Painters work on the interiors and exteriors of commercial and residential property and can also be tasked with wallpaper hangings. Since their work involves going to different job sites, operating at different heights and prepping surfaces, painters may be susceptible to a variety of liability issues. Proper insurance coverage can protect painters following injuries, vehicle accidents, damaged customer property and lawsuits. This article discusses potential exposures painters face and different types of coverage they should consider purchasing to protect themselves and their businesses.
Painting can be challenging work and can result in employers and employees being held liable for the following:
- Injuries—Employees and third parties can be injured due to painters and their work. Painters often work from heights and must use ladders, scaffolding and mobile equipment. Third parties, including customers or passersby, may be injured from scaffolding or items falling into public areas.
- Property damage—Property damage can occur if paint is spilled or applied in the wrong place, or from equipment—such as ladders and scaffolding—damaging the work area.
- Auto accidents—Since workers have to transport themselves and their equipment to different locations, auto accidents can happen on the job.
Insurance Coverages for Painters
Painters should have adequate insurance to manage their risks. The following policies should be considered:
- General liability—The most common type of insurance within the construction industry is commercial general liability. In most states, this type of insurance is required to bid and win contracts. A standard commercial general liability policy insures against bodily injury—including injuries, sickness, disease and death—and property damage resulting from work. Property damage may include getting paint on valuable objects or damaging structures while moving equipment.
- Workers’ compensation—If a painter is injured on the job, it is the employer’s responsibility to provide medical care, lost wages and other benefits through workers’ compensation. Painters are susceptible to falls while working on ladders or scaffolding as well as chemical exposure from paint and industrial coatings. This type of coverage can provide workers with financial assistance for on-the-job injuries while employers get assurance employees will not sue them. While state regulations may vary, in general, all employees need to be covered by workers’ compensation.
- Environmental impact liability—Environmental impact liability insurance provides coverage for losses relating to the release or escape of pollutants. For painters, this includes lead paint removal and hazardous waste. This type of coverage also protects against bodily injuries, property damage, cleanup expenses and defense costs.
- Property—Depending on the type of paint utilized, painters may store large quantities of combustible materials. Employers can purchase coverage to protect both company and personal property used in the business, such as office furnishings and computers.
- Auto—Commercial auto insurance is intended to cover high vehicle repair costs, medical expenses and lawsuits resulting from auto accidents.
- Umbrella liability—General liability policies may not offer enough coverage for some painters. A commercial umbrella insurance policy can provide additional protection if damages exceed the limit of a general liability policy.
- Inland marine—This type of coverage is utilized to protect many types of property, including property in transit, mobile equipment, property in the custody of a repairman or storage facility, property commonly used in different locations, and computer equipment and digital information. For painters, inland marine insurance primarily applies to tools and equipment used by employees, including boom or scissor lifts.
- Cyber—Painters are increasingly dependent on technology to carry out their operations. Cyber liability insurance can provide coverage for first- and third-party cyber claims.
In many cases, the above policies are not only important, but legally required. Having the proper insurance coverage can protect painters and their businesses from various liability risks. For more information, contact us today.