In Between interior construction, replair, and miscellaneous type of work is a jack-of-all trades called the Handyman, or if we’re going to operate in the modern world, handyperson insurance (and yes, we’ve written general liability policies to ladies performing general maintenance and repair work, so we know and believe handyperson is a good term to use).
Handypeople perform all sorts of work including fixing railings for decks and porches, leaking sinks, and repairing light fixtures. One mistake you don’t want to make when shopping for liability insurance is buying a policy that’s not geared and made for a handyperson. A policy for interior carpentry isn’t the same, and the coverage isn’t the same regarding possible claims or uses of the risk transfer.
If you’re a person looking to hire a handyman or handylady, keep this in mind. If the person who you’re hiring doesn’t have a policy that allows for handyperson type of work, and just hands a certificate of insurance for say painting, the policy may not cover a loss. It also tells you a lot about a person if they conduct their business properly. While some states require handypersons to be insured and/or licensed, many don’t.
The cost for buying a handyperson general liability insurance policy will vary depending on how big of an operation you are (these policies tend to be priced based on the full-time equivalent number of workers), the amount of revenue your business generates, and the zip code you’re in or operate within. I find most of the handyperson policies I write are for one-man (or lady) bands without employees or subcontractors.
In the case of only one person in the business, I can usually quote and even bind in one phone call. In fact, this type of insurance is so easy, that many people (mistakenly in my opinion) opt to go with some online program, losing out on the valuable insight that otherwise may be gained by talking to me. For example, I’ll ask questions about what type of entity you have, and based on your revenue, make a suggestion as to which entity I would go with (for example, those with less than $10,000 in annual income are often just as well off with a sole proprietorship as with an LLC). Sure, there are liability and potential tax advantages with an LLC, however, if you’re just starting out or operating part-time, it may not be worth the added cost of having an LLC or corporation.
Also, you may think handyman insurance is your best route, however, after we talk, you may find a simple change or two can drastically reduce your insurance premium. That’s why speaking to a professional such as myself, and ideally with one that will take the time to get to know you and your business is critical to adding a partner in your business strategy.
The typical handyman insurance policy is for $1,000,000 million in general liability coverage. I do offer amounts that are less and more, albeit that’s the most common amount handypeople choose. Often, the amount is dictated by what their contractors require. Also, there’s not much savings by getting less coverage, so most choose to get a million dollars worth of liability coverage.
Robert Weinstein is a husband, dad, stock market junkie, real estate broker, and of course…Insurance agent. Interests include my family, economics, marketing, technology, real estate, finance/investing, history, and Asia.
Robert’s insurance expertise includes having the designation of Certified in Long-Term Care (CLTC) and assist in asset protection for families with members entering retirement.
Robert is also an accomplished syndicated writer whose work can be found in TheStreet, MainStreet, CNBC, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Seeking Alpha, MSN Money, The Money Show, Stock Saints, Motley Fool, Fidelity, Minyanville, RealMoney Pro, and many national and international newspapers.