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Plumbing Insurance: Who Needs It, Coverage, & Cost

Plumbing is a risky business. Every client call comes with significant work-related threats that plumbers face every day. The biggest ones include on-site accidents such as slips, trips, falls or accidents results from working on ladders, platforms, scaffolding and wet floors; exposure to hazardous materials and chemicals like lead and sulfur dioxide; exposure to biohazards and sewage such as encephalitis and hepatitis; and flammable materials, electricity, and water. (see the whole list at the end of the article).

So what can people in the plumbing profession do about them? Safe work processes and procedures are critical. But these things aren’t bulletproof. That’s why it’s equally important to get business insurance to cover you when something unexpected happens, even when you are careful.

In this article, we’ll cover who needs it, coverage, cost, and providers for plumbers and plumbing-related businesses.

Who needs plumbing insurance?

Plumbing insurance is purchased by people and businesses who do many types of work including:

  • Plumbing contractors
  • Septic system installers and maintenance people
  • Drainage system installers
  • Sewer contractors
  • Piping and plumbing contractors
  • Sump and water pump installation and service workers
  • Water system balancing and testing contractors.

An experienced insurance agent or representative at a business insurer can help you figure out whether plumbers business insurance is right for you.

What types of coverage do plumbers typically get?

Many plumbers and plumbing related businesses benefit from a Business Owners Policy (BOP), which typically includes three important coverages:

  1. Commercial property insurance which protects your business location or locations, whether you rent or own, along with its equipment against damage for covered losses and theft. Covered property can include:
  • Business location
  • Equipment
  • Tools
  • Inventory
  • Furniture
  • Personal property

>>MORE: Best Commercial Property Insurance Companies

  1. General liability insurance covers claims of bodily injury if a visitor is injured on your business property or you or someone who works for you damages personal property on a job site. This includes things like: 
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Client property damage (for example, breaking a valuable face while doing plumbing work)
  • Legal expenses to defend your business in a lawsuit
  • Judgments and settlements from a customer or client lawsuit.

>>MORE: Best General Liability Insurance Companies

  1. Business income interruption insurance will help you recover income if you can’t run your business because of a covered event, such as a fire or theft of your tools.

>>MORE: Best Business Income Insurance Companies

It’s easy to add coverages to a BOP. Some common additions for plumbers include:

  • Workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits to your employees if they become injured or ill for a work related reason, including: 
    • Medical costs
    • Disability benefits
    • Lost wages
    • And more.
  • Commercial vehicle insurance protects you and employees if you’re involved in an accident while driving a car or truck for work related reasons. Learn more in the best commercial auto insurance companies
  • Data breach insurance, can help with costs related to a data breach at your business including notifying impacted customers or employees and to hire a public relations firm to help rebuild the reputation of your business after an incident. Learn more in the best cyber insurance companies

How much does small business insurance for plumbers cost?

It all depends. Many factors go into the price of a policy including:

  • The type of plumbing work you do
  • Your business location
  • Number of employees and their experience
  • Claims history
  • Workplace and job site safety protocols
  • And more.

It’s a smart idea to get plumber insurance quotes from several providers and compare them to find the right coverage for you at the best possible price.

How can I find cheap plumbers business insurance?

Here are some tips to help you get the coverage you need at a fair price:

  • Shop around for the best value. Get quotes from a few companies and compare them to find the right coverage for you at a reasonable cost.
  • Don’t stop shopping around. Make sure you get new quotes before you renew your policy.
  • Take advantage of discounts. If they’re not offered to you when getting a quote, ask about them, whether you’re buying online or through an agent.

Taking these steps will help ensure you’re not paying too much for your plumbers coverage.

Top 4 business insurance companies for plumbers 

  • Hiscox: Best for plumbers and plumbing companies with unique insurance needs
  • The Hartford: Best for plumbing operations looking for a solid and ethical insurer
  • Progressive: The best for discounted plumbers business insurance
  • biBerk: Best for low-cost plumbing business coverage

Hiscox: Best for plumbers and plumbing companies with unique insurance needs

Hiscox offers specialized insurance coverage for plumbers and people doing similar types of work including septic system installers, sewer workers and people who install sump pumps. 

You may be able to buy business insurance for plumbers from Hiscox online, but based on our experience, it’s likely you’ll have to speak with a company representative over the phone. A rep can also help you customize your coverage to meet your unique business needs.

If you choose Hiscox for your business coverage, you can rest assured knowing you’re entrusting your business to a firm that’s been in operation for 120 years. It exclusively offers insurance for small businesses and more than 400,000 smaller companies trust Hiscox for their insurance needs.

Hiscox is known for tailoring unique insurance solutions to the individual requirements of small businesses, which is particularly important for different types of plumbing operations. The company offers top tier service, provides fast quotes, instant coverage and quick claims processing.

The Hartford: Best for plumbing operations looking for a solid and ethical insurer

The Hartford is one of the oldest companies of any kind in the United States. It’s offered insurance solutions for more than 200 years and has helped one million plus businesses with their insurance needs. The company takes pride in the fact that the Ethisphere Institute named The Hartford a World’s Most Ethical Company twelve times. The Hartford’s longevity and focus on ethical business practices makes it a company you can feel good about doing business with.

The Hartford’s dedicated and highly experienced small business team is available to help plumbers and plumbing business owners explore their business insurance options. If you decide to purchase insurance from The Hartford, you can rest assured knowing you’re entrusting your business to a strong, stable, knowledgeable and ethical provider.

Here is a sample plumbing business quote from The Hartford.

Progressive: The best for discounted plumbers business insurance

Progressive may seem like a less-than-serious company because of its ongoing series of commercials featuring Flo. You might feel concerned about entrusting your plumbing business to the insurer.

The truth: It’s a reputable company that’s been in business since 1937. Progressive is known for its flexibility, great rates and highly responsive service.

Progressive is famous for its discounts, which could help you save on your plumbing business insurance. You can earn discounts for things like:

  • Purchasing multiple coverages
  • Implementing safe business practices 
  • Paying annually rather than in smaller increments 
  • Agreeing to autopay.

Because of the complexity of plumbers coverage, it’s likely you may have to speak with a company representative to complete a quote, even if you start one online.

biBerk: Best for low-cost plumbing business coverage

biBerk is a low-cost business insurance provider. Despite saving money on your plumbing business insurance, you can rest assured knowing you’re still getting quality protection for your business. biBERK is able to lower insurance costs by almost 20 percent because it insures small businesses directly, without the added costs of having to work through a middleman or insurance broker.

You can rest assured knowing biBerk is a part of Berkshire Hathaway, a company headed by well-known investor Warren Buffett. It’s a firm that has millions of satisfied customers that’s been insuring people and businesses for more than 75 years.

Here is a plumbing business quote from biBerk that includes three different levels of coverage.

>>MORE: The Best Plumbing Insurance Companies

The full list of risks that plumbers are exposed to:

On-site accidents

Plumbers face many everyday on-the-job risks including:

  • Injuries from bending, carrying, lifting or working in awkward spaces
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Accidents resulting from working on ladders, platforms, scaffolding and wet floors
  • Trench cave-ins
  • Regular and repetitive injuries from using tools improperly
  • Hearing loss from using loud tools
  • Health issues from working in bad weather.

Exposure to hazardous materials and chemicals

These include things like:

  • lead
  • sulfur dioxide
  • mold
  • adhesives
  • drain de-cloggers
  • solvents
  • asbestos
  • and more.

Exposure to biohazards and sewage

Infections that can result from working around sewage pipes and septic tanks include:

  • encephalitis
  • E. coli diarrhea
  • gastroenteritis
  • giardiasis
  • hepatitis
  • shigellosis
  • typhoid fever
  • and more.

Flammable materials, electricity and water

Working with and around these things can lead to injuries and serious property damage from fires, electrical failure, floods and more.

Vehicle accidents and thefts

Car and truck accidents often happen when heading to job sites and vehicles driven by plumbers are often a target of thieves who want to get their hands on their expansive tools and equipment.

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