Running your own handyman service is highly rewarding, but it also comes with a considerable amount of risk. If a client trips over your ladder and falls, for example, you might be held legally responsible for their medical bills, which can quickly add up to more than you earn as a handyman in an entire year.
Handyman insurance is a low-cost way to avoid these risks, offering surprisingly affordable coverage that starts at less than $1 per day. You can even purchase insurance by the project if your handyman work is still a side hustle that only keeps you occupied on weekends. Many companies also provide options to protect the vehicle and tools you use for jobs.
Our review of the best handyman insurance looked at 15 leading small business insurers and identified the top contenders in six different categories based on coverage, price, service, and more.
The 6 Best Handyman Insurance Companies of 2021
Best Overall: Next Insurance
Between low premiums, straightforward policies, and fast online quotes, Next Insurance was an easy choice as the best overall insurance for handymen.
Optional coverage for tools and equipment
Save 10% when bundling multiple types of coverage
Easy to get a quote and sign up online
Same-day coverage available
Hard to customize coverage
Doesn’t offer commercial property insurance
Limited coverage options in some states
Many companies offer fully digital insurance these days, but Next Insurance’s streamlined tools provide the best overall insurance experience for small business owners such as handymen. From getting a quote to managing your policy, Next Insurance makes it easy to make sure you have the right coverage at an affordable price making it our top overall pick.
Next Insurance policies are built from a foundation of general liability and errors and omissions coverage, which starts at $37.50 per month. Handymen can choose to add coverage for tools and equipment for as little as $12.50 per month and commercial vehicles starting at $25.00 per month. Workers’ compensation coverage is also offered with rates as low as $62.50 per month. A discount of up to 10% is applied when bundling two or more of these policies.
Purchasing a policy through Next Insurance is fast and easy, with same-day coverage available and proof of insurance provided instantly. Unlike some commercial insurers that make you contact your agent to file a claim, Next Insurance lets you choose between submitting claims online or calling a representative. Most claims are resolved within 48 hours.
Unfortunately, Next Insurance doesn’t currently offer commercial property insurance and gives fewer customization options than some competitors. With that said, the coverages that are made available should be more than sufficient for just about any handyman. Next Insurance is licensed in all 50 states, although certain types of coverage may be unavailable in some locations.
Best Coverage Options: The Hartford
Handymen will find more than a dozen coverage options through The Hartford, making it the best insurance if you need tailored protection for your business.
Over a dozen personalized coverages for handymen
Multiple discounted policy bundles
Per-project handyman coverage available in 17 states
One of the country’s largest workers compensation providers
Outdated digital tools
Certain coverage only available through an agent
Not available in Alaska, Hawaii, or New Jersey
Many handymen will be satisfied with a general liability policy and coverage for their tools and vehicle. But for those who want even more protection, The Hartford is the best place to look. Aside from standard small business policies, The Hartford offers a wide range of additional options like inland marine, business income, and installation coverage earning our top spot for coverage options. If you choose to bundle two or more of these policies together, you may be eligible for a discount.
If you decide to scale your handyman business and hire employees to work under you, The Hartford is a great place to go for workers’ compensation coverage. In fact, the company is one of the country’s largest workers compensation providers with over a century of experience writing policies.
The Hartford also sells a per-project option through Putty, its handyman insurance brand that was just launched in 2020. This can be considerably more affordable than a standard monthly policy if you only work on occasional projects. A four-hour job with $300,000 in coverage, for example, would cost just $7. Unfortunately, Putty is only available in 17 states as of January 2021; other small business policies from The Hartford can be purchased in every state except Alaska, Hawaii, or New Jersey.
While all of these coverage options are extremely convenient, purchasing them might not be. Only a few basic small business policies can be purchased online. To add more specific coverage, you’ll need to go through an agent.
Best for Short Term Coverage: Thimble
Thimble stands out as the best option for short-term coverage with flexible policy terms that start by the hour.
On-demand policies available by the hour, day, or month
No deposit required
Convenient online quotes
Affordable coverage options
Includes a free subcontractor management tool
Long list of excluded activities
Coverage options vary by state; not available in New York or Washington
No commercial auto or property policies offered
Only two limits to choose from with most policies
Depending on how much time you actually spend at job sites as a handyman, it might not make financial sense to pay for 24/7 insurance coverage on a monthly basis. Thimble offers the most flexible policy terms for handymen with on-demand coverage by the hour, day, or week, although standard monthly plans are available, too. This is why it wins for best short-term coverage.
Pricing starts at only $5 per hour and takes just 60 seconds to purchase, according to the company. Thimble is also one of few commercial insurers to not require a deposit when you sign up for coverage.
Thimble’s mobile app makes it easy to grab coverage at a moment’s notice whenever you get a call for a job. Handymen can even take advantage of a free digital tool to manage any subcontractors they may work with from time to time and make sure each one is in compliance with insurance requirements.
Although Thimble’s policy terms are extremely flexible, its coverage options don’t quite provide the same degree of customization. Only general liability, errors and omissions, and business equipment policies are offered. There are no options to protect commercial vehicles or property through Thimble. You should also be aware that the company excludes nearly two dozen activities from coverage, including roofing work, welding, and any job performed for more than 10 units in the same development.
Best for Low Premiums: Hiscox
Hiscox earned its place as the most affordable handyman insurance thanks to low premiums that start under $30 per month.
Most general liability policies cost less than $30 per month
Flexible range of small business coverages
Sign up in minutes online or over the phone
Covers work done anywhere in the world
No specific equipment coverage for handymen
Some policies not available online
Not offered in Alaska
If you’re just starting your handyman business, finding affordable coverage might be a major concern as you try to keep costs to a minimum. Hiscox is a top-rated insurer that prices most of its general liability policies for small businesses at less than $30 per month (or $1 per day). But liability is far from the only type of coverage you’ll find; Hiscox offers multiple different types of policies to protect your property, vehicles, cyber security, and more.
As a major global insurer, Hiscox is able to write policies for handymen in every state except for Alaska. But as long as your business is still based within the United States, your coverage will extend anywhere in the world at no additional cost. While most handymen will generally stick to jobs in their local area, this can even be helpful if you decide to attend a training abroad or volunteer your skills in another country.
Like most insurance companies, Hiscox offers an online quote tool that allows you to purchase coverage fairly easily. However, you may find that not all types of policies are available through the Hiscox website. If a specific coverage you're interested in isn’t listed on the online quote tool, you’ll have to get in touch with an agent. Picking up the phone is also unavoidable for handymen looking to insure their tools and equipment as Hiscox doesn’t list this specific coverage online but may still offer a solution depending on your needs and location.
Best Service: State Farm
State Farm customers work directly with local agents who provide individualized assistance and expertise. You won’t find better service from a small business insurer.
Get personalized service from a local agent
Highly tailored policies
Optional continued liability coverage for completed projects
Also offers financial planning services
Agents located in all 50 states
No online quotes available
Difficult to navigate complex policy options
Quality of service depends on the individual agent
No one prepares you for the challenges of managing a business, especially when it comes to navigating complex insurance coverages. State Farm takes a unique approach to small business insurance by selling policies exclusively through local agents who work one-on-one with business owners. This level of personalized attention earns State Farm the podium for service.
State Farm offers more policy options than most, with many personalized coverages that can be combined to suit your business’s specific needs. Handymen might particularly benefit from a general liability policy with optional professional liability coverage for projects after they’ve been completed. For example, if you were to install a ceiling fan that later fell and hurt someone, continued liability coverage would help pay for your legal expenses if you were sued. You’ll also find protection for mobile equipment, vehicles, business data, and more.
Since small business policies are built on an individualized basis by State Farm agents, you won’t find much helpful information on the provider’s website regarding the full scope of coverages available. In fact, you won’t even be able to get a quote without speaking to a local State Farm agent. The good news is that agents are located in every state, so your best course of action ask about the options available to you.
Best for Vehicles: Progressive Commercial
Handymen who need coverage for their work vehicle should look at Progressive Commercial, the largest and most experienced insurer for commercial vehicles in the country.
Largest commercial auto insurance provider in the United States
Covers business vehicles that are also used for personal transportation
Multiple discounts offered
Commercial auto coverage available in all 50 states
Online quote tool compares coverage from up to six providers
High general liability premiums
Most other types of policies are underwritten by other companies
Limited coverage options aside from auto
Even if you use your personal vehicle to travel to handyman jobs, you should have a commercial auto insurance policy in place. Most personal car insurance doesn’t cover business activities, so if you get in an accident while on the clock, you’ll likely be on the hook for damages. As the largest commercial auto insurer in the United States, Progressive Commercial is the best choice to find the right coverage.
Progressive Commercial insures cars, trucks, vans, and just about any type of vehicle you might need to transport yourself and your tools to jobs. Available coverages include liability, collision, comprehensive, uninsured/underinsured motorist, and more. If you’re pulling a trailer, Progressive Commercial has coverage for that, too. Handymen who use their vehicle for personal and business purposes can get insurance for both through Progressive, helping ensure there aren’t any gaps in coverage.
Prices are relatively low; according to the insurer, the average auto premium for contractors is $181 per month. There are several ways to save, including a bundling discount if you combine a commercial auto policy with general liability coverage. Progressive’s safe driving app, Snapshot, is also available to business customers for a potential discount of 5% to 18% if you exhibit good driving behaviors.
Other types of small business insurance are also available through Progressive Commercial, although most are underwritten by third parties. While these policies provide the basic protection you need as a handyman, you may find that there are fewer opportunities to customize coverage.
With so many coverage options starting below a dollar per day, there’s no reason not to carry handyman insurance. Each of the companies listed above is a great option to provide you with peace of mind and financial protection in the face of unexpected events.
If you’re still not sure whether handyman insurance is for you, try starting out with short-term coverage for a single project from a provider like Thimble or The Hartford. These no-commitment policies are a great way to start learning how handyman insurance works and decide whether long-term coverage is right for you.
|Best Handyman Insurance|
|Insurer||Why We Picked It||Types of Coverage|
|Next Insurance||Best Overall||General liability, errors and omissions, commercial auto, workers compensation, tools and equipment|
|State Farm||Best Service||General liability, commercial property, commercial auto, workers compensation, tools and equipment, umbrella, data loss|
|Thimble||Best for Short Term Coverage||General liability, errors and omissions, tools and equipment|
|Hiscox||Best for Low Premiums||General liability, errors and omissions, commercial property, commercial auto, workers compensation, umbrella, cyber security|
|The Hartford||Best Coverage Options||General liability, errors and omissions, commercial property, commercial auto, inland marine, workers compensation, business income, umbrella, cyber security|
|Progressive Commercial||Best for Vehicles||General liability, errors and omissions, commercial property, commercial auto, workers compensation, cyber security|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Handyman Insurance?
Handyman insurance is simply business insurance that has been designed specifically for the risks associated with being a professional handyman. In most cases, handyman insurance consists of a general liability policy with optional coverage for any vehicles and tools used on the job.
Who Should Get Handyman Insurance?
If you offer paid services completing repairs and small improvement jobs at people’s homes–even as a side gig–you need handyman insurance. As a bare minimum, you should carry liability coverage in case a customer sues you for injuries or damages.
What Does Handyman Insurance Cost?
The cost of handyman insurance depends on the amount and type of coverage you purchase. Many companies sell general liability insurance for less than $30 per month. Some insurers also offer handyman coverage on a per-project basis, which starts around $5 per hour.
How We Chose the Best Handyman Insurance Companies
To find the best insurance options for handymen, we examined coverage and quotes from 15 of the top small business insurance providers. First, we looked at the different types of policies available from each company, highlighting coverages like liability and equipment that are most essential to handymen. We then compared pricing for these policies and looked for discounts that might help make coverage more affordable. Finally, we evaluated the quality of service by interacting with each insurer directly and checking third-party data from ratings sites such as JD Power and the Better Business Bureau.