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Updated: 7 days ago

cartoon handy man fixing things around a house

When you’re setting up your business or taking a yearly look at your plan and provisions, insurance will likely come up. Some things, like licensing, depend on the work you’re doing, how big your jobs are, and where you live. Other things, like protection against injury or property damage, are always important to factor in. Contractor vs. Handyman While a handyman may have a lifetime of experience and know a good deal about specific trades, without an official contractor’s license they are limited in the scope of work they can do. Certain tasks––like electrical, plumbing, and HVAC work––generally require licensure in that field. This stipulation is aimed at maintaining quality standards, and while it isn’t perfect, it makes sense. Because a contractor or subcontractor license carries a certain weight and knowledge base with it, folks with a license can take on bigger, more complex jobs. But with more authority comes more responsibility. Oftentimes to hold a valid license, contractors are required to provide proof of insurance coverage. The types they carry could vary, based on the type of work they do and whether they have a crew, but insurance is always necessary. Does a Handyman Need Contractors Insurance? The quick answer is yes. But let’s get into exactly why. If you’re self-employed or you supplement your income with odd jobs here and there, you might not think that insurance is all that important. After all, without a crew or much in the way of overhead costs, it’s just you that’s impacted if something goes wrong, right? Nope. Regardless of whether you work for a multinational corporation or are a one-person show, mishaps can have wide-reaching consequences. If you’re working on a minor repair job and lose control of a tool or equipment and end up destroying or damaging a client’s property or causing injury, they could legally ask for reimbursement from you. The same is true if your work is found to be faulty in any way and it ends up leading to property damage or injury. Without insurance, the price of repair or recompense comes straight out of your pocket. If you get injured on a job, it could be a small thing that heals in no time. But it could also be a debilitating fall that puts you out of commission for months. Without insurance, you’d have no recourse to recoup lost wages and medical costs. Remember too that these situations don’t just affect you, either––they directly affect your family. What Kind of Insurance Do I Need? The answer to this common question could partially depend on whether or not you hold a contractor’s license, but there are some general protections that everyone might need, from contractor to handyman. General Liability: will help to pay for accidental third-party injury or property damage Commercial Auto: covers you if you are in an accident while commuting to a jobsite, transporting materials, or otherwise using your vehicle for work Business Owner’s Policy: covers commercial buildings and personal property Workers Compensation: protects employees in the case of on-the-job injury Of course there could be another insurance that better fits your circumstances, but in general, these four coverage options will offer robust protection from all angles. Contractors insurance typically takes these individual policies and bundles them into one package, so yes––if you’re working in a customer’s home as a handyman, it’s always a good idea to carry contractors insurance. If you’re a general or independent contractor, it’s often required. Specific legal requirements vary by state, but no matter where you are, clients will always appreciate the all-around security that a solid insurance policy brings. And that just might give you an edge over competitors and some welcome extra business. Partner for Protection When you’re out there replacing fixtures, making repairs, and generally improving customers’ homes and properties, be sure that you (and they) are protected against the worst what-ifs. Contractors by Zinc is here to help iron out details and fill in blanks to get you the best coverage paired with affordable rates, for handyfolks and contractors alike. Reach out today to chat with Josh Freet and his team to learn more and get your own personalized quote.


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This blog post does not provide insurance advice and is intended for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional insurance advice from a licensed representative. Never ignore professional insurance advice because of something you have read in this blog post. Contact your licensed representative if you have any questions about your insurance policy.

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