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Handyman Insurance

Handyman Insurance

If you’re thinking of starting a handyman business, you probably have several questions about handyman insurance such as:

Do I need handyman insurance?
What do I look for?
Where do I get it?
How much does it cost?

These are all questions I will answer in this post.

Most articles online will tell you that you do in fact need handyman insurance.  However, I disagree in some cases such as when you are just starting out.  When I started my handyman business, I didn’t get insurance until about 4 months in.

For one, I wasn’t doing enough business to justify the expense.  Secondly, not a single customer asked me if I was insured.

Instead of  dealing with another expense while just starting out, I decided to simply be careful while performing handyman work for customers.  Since I’m just a one man band, I don’t have to worry about any employees screwing things up either.

If I was to go back and do it all over again, I still wouldn’t get insurance until my income could support it.  So, that leads us to the question…..

Do YOU need handyman insurance?

The answer to this question is going to depend on several factors.  If you answer yes to any of the following questions, it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and get it.

  1. Does your state require it?
  2. Does your target market include apartment complexes?  Eventually, you may get an apartment deal.  If you are just starting out, this is unlikely unless you are strongly targeting them.
  3. Are you planning to do any work on bank owned properties?
  4. Are you planning on getting licensed as a contractor or handyman?  I’m not currently licensed because my state doesn’t require me to be.  I just can’t do jobs over $1,000.
  5. Are you well established and can easily justify the expense?
  6. Do you where a helmet everywhere you go?

If you answer no to all of the following questions, you may to consider holding off.  Some people will say better safe than sorry.  I’m not personally big on insurance.  So If you don’t have to have it for the business you are going after (homeowners), save yourself the time and money and focus on something more important….Like your website.

What should you look for in handyman insurance?

In my state (and in most states) the standard is $1,000,000 of liability coverage for each occurrence with an aggregate of $2,000,000.  This means that the max payout for a year is 2 million.  Hopefully you won’t screw that much stuff up.  And if you do, hopefully you filed as a multiple member LLC or a corporation.

There is also the option to insure your vehicle on the same plan.  I was advised by my insurance agent that this wouldn’t really make sense.  Just ask your agent and if they think this makes sense in your unique situation.

How much does handyman insurance cost?

There are a lot of factors that play into this and prices will vary greatly.  The best way to make sure you aren’t paying too much is to deal with an insurance agent that you got through a referral or personally know and trust.  The agent should get quotes from 3 or 4 companies that they underwrite for so you can see a few quotes.

My insurance policy costs me about $1,000 per year for $1,000,000 of liability insurance.  It’s not a huge expense, and from what I’ve seen, that is on the higher side of what you can expect to pay.

Regardless of what it costs, it is passed on to the customer anyway, and should only add about $1/hr to your hourly rate.

Where do you get it?

The easiest place by far to get a quote is Next Insurance. All you have to do is answer a few questions online and it will give you a customized quote.

You can also check out ACHP (Association of Certified Handyman Professionals).

Or, you can find a local broker. Do a quick google search for “contractor liability insurance” or even “handyman liability insurance” and you should get several local results.

If you can, I recommend asking for a referral to a good insurance agent.  Talk to other contractors or handymen and ask them which agent they used and if they like them.  I was referred to the agent I use and I’m really happy with the service and information I was provided.  It saved me a lot of time and headache trying to research everything myself.  And when I was done, I knew I made the right decision.  Well worth it.

The only reason that I eventually decided to get handyman insurance is I was meeting with a couple of apartment complexes.  I didn’t end up getting the apartment deals because it didn’t make sense long term.  But, the day after I got the insurance, I got a job for a bank owned property and they did require insurance.  Lucky me.

Wan to learn more about insurance for handyman business, check out this live interview I did with an insurance provider.

And be sure to sign up for my e-mail newsletter for exclusive tips to make your handyman business more profitable.

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  • Ed May 6, 2013

    Great article concerning handyman insurance. The Association of Certified Handyman Professionals – ACHP, offers its members general liability insurance through its ACHP Insurance Program. Great for the experienced and startup handyman businesses. Build your credibility and become a member.

    • diana March 3, 2014

      I been reading about this association any feedbacks?

      • Dan Perry March 4, 2014

        Hi Diana,

        Sorry, I have no experience with this. My thoughts are that if I don’t even know what it is, then how will it build my authority?

  • Ed March 16, 2014

    Diana and Dan,

    The Association of Certified Handyman Professionals (ACHP) is a not-for profit handyman trade organization created by the handyman for the handyman. Our members have the general skills and knowledge of the trade. We can be found at: http://www.handymanassociation.org. Feel free to contact us or call if you have any questions regarding handyman insurance, membership, our benefits, etc.

    • Sol April 18, 2017

      Anyone have advice on getting general liability in New York City for Handyman. Cheers

  • Rodney December 3, 2015

    Hi I’m in co springs starting a handyman business can you help with insurance and license please

  • Mike Gardner May 27, 2016

    Licensed or Unlicensed contractors, painter, welders, plumbers and handymen can purchase insurance through this company http://www.contractorsinsuranceco.com or you can contact by phone at 1-800-771-7758

  • John Harbisson July 25, 2016

    We are just interested in mowing and moderate landscaping. I also considerate doing some pressure washing mainly on residential and only single story homes unless the two story is not ridiculous enough to rent a lift or scaffolding.

  • Heather October 17, 2016

    Where do you go through for handyman insurance in Nevada?

    • Dan Perry October 18, 2016

      Just find a local insurance agent who offers insurance to contractors. I can’t remember the name of mine off the top of my head.

  • richard cook October 24, 2016

    like get professional with my business

  • Richard Beal Jr October 30, 2016

    I’m trying to start a handyman service in Southern California. I’m not sure if I’m only allowed to charge 500.00 per customer , per job or per day ? And I also do not know what to charge per hour I’m use to giving deals but I’m trying to start a business so I don’t have to struggle as much I plan on taking the general contractor test for a license in the near future when I can make money. I want to get my DNA and insurance also what is the proper invoice or job walk work order do i use since I’m not able to go over 500 . And can I start a website without DBA and ins.

  • Robert yeadon May 12, 2017

    Where did you get your invoice and est tform

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