Being a handyman can be a lucrative and pleasant profession. If you are a handyman you may be unsure about your insurance requirements.
Do you need insurance? What kind of insurance is required? This article will answer all your questions about handyman insurance in Texas so you can protect yourself, your employees, your property, and your customers.
Consider this your complete guide to handyman insurance in Texas. Keep reading to learn about what this insurance covers, what it does not cover, how much it costs, and more!
What Is Handyman Insurance?
Handyman insurance is a type of liability insurance that protects laborers who work around residential (and sometimes commercial) properties. Handyman insurance can apply if you are replacing kitchen fixtures, patching up drywall, or replacing a faucet.
Handyman insurance can cover many situations, whether you break something while on the job or get injured on the way to a project. But what handyman insurance can cover will be elaborated on in the sections below.
Handyman vs. Contractor
It’s important to note that handyman policies and contractor insurance are not always the same. In Texas, a contractor will have a registered license that certifies their skills and training. Contractors do more complex and specific jobs, sometimes building and starting projects, rather than just fixing things.
A handyman is a more casual title that does not imply any licensing or certifications. These workers can typically handle a wide range of smaller tasks around your property, like minor plumbing, HVAC, or electrical issues. Typically, contractors have a signed contract with the client, whereas handymen do not.
What Does Handyman Insurance Cover?
Like any insurance, what policy you choose will determine what you can receive coverage for. Some handyman insurance policies are simple and do not cover much, while others are comprehensive and can help cover the cost of a wide range of incidents and accidents.
Below are some possible handyman insurance policies you can get to protect you in the event of an accident.
Business Interruption Insurance
Business interruption insurance is another option. This insurance will cover lost income if your business cannot operate for some reason.
If you are injured, lose your vehicle, or lose necessary equipment, this insurance can supplement your income until you can work again. It may cover disaster-related interruptions, personal injuries, or equipment problems.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Most handymen have a personal vehicle they rely on to get to and from jobs and transport their equipment.
If you use a car or truck for business purposes, you can get it covered under handyman insurance when you add commercial auto insurance to a policy. The insurance policy can cover the costs if the vehicle needs repairs due to wear and tear or an accident.
General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance is usually one of the more costly policy options but covers a great deal. This type of insurance will pay for damages related to non-employee injury, third-party bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, and advertising injury.
When buying handyman insurance, you should strongly consider opting for this type of policy that can protect you in many scenarios.
As a handyman, you probably have a lot of equipment. From paintbrushes to drills to buzzsaws, the equipment can be a few dollars or a few thousand dollars.
You can add equipment insurance to a handyman insurance policy to protect your tools and supplies. If any tools or items get damaged during a job, this policy can cover the cost of repairing the equipment or replacing it.
Broken or damaged equipment can result in lost jobs, clients, and money. This insurance can be a lifesaver. This insurance can also apply to damage to your equipment that occurs on the way to or from a job. Inland marine insurance protects you en route and may be an additional policy, depending on the insurance company.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
This policy does not need to be part of your insurance if you do not have any employees. If you run a repair business with employees, workers’ compensation can cover the cost of an employee’s medical bills and lost wages.
For example, if one of your employees is injured using a malfunctioning piece of equipment, you may be held responsible for their medical bills and have to pay them for the time they cannot work. A workers’ compensation policy can cover these costs.
Business Owners Policy
If you technically own a repair business, you can acquire BOP insurance. BOP insurance extends a general liability policy to include property damages. If you accidentally damage aspects of a commercial building or personal property, this insurance will cover the cost of the damages.
What Handyman Insurance Does Not Cover
Since you have many options when selecting a handyman insurance policy in Texas, some of the items below may be covered. But general liability and standard handyman insurance will not cover damages, injuries, or lost wages due to the following things:
- Earthquakes: Extremely comprehensive handyman insurance plans may cover natural disasters that interrupt your business, but it is not common. Most insurance plans do not cover the damages caused by natural phenomena, like storms and earthquakes.
- Floods: Natural floods are typically not covered under handyman insurance. However, if you or one of your employees causes a flood in someone’s home or on a commercial property, your handyman policy may cover these flood damages. It depends on the cause of the flood and how you were involved.
- Government Seizures: If the government seizes your equipment or business, an insurance policy will not cover lost income or other related costs.
- Infectious Diseases: Depending on where you or your employees contracted an infectious disease, handyman insurance in Texas may not cover the cost of medical bills and lost income. If you infect a customer or third-party while on the job, this will likely not receive coverage under any handyman insurance policies.
- Intentional and Fraudulent Acts: If you misrepresent yourself in any way that a customer can prove, you may be held responsible for damages that were due to your fraud. For example, if you lie about having a license and then cause damage due to your lack of skills, you will be responsible for the damage.
- Wrongful Termination: Because a handyman customer is not technically an employer, you have no grounds for seeking wrongful determination compensation. If a customer fires you without reason, no insurance will cover the cost of the lost income or wasted materials.
Insurance policies can be complicated, so it’s not guaranteed that your handyman insurance policy will not cover what is listed above. But it’s also not guaranteed to cover all damages and costs.
Who Should Have Handyman Insurance?
Many people qualify for handyman insurance. Getting handyman insurance is wise if you consider yourself a handyman or jack of all trades. Even if you only do small jobs infrequently, something can always go awry. If you perform any of the following tasks, consider getting handyman insurance:
- Carpentry work
- Ceiling fan installation
- Concrete work
- Decks and patios installation or repair
- Door installation
- Drywall installation
- Electrical work
- Floor installation and repair
- General maintenance
- Gutter cleaning
- Home security installation
- Moving furniture and other items
- Plumbing repairs
- Furniture staining
- Waste and junk removal
- Window installation
Even if you’re hired to do something as simple as changing a lightbulb or unclogging a toilet, there is always a chance something could happen. And the jobs above are just the most common handyman tasks, but many other projects could be protected under handyman insurance.
Handyman Insurance Requirements in Texas
In Texas, handymen who perform minor jobs do not require a license. But contractors need a license to perform jobs. Many people ride the line between handymen and contractors. So, if you’re unsure what you qualify as, it’s best to get play it safe and get a license and adequate insurance.
The licensing and certification requirements also vary by city and county in Texas. If you want to get the proper license to protect yourself, you may need a:
So if you only work on carpentry or tiling projects, you do not need a license. But if you do any rewiring or plumbing installation, it’s best to get a license and work above board.
When it comes to handyman insurance, Texas does not have any requirements. So if you want to risk it and perform handyman projects without any insurance, you are legally allowed to do so.
On the other hand, if you qualify as a contractor and acquire a contractor’s license, you may be required to have insurance. Typically, places in texas require people with a contractor’s license, no matter what kind of license, to have commercial general liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
Other insurance policies are options and these requirements vary, depending on where in Texas you perform the work.
Because of these insurance requirements, many handymen opt not to acquire a contractor’s license, saving them money. But not getting insurance is a risky move and inadvisable, especially if you’re performing more complex and dangerous tasks.
To summarize, handymen do not have any insurance or licensing requirements in Texas, but contractors do. If you are caught performing contractor tasks without the proper license and insurance, you can face serious fines, civil penalties, or injunctions. This situation can result in government seizures, as mentioned above.
Even worse, if there was fraud, theft, or injury involved, you may be criminally liable, possibly facing prison time.
Cost of Handyman Insurance
The cost of a handyman insurance policy will depend on what policy and coverage options you choose. On average, handymen in Texas pay between $60 and $120 per month for general liability and related policies.
The more coverage you add to your policy, the more the insurance will cost every month. You may also be quoted higher due to several important factors. The following factors will impact the cost of your handyman insurance in Texas, so keep these in mind when you receive your quote.
Where in Texas you operate will influence the cost of your insurance. Some areas in Texas have different handyman and contractor requirements, resulting in higher insurance premiums. You may also get a higher quote if you serve a large area in texas that encompasses many cities.
The more employees you have, the higher your insurance will be. If you have ten employees, you have to have an insurance policy that can cover workers’ compensation for all of them, making your premium higher. How much you pay your employees will also impact the cost. The higher your payroll is, the higher your insurance quote will be.
Business assets include your work vehicle, tools, equipment, and supplies. If you have an abundance of assets or assets worth a lot of money, it will increase your insurance cost. A business property will also increase your premium, but most handymen do not have business property, like a store or shop.
As mentioned, what policy you choose and what coverage you want will substantially impact the cost of handyman insurance. The more coverage you want, the more you will have to pay.
The deductible you choose affects your premium with all insurance. Selecting a higher deductible will lower your monthly premium. But a high deductible means you must pay more out of pocket if you need to use your insurance.
Lastly, your prior claims history with your business will factor into your quote. If you’ve made many business insurance claims in a short time or seem accident-prone, the insurance company will increase your premium because they expect there will be an incident.
Paying insurance is no fun, but it’s much worse to get caught in a bad situation without any insurance. You can protect yourself, your employees, your assets, and your customers by purchasing quality handyman or contractor insurance.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, and many customers appreciate handymen who have insurance policies. Consider acquiring handyman insurance in Texas so that when the worst happens, you have the policy to fall back on.