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Painter and decorator insurance

Painter and decorator insurance can help keep your business up and running, even if things go wrong. Discover more about the different types of cover and compare policies to find the one that best suits your insurance needs.

Painter and decorator insurance

When you're focused on transforming your clients’ homes, it's easy to forget to protect yourself, but the reality is painting and decorating can be a risky job.

You’re often working at height, with chemicals and around powerful tools. What if you fall from your ladder and injure yourself? Or trip over some equipment on site? There’s also accidental damage to consider. Spilling paint over a customer’s carpet could prove costly.

Plus, there’s all your equipment — if it’s stolen and you don’t have cover, you could be left significantly out of pocket or even unable to work.

It's important to find the right painters insurance to cover mishaps and accidents that might happen while you're working and protect you from theft.

What insurance do painters and decorators need?

The type of painter and decorator insurance you need will vary depending on the scale of your business and the type of work you do.

Some types of insurance are a legal requirement. For example, if you employ anyone who isn’t a direct family member, even if it’s only one person, you must have employers' liability insurance. Other types of business insurance, such as public liability insurance, are optional, so you'll need to decide if they’re right for you.

Business insurance often packages together different types of cover in a combination that suits you.

Some of the different type of insurance you should consider include:

  • Business contents insurance – will typically cover you for loss, theft or damage to any tools or equipment.
  • Stock insurance – covers items you’re storing for future use. For example, if you’ve bought all the paint for a big upcoming job.
  • Business interruption insurance – can help compensate you for loss of profits if your business is unable to operate for a period for some unexpected reason.
  • Van insurance – if you use a van to drive to and from jobs and transport equipment, you’ll need appropriate van insurance.
  • Public liability insurance - cover against claims if someone is injured or property is damaged as a result of your work. For example, if a customer trips over your equipment or you spill paint on a carpet.
  • Personal accident insurance – can help provide compensation if you or an employee are injured and unable to work.
  • Home office insurance – if you run your business from your home.
  • Employers’ liability insurance – could cover you if one of your employees becomes ill or is injured as a result of working for you. If you employ one or more people or are a limited company with multiple directors, it's a legal requirement to have cover. If you're not a limited company, it's not a legal requirement to have employers' liability insurance if the employees are immediate family members, though if a policy is in place it would still cover immediate family members working for you.

What does painter and decorator insurance cover?

Exactly what is covered by your painter and decorator insurance will depend on the type and level of cover you choose and your specific business needs.

To make sure you have the best protection it’s worth considering the following factors before taking out a policy:

  • Risk levels – being a painter or decorator can be a risky profession. But your personal risk level will depend on the nature of the work you undertake. Do you typically work outside, at a height or on large sites, for example?
  • Staff numbers – do you have employees or use casual labour
  • Equipment – depending on the type of painting you do, you may require expensive, specialist kit.

What won’t painter and decorator insurance cover?

There are a number of things that typically won’t be covered by painter and decorator insurance. For example, your insurance provider is unlikely to pay out for:

  • Deliberate acts that lead to illness or injury
  • Injuries that happen in transit
  • Employees who are working offshore.

But remember, every policy is different. Be sure to read yours carefully so you fully understand what your painter and decorator insurance covers.

What if I’m a self-employed painter and decorator?

Over 700,000 workers in the construction industry are self-employed. If you’re one of them, you’ll need to sort out your own painter and decorator insurance, as you won’t have an employer to do it on your behalf.

You may also want to consider taking out these additional insurance options to protect your income and business, and help keep your family financially secure:

Author image Anna McEntee

What our expert says...

“There’s a high level of risk attached to being a painter or decorator and accidents can easily happen. That’s why it’s important to ensure you’re properly protected.

“Having public liability insurance can help to protect you and your business if the unexpected happens.”

- Anna McEntee, Insurance comparison expert

How much does painter and decorator insurance cost?

How much insurance for painters and decorators costs depends on several things, including:

How much cover you decide to opt for

How much excess you choose to pay

The size and location of your business

What do I need to get a quote?

When you start a painters and decorators insurance quote, you’ll need to have a few things to hand, including:

  • Your business details and number of employees
  • The value of your tools and equipment
  • The level of cover you’re after
  • Details of when you last claimed.

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Frequently asked questions

Why do painters and decorators need public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance for painters and decorators can cover legal and compensation costs if a member of the public makes a claim against you for injury or property damage.

You might think that sounds dramatic, but if someone trips over a dust sheet and injures themselves, you could find yourself facing a big damages claim.

There are a few things worth bearing in mind when considering public liability insurance:

  • Public liability insurance for decorators isn’t a legal requirement, but most businesses that deal with the public choose to have it for peace of mind.
  • You’ll need to decide what level of public liability cover you want. This can range from £1 million to £10 million. It sounds a lot, but legal costs can mount up, especially when personal injury is involved.
  • Public liability insurance can help show your clients they’re in safe hands.

What happens if I don’t have employers’ liability insurance?

You risk being fined £2,500 for every day you don't have employers’ liability insurance. You could also be fined £1,000 for not displaying your employers’ liability insurance certificate, or for refusing to show it to’ inspectors if they happen to ask for it.