Cover Image for Painting Contractor Liability Insurance: What Is It?

Painting Contractor Liability Insurance: What Is It?

Painting contractors often struggle to find quality insurance. From dealing with insurance companies that don't work with painters to issuing complex certificates of liability insurance to customers, it is critical to know what insurance coverage you need and to understand each policy's coverages.

Understanding your insurance won’t just help you get the best price. It will help you obtain the coverage you need to help you protect your income in the event of an accident.

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Why do painting contractors need insurance?

Here are the top three reasons why painters purchase painting contractor liability insurance:

1. Property Owners Or General Contractors Require It

Often, painters need business insurance because their clients (general contractors or property owners) require it. Painters must issue their clients a certificate of insurance each year.

Your customer wants to know that your insurance will cover any damages that arise from your painting operations.

2. A Lawsuit Could Bankrupt Or Harm Your Business

Painters should purchase commercial insurance to protect their business in case they injure someone or harm property and cannot afford to pay for damages out of pocket.

3. State Law Requires It

Painting companies are often required to purchase certain forms of insurance by their state governments. An example of this requirement is workers compensation (often called employers liability) insurance if you have employees, or commercial auto insurance if you have a work truck/van titled in the business name.

What coverages do painting contractors need?

Depending on the size and the type of painting you are doing, you might need other painters insurance policies besides the ones listed below. With that said, most painting contractors will purchase the following four insurance coverages:

Commercial General Liability

General liability insurance for painters covers bodily injury and property damage that you cause to third parties (people other than you or your employees) for which you are legally liable.

Claims that fall under this category are often claims of overspray, paint spills, and ladders damaging property.

Contractor Tools Coverage

This isn’t liability coverage, but it’s usually bundled with your general liability policy and is important to painting contractors.

As a painter, you might keep your tools in your truck, in your garage, or out on the job site. Contractor tools coverage will cover those tools if something happens to them (usually theft). For a small amount each year ($50-$300, depending on your tools and coverage option), your tools can be covered at all the locations where you bring and store them.

Workers Compensation (Employers Liability)

Painting is a physical activity that often requires the use of ladders. Workers compensation will pay for medical bills that your employees have as a result of getting hurt on the job. This policy will also cover lost wages and other benefits, depending on your state.

Commercial Auto Liability

If you have a work vehicle or use your vehicle for commercial purposes, you need a commercial auto policy. This policy covers your liability if you are in an at-fault accident and pays to repair accidental physical damage done to your vehicle, regardless of fault.

For more information on the coverages you might need as a contractor, check out our guide to contractors insurance, where we go over what coverages you will need at each stage in your construction business.

How much does painting contractor insurance cost?

Depending on what type of painting and how much work you do, painting business insurance can start at around $800 per year for general liability and go up as your business grows.

You can always get an instant online quote by clicking here.


If you are a painting contractor looking for different insurance options, let us know! We work with hundreds of contractors each year and partner with over 100 insurance companies to help you get insurance at the best rates.

We specialize in contractors, issuing thousands of certificates each year; we can help you get on the job site quickly and efficiently so that you have to worry about insurance less.

Austin Landes, CIC

About The Author: Austin Landes, CIC

Austin is an experienced Commercial Risk Advisor specializing in property & casualty risk management for religious institutions, real estate, construction, and manufacturing.

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