Plumbers get called when something is going dramatically wrong in someone’s home. The homeowner is anxious, probably upset and not entirely reasonable. Plumbers need to protect themselves and their businesses from claims by homeowners, not to mention the fact that plumbing can be dangerous.
- Top 4 plumbing insurance companies
- What kind of insurance do plumbers need?
- How much does plumbing insurance cost?
- How to find cheap plumbing insurance?
- Self-employed plumbing insurance
- Does homeowners’ insurance cover plumbing issues?
Top 4 plumbing insurance companies
We research more than 10 companies offering plumbing insurance, or business insurance to plumbers, here are our top 4 providers:
- CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes
- The Hartford: Best for a trusted brandname
- Farmer Brown: Best for quote estimates
- Business Insurance Center: Best for midsize plumbing contractors
CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes
CoverWallet is a digital broker. They work with a number of insurance companies and are able to pull quotes from these companies for you.
They provide a chart highlighting 4 options for plumber insurance from Basic to Standard and Pro and Custom. They provide an estimate of how much each option would cost you. However, these are not the final costs. When you select the option you prefer, you will start the getting quote process. They are usually able to provide you with 3-4 quotes from their partner companies, making comparison shopping easier and more convenient for you.
The Hartford: Best for a trusted brandname
The Hartford insures over a million small business owners. They have been around for a long time and accumulated a lot of experience insuring small businesses across the country. They insure a lot of different industries and insure all fifty states. They claim their reviews are 4.8 stars out of 5.
They offer online quoting, although we’ve had trouble securing a quote from them before. For this one, though, they were happy to give us a quote for our plumbing business based in Connecticut with four employees, $170,000 in payroll and $400,000 in revenue.
The quotes above look a lot more expensive than CoverWallet, but it may not be the case, until you get the final quotes from CoverWallet’s partner companies.
Farmer Brown: Best for quote estimates
You might not have heard of Farmer Brown insurance, but they’ve been around since 2005. The online quote process is very easy, although they do mention that these are ballpark figures. They work with over 30 A-rated insurance companies, like Nationwide and Attune to bring you the best prices. They also have over 700 reviews on Trustpilot and 96% of them are five stars.
They do have a handy chart that details what different levels of general liability insurance coverage are likely to cost based on revenue.
In addition to general liability insurance, they also offer:
- Workers compensation
- Professional liability
- Commercial auto
- Inland marine
- Surety bonds
- Business owners’ policy
Business Insurance Center: Best for midsize plumbing contractors
Business Insurance Center has been in business for 30 years. They’ll work with you to make sure you meet all of your state’s requirements. They have a 24/7 call center in case you have questions and there’s also a chatbot. They work through insurance brokers who will help you decide on what insurance you need.
They do offer online quoting, but to actually buy insurance you’ll need to speak to a broker. They do insure many different businesses and have most types of insurance you might need.
If you are willing to work with a broker to get personalized consultation for your growing business, Business Insurance Center might be a good option.
What kind of insurance do plumbers need?
At a minimum, plumbers and people who work as contractor need a general liability policy. It’s the law in some states, and it’s smart in every state.
General liability protects you from third party injury, third party property damage, and copyright infringement. If you’re working in someone’s home and you accidentally gouge their kitchen floor with a pipe wrench, general liability will help cover your costs. Also, if your client doesn’t notice your equipment scattered on the floor and trips over it and injures himself, general liability insurance should help you there as well. Most small business owners (of any kind) have a general liability policy.
Professional liability: If you do the plumbing in a bathroom remodel and several weeks later, the client’s toilet explodes, professional liability insurance will cover you. It covers you for mistakes and errors that you make it the course of your job. Remember that you don’t even have to be at fault for a client to blame you for some unexpected outcome, but lawsuits are expensive even if they are unwarranted.
Workers Compensation: If you have employees, you most likely need workers compensation. The only state that doesn’t require it at all is Texas. Many states require if you have even one employee. Workers’ compensation protects your employees from injuries and illness they suffer from while on the job. Workers Compensation covers their medical costs, lost wages, and can even cover vocational retraining if your employee suffers from an accident that leaves him or her unable to return to work. If the worst occurs and an employee dies, workers comp will provide a death benefit for the family and burial expenses.
Business Interruption Insurance: If the space you rent suffers from a fire or other damage, business interruption insurance will protect your income. Many plumbers don’t work from their offices that much, since they are usually out working on job sites, but it could come in handy.
Commercial property insurance: If you do own the building your business operates from, commercial property insurance will cover damage to the building and protect your tools and other equipment when it’s there.
Inland Marine: Commercial property insurance only covers your tools and other equipment when it’s in the building. If you want to protect your equipment while its en route to job sites, you’ll need inland marine insurance.
Commercial Auto insurance: Unless you walk to all of your job sites, you’ll need commercial auto insurance. Any of your employees who drive to job sites for you also need to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Many people don’t realize that if you use your personal vehicle for
work (except for commuting to and from), you won’t be covered. That means you’ll be on the hook for all the damages and medical payments if you cause an accident, unless you get commercial auto insurance.
How much does plumbing insurance cost?
Plumbing insurance cost depends on several following factors:
- the type of insurance policies you will get
- the coverage level of the policy – when you compare costs, pat attention to the coverage amounts. Of course, higher coverage amounts result in higher premiums and vice versa
- your location
- the types of clients you have
- the history of your claims
It might costs an independent plumber $39 a month to have a general liability insurance policy, but it can also cost a plumbing firm with 4 full-time employees a few thousands a month to have general liability insurance, workers comp insurance, and commercial auto insurance policies. It can be more expensive if you decide to add more policies such as inland marine insurance, professional liability insurance, etc.
In any case, be sure to shop around with a few companies or a digital broker like CoverWallet to compare several quotes to get the best and the cheapest one for your business.
How to find cheap plumbing insurance?
As mentioned above, the number #1 rule to find cheap plumbing insurance is to shop around with a few companies or a digital broker to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one.
Secondly, make sure you get the right coverage for your policy. The higher the coverage of the policy is, the more expensive it is. If you don’t need a general liability insurance policy with $1M coverage, you can ask for a similar policy with $300K coverage only.
Lastly, just like car insurance, if you maintain your policy steadily and have a good track record, ie. less or no claims, your policy will be cheaper.
Self-employed plumbing insurance
Many plumbers are self-employed. You’ll need general liability insurance, commercial auto insurance, and self-employed workers compensation insurance. You might also want to get inland marine insurance to protect your equipment while it’s en route to a job site. Sometimes you can add “Tool and Equipment” insurance as a rider onto your general liability policy.
In many states, self-employed plumbers work as contractors and are required to have general liability insurance.
Does homeowners’ insurance cover plumbing issues?
If your plumbing issues are sudden and unexpected, your homeowners insurance should cover the repairs and water damage resulting from the issue. However, if the issue has occurred because you’ve failed to properly maintain the plumbing, then homeowners insurance will not pay for that. For example, if you pipe has had a slow leak and it takes you three months to fix it, you’re not covered.
It won’t cover damages from normal wear and tear, either. In case you’re wondering, if you do file a claim, your homeowners insurance will send an adjuster out to evaluate the damage. They will determine if the problem was sudden and unforeseeable, or if poorly maintained pipes were the cause. If you could have done something to prevent the damage, they won’t cover you.
Plumbing is messy work. Lawsuits are also messy, so make sure you have insurance to protect yourself and your business.