Does Painter and Decorator Cover Fire Damage Caused By Me?

Caeva O'Callaghan | February 2nd, 2024

A fire is a serious risk on any renovation site. But will your painters’ insurance cover it?

Yes it does – as long as the fire is started accidentally during the course of your work.

Painters and decorators’ insurance covers you for the specific risks you’ll face in your unique line of work. It will cover public liability at a minimum, but you can also add cover for tools, materials, and more.

In this article, we’ll cover the following questions:

  • I’m a house painter, what insurance do I need?
  • Am I covered for fire damage?
  • Do I need extra insurance as a painter and decorator?

You may think that painting and decorating is one of the lower-risk professions. However, as toxic materials and working at heights is involved, the risks can be significant.

I’m a house painter, what insurance do I need?

When you have comprehensive painters and decorators’ insurance, this will allow you to work in others’ homes safely, and will cover the costs of repairs if unintentional damage is done. This applies not only to your clients’ property, but also to members of the public.

Painters and decorators use flammable materials and heat to remove old paint, varnish and wallpaper, so accidental fires are a real risk. Noxious substances, going up ladders, working with tools and equipment and loose cables also pose a serious threat to your and others’ safety.

If you don’t have the necessary insurance in place, you will probably find it difficult to find clients who are happy to employ you. Having good insurance is the hallmark of a serious professional. Not to mention, if things go wrong, you could find yourself disastrously out of pocket.

Bear in mind, there is a spray painting exclusion on some insurance policies – for instance the Axa policy specifically excludes spray painting. On the other hand, Optis and Broker Options have no such exclusion. Call us up and we can find a policy that exactly fits your needs at the lowest price.

Am I covered for fire damage?

Yes, if you purchase any standard painters or decorators policy. Public liability insurance is a requirement for all tradesmen who operate in Ireland. It’s meant to protect clients, visitors and passers by in the event that they are injured or their property is damaged and the tradesmen are responsible.

This means that if a fire starts on site and it’s because of the work you’re doing, your insurance will cover you for repairs and replacements.

Everyone in business is exposed to the possibility of a claim being made against them and a painter and decorator is no exception. Awards for personal injury can be high and even the cost of mounting a defence against a frivolous claim can be costly. Your painter and decorators’ insurance will be able to protect you against these costs.

Do I need extra insurance as a painter and decorator?

If you have employees working for you, you will need employers’ liability insurance to cover you against claims made by employees in respect of your legal liability for death, disease and personal injury arising during the course of their employment.

From an insurance point of view, you may have three types of people working for you:

  • Employees who work with you permanently or part-time
  • ‘Labour-only’ subcontractors, who work under your supervision using your tools and materials
  • Bona fide’ subcontractors, who typically make their own decisions and use their own tools and materials

If you have any employees or labour-only subcontractors, you’re legally required to have employers liability insurance. This protects anyone who works for you against accidents, theft, and other workplace risks.

In addition, if you provide any professional services for a fee such as decorating advice and design, then you may wish to consider professional indemnity insurance. This type of insurance will protect you against claims arising from the advice you give.

Wondering what painters’ insurance is right for you? Just give us a call, and we can help you find the insurance you need.








All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.