Insurance for Painting Contractors

Painting contractors do interior and exterior painting of residential or commercial buildings; other structures, such as ships and bridges; street or parking lot striping and signs. Equipment and supplies may include paints, stains, enamels, varnishes, special soundproof or waterproof substances and insulation.

Painters may perform work on new construction, in connection with ongoing maintenance or in a renovation. Typically the work involves surface preparation (including removal of old wall coverings), application of the paint, finish work and clean-up. The removal and disposal of lead-based paints from older buildings and structures presents a lead contamination exposure affecting liability, environmental and workers compensation coverages.

Recommended Insurance Programs for Painters

Minimum recommended coverage:

  • General Liability
  • Inland Marine Coverage
  • Property Insurance
  • Commercial Auto Insurance
  • Workers Compensation

Other coverages to consider for Painters:
Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Contractors’ Equipment (Inland Marine), Umbrella Liability, Commercial Auto Liability, Goods in Transit, Environmental Impairment Liability and Stop Gap Liability.

Common Risks and Needs Associated with Painting Contractors

General Liability Insurance
GL liability at the contractor’s office are generally limited due to lack of public access to the premises. If there is a storage yard or shop operation, the potential fire hazard affects not only the insured but also neighboring businesses or homes. Controls in waste handling and fire control are important. Outdoor storage may create a vandalism risk.

Job-site liability may include removal of old lead-based paint. Additionally, a painting contractor’s employees can cause damage to the client’s other property or do bodily injury to members of the household, the public, or employees of other contractors. Tools, power cords, painting materials and scrap material all pose trip hazards, even when not in use.

If there is work at heights, falling tools or supplies may cause damage and injury if dropped from ladders and scaffolding. Removal of old paint or wall coverings may involve scraping, chemical applications or sandblasting which can damage other property of the client. All exterior painting presents an over spray exposure which may damage surrounding premises, vehicles or structures. All exterior spray painting or sandblasting operations need to be handled with great care.

When interior work is done in buildings, ships, tanks or other structures, ventilation is vital for the safety of clients, passersby and the contractor’s workers since fumes can cause severe bodily injury.

Property Insurance
Property insurance exposures at the painting contractor’s business location are generally limited to those of an office and storage for supplies, tools and vehicles. Extensive shop operations with dip tanks and/or spray booths can result in a potentially catastrophic risk of fire and explosion. Paint, varnishes and thinners are highly flammable.

Poor housekeeping or improper storage or labeling of flammable, hazardous or reactive substances significantly increases the inherent hazards of painting operations. If there are shop operations, the absence of a paint booth with explosion-proof lighting may create additional liability for the business.

Commercial Auto Insurance
Automobile liability is generally limited to transporting workers, equipment and paints and other materials to and from job-sites. Hazards depend on the type and use of vehicles, and radius of operation with the main hazards being upsets or spills while hauling heavy containers of paint. Vehicles may have special modifications or built-in equipment such as lifts and hoists. Age, training, experience and driving records, as well as the age, condition and maintenance of the vehicles, are all important items to consider. Employers who require their employees to drive personal vehicles for work-related activities should purchase hired and non-owned auto insurance.

Inland Marine Coverage
Inland marine exposures include contractors’ tools and equipment, paints and materials in transit as well as installation exposure. The equipment may be limited to brushes, rollers and other hand tools, or there may be sprayers, ladders, scaffolding, cherry pickers and similar equipment as well. There may be rental, leasing or borrowing of equipment due to occasional use of a certain type of equipment.

Workers Compensation Insurance
Workers compensation risks vary based on the size and nature of the job. Caustics, paints and thinners generate fumes that can result in irritation to the eye, nose, throat, skin and lungs. Employees may be exposed to dust and chips containing lead. Back injury, hernia, sprain and strain are all common occurrences for contractors as paint buckets can be heavy. The use of power tools can result in cuts and burns. Casual labor and high turnover may be a problem, especially in the prep and cleanup work.

When painting or other work is done on ladders and scaffolds, there is a potential for injury from falling, being struck by falling objects or adverse weather conditions. The absence of good maintenance of scaffolds, proper use of basic safety equipment, such as properly installed guards, steel-toed shoes and eye protection, and strict enforcement of safety practices may create greater liability. Another serious exposure is the removal of old paint. Lack of a procedure to determine if the paint to be removed is lead-based, or lack of procedures for safe clean-up and disposal of chips and the solvents used to remove lead, adds significantly to the potential for claims.

Business Liability Quotes for Painters

General Liability Shop.com offers lower cost liability insurance quotes for Painters throughout the U.S. Our Painting Contractor programs include all lines of business insurance, as well as our Target programs for business owners policies (BOPs). Contact one of our liability insurance Specialists today at 800-900-8657, or start a quote online now.

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Our Top Carrier Solutions for Painters:
  • Starr Bop
  • USLI
  • Guard
  • AmTrust
  • Crum
  • AIC
  • Painters Business Liability Classification Codes

    Commercial insurance companies use various liability classification systems in order to classify and rate coverage premiums for Painting Contractors. Here are the most common business insurance classifications for Painters:

    Business Liability Category: Artisan Contractors

    SIC Business Insurance Codes:

    • 1721: Painting and Paper Hanging

    NAICS Liability Classifications:

    • 238320: Painting and Wall Covering Contractors
    • 237310: Bridge Painting

    Business ISO General Liability:

    • 98303: Exterior Painting—Above 3 Stories
    • 98304: Exterior Painting—3 Stories or Less
    • 98305: Interior Painting
    • 98306: Painters—Oil or Gas Tanks
    • 98307: Painters—Ship Hulls
    • 98308: Painting Contractor—Shop Only
    • 98309: Painters—Steel Structures and Bridges

    Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:

    • 5037: Painting Contractor—Metal Structures Above 2 Stories
    • 9501: Painters—Shop Only
    • 5474: Painters and Painting Contractors
    • 6874: Federal Code—Painting Ship Hulls