What Does Painters And Decorators Insurance Cover?

Caeva O'Callaghan | December 7th, 2021


When you set up shop as a painter or decorator, you’ll need specialist painters insurance in place. But what’s included in your policy, and what isn’t?

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 minimum, but you can also add cover for tools, materials and more.

In this article, we’ll answer these questions:

  • I’m a house painter, what insurance do I need?
  • Am I covered for public liability?
  • Are sub-contractors covered under my insurance?

As trades go, painting and decorating is one of the lower-risk professions. However, you will still be working at heights and be exposed to other risks, so it’s worth getting comprehensive cover to protect you.

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

Comprehensive painters or decorators insurance will allow you to work in others’ homes safely, and will cover faulty materials as well as the costs of repairs if unintentional damage is done. This applies not only to your clients’ property, but also to members of the public.

Accidents are the number one reason painters and decorators need insurance. Going up ladders, working with tools and equipment, loose cables and noxious substances are all part of the risks you face when you paint a house, interior or exterior.

Furthermore, if you don’t have the necessary insurance in place, you may find it difficult to find clients willing to employ you. Having good insurance is the hallmark of a professional who is serious about their business. Not to mention, if things go wrong, you could find yourself disastrously out of pocket.

At a minimum, you will need three types of liabilities included in your insurance policy to cover your basic needs:

  • Public Liability
  • Products Liability
  • Employers’ Liability

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 public liability?

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.

If you aren’t minimally insured with public liability cover in place, if or when an accident happens, you would find yourself having to pay out of pocket.

Decorators do a lot of work around members of the public, and that work is extremely risky. You may be working at heights, with heavy equipment, increasing noise levels and unstable structures.

You may think you only have one occupation – a painter or decorator. However, you probably do a wider variety of tasks than these titles cover. From moving furniture to advising clients on colour schemes, to working around heritage architecture or other valuables, your work is varied and riskier than you think.

If a member of the public gets under your feet and hurts themselves, your public liability insurance should cover any associated costs – as long as you took enough safety measures and weren’t negligent.

Safety measures you always need to use – even if you have public liability insurance in place – include using adequate protection for furniture and floors, not leaving power tools in the open, being careful with toxic paints and solvents, and so on.

Are sub-contractors covered under my insurance?

If you employ sub-contractors, then we can arrange contingency cover for this risk if their own employer does not have liability insurance.

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.

You’ll need to give your insurer a lot of information to make sure everyone’s clear. Your insurer may not agree with your assessment of whether a subcontractor is labour-only or bona fide, so be as clear as you can. In most cases, you’ll need to check that any bona fide subcontractors also have their own public liability insurance.

If you want to know more about painters and decorators’ insurance, give us a call as soon as you can.

If you employ sub-contractors, then we can arrange contingency cover for this risk if their own employer does not have liability insurance.

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.

You’ll need to give your insurer a lot of information to make sure everyone’s clear. Your insurer may not agree with your assessment of whether a subcontractor is labour-only or bona fide, so be as clear as you can. In most cases, you’ll need to check that any bona fide subcontractors also have their own public liability insurance.

If you want to know more about painters and decorators’ insurance, give us a call as soon as you can.

YOUR LOCAL TRADESMAN INSURANCE SPECIALISTS

JEAN MARC ROLLAND

NAVAN

RACHEL DIXON

DUNDALK

LINDA WEST

MONAGHAN

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