Regardless of the types of handyperson jobs you do, it is vital to have insurance coverage specifically designed to protect you from the risks you encounter and the equipment you own. A comprehensive handyman insurance package typically includes the following coverages:

  • Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance: CGL coverage provides you with financial support for your legal expenses and court-ordered settlements if you are sued by a client for third-party bodily injury or property damage.
  • Tools and Equipment Insurance: All contractors and handymen should have tools and equipment coverage. It covers the cost to repair or replace your tools and equipment if they are damaged by fire or flood or are vandalized or stolen.
  • Pollution Liability Insurance: Pollution liability coverage addresses your liabilities associated with environmental damages or exposure to pollution. It covers third-party bodily injury and property damage claims that occur because of gradual or immediate pollution-related events, including funds for clean-up costs, civil fines, and emergency response fees.
  • Commercial Property Insurance: Whether you work out of a home office or have a commercial office space elsewhere, commercial property insurance provides you with financial coverage for physical loss or damage to your property and contents because of severe weather, fire, flood, theft, or vandalism.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance: Whatever type of vehicle you use for business purposes – a car, pickup, or utility van – requires a commercial auto policy. Although the coverages in a commercial auto policy are similar to those in private-passenger car insurance, the latter is not designed to protect any vehicle used for business purposes from damages or provide coverage if you are in a collision.
  • Cyber Liability Insurance: Protecting your computing systems and data, as well as your customers’ personal and financial data, is essential for all small businesses and self-employed professionals. Cyber liability insurance provides you with support if your computing systems or website is hacked and your data is stolen or compromised. It also provides coverage for accidental data breaches and is designed to pay the cost to repair and restore your software systems damaged by a cyber-attack.

The cost of a policy for a small handyman business working on residential projects typically starts at $450 per year for commercial general liability insurance with a $2 million coverage limit.

Insurance companies consider several factors when assessing your risks and setting a price for your policy, including:

The number of employees you have or if you work independently

  • The types of services you provide and whether it is commercial, residential, or both
  • Your years of experience
  • The tools and equipment you own
  • Your annual and projected revenue
  • Your insurance claims history

Although it may not be required by law, any independent or self-employed handyman would need to have insurance to protect themselves from damage, loss, or the financial fallout of a third-party lawsuit regardless of the services you provide. However, if you are working as a subcontractor, you may need to provide a certificate of insurance to get hired for work, or one of your customers may ask to see that you have proof of insurance.

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Common claims scenarios

handyman liability

Problem: While fixing a customer’s backyard shed, you accidentally damage the electrical system powering their in-ground swimming pool heater.

Outcome: Your commercial general liability insurance may pay the cost to replace the damaged pool heater.

Thief breaking in vehicle

Problem: Your utility van’s transmission broke down on a drive back from a worksite, forcing you to park it at a public parking lot overnight. When you return in the morning, you discover the driver’s door window smashed and all the tools and equipment inside the van are stolen.

Outcome: Your commercial auto policy may pay for the damage to your utility van, and your tools and equipment coverage may cover the cost to replace your stolen tools and equipment.

clothing dryer

Problem: While installing a new clothing dryer vent at a customer’s property, you fail to seal it, leading to mould building up and damaging the walls in their laundry room.

Outcome: Your pollution liability insurance policy may pay the cost to clean up the mould and repair the damages to your customer’s laundry room walls.

Frequently asked questions

One of my customers accused me of theft. Will my handyman insurance policy cover me if they sue me?

If a customer accuses you of theft and decides to pursue civil action against you in court, your commercial general liability insurance coverage may pay for your legal defence expenses as well as any court-ordered settlement.

Am I liable for any subcontractors I hire for a specific project?

If you hire a subcontractor to provide services for a job you have been hired to do, and that subcontractor causes damage to the property and they are not insured, you could be held liable by your customer for third-party property damage. To avoid this situation, ensure any subcontractors you hire carry a valid certificate of insurance, or contact your broker to include them on your policy as an additional insured.

Is there a difference between handyman insurance and contractor insurance?

In general, no, both handyman insurance and contractor insurance are designed to provide self-employed and independent professionals who identify as handymen or contractors similar types of coverage. Where there are differences comes down to the types of coverages you choose, the limits of those coverages, and the deductibles.

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No matter what type of handyman services you provide, err on the side of caution by protecting yourself from the risk of lawsuits or suffering damages and losses resulting from severe weather, theft, or other unexpected events. 

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