Insurance for Painters

How do you know how much you should be paying for your business insurance?

Try getting a few quotes and you’ll see that prices can vary quite a bit from one provider to the next, without any obvious reasons.

In this guide we’re going to take a look at what affects the price of insurance for painters, and why it can differ so much from one policy to another.

We’ll primarily be focusing on public liability insurance, as this is the insurance type most affected by price, and is also the most common form of insurance for painters.

Factors affecting the price of public liability

There are many factors which affect each insurer or broker’s quote for public liability.

Some factors are out of your control and do not relate to your specific business, whilst others are directly impacted upon by your business.

Factors outside of your control

First up we’ll look at those factors outside of your control.  Whilst there’s not much you can do about them, it is helpful to understand where the differences come from.

One of the big ones here is the insurance company’s claims history with painters.

If the insurer has had low claims over the last few years for painters, their premiums will typically be lower.  If they’ve had a bad run of claims from painters, they’ll increase their premiums.

The price can also be affected by how keen the insurer is to have more painters on the books.  Insurers like to diversify their client lists so they don’t end up with too much exposure to a single business type.

So if they want to attract more painters, they might lower their price.  If they already have a large percentage of painters and don’t want to increase their exposure, they’ll put the prices up.

Lastly, some insurers simply choose to have lower or higher premiums overall for competitive reasons.

Factors relating to your specific business

The biggest impact on the cost of your public liability insurance will come from your own business.

Such factors can include the following:

  • Your annual revenue
  • The number of staff you employ
  • Use of subcontractors
  • Use of spraying equipment
  • Working at heights
  • Working at high risk locations
  • Claims history
  • Level of cover required

Broadly speaking, the larger your business is in terms of revenue or staff numbers, the higher the premium will be.

This is simply because more work means more opportunities for an incident to occur, which means the risk of a claim is higher.

Use of subcontractors can also affect the premium depending on the insurer.  Most insurers will increase the premium if payments to subbies make up a certain percentage of overall revenue.

The use of spraying equipment won’t necessarily affect the price of your insurance, but it is important to note that not all policies will include painters for spraying.

So you might find a policy that seems cheap, but if it doesn’t cover your spraying activities it could cost you a lot more in the event of a claim.

When it comes to working at heights, there are three ways this is typically dealt with.  Working at heights is typically deemed to be painting at 10m or 15m depending on the insurer.

Painters Plank

Some insurers don’t cover work at heights at all, some charge a slightly higher premium if you select the option and some don’t have any restrictions on heights.

Keep in mind that insurers without any height restrictions are generally going to be charging higher premiums to start with however.

High risk locations can have a huge impact on premiums.  What is regarded as a high risk location varies from one insurer to the next, but typically includes airports, mines, power stations and other major utilities.

Most of the mainstream insurance companies will not provide cover at all for these locations, which means having to use a specialist insurer.  These specialists will almost always have much higher premiums to cover the higher risks.

Your claims history can also have a large impact.  If your claims history is poor, many insurers won’t even offer cover.  If your claims history is reasonable, they may still offer cover but with a higher premium.

Finally we have the level of cover you require.  $5 million will always be the cheapest, whilst the $10 million and $20 million options will be a little higher.

How the broker can affect the price of your insurance

If you choose to use an insurance broker to manage your insurance, this brings in another factor which can affect the price of your cover.

It’s easy to think that a broker will increase the cost of the policy, but sometimes the impact can go the other way.

Virtually all insurance brokers will charge a broker fee or admin fee.  This is designed to cover the higher level of service they typically provide, compared with a direct insurance company.

Some brokers choose to charge a small broker fee, whilst others go with a higher broker fee.

Broker fees are added to the cost of the insurance, so the higher the broker fee, the more the policy is going to cost you.

How much they charge is up to them, just in the same way a painter decides how much they want to quote on a job.

Painters Insurance

As a client you can always choose the cheapest option, but as you know, it’s not always the best option.

Brokers can also have a very positive impact upon the cost of your business insurance.

Here at Trade Risk we insure thousands of tradies, including hundreds of painters.

This gives us strength and buying power, which has resulted in us being able to negotiate extremely competitive premiums for painters and other trades.

Using our buying power to secure better rates for painters means we can charge a broker fee that enables us to give market-leading service, whilst still giving you an incredibly competitive overall premium.

A typical painter will find that our premiums are among the lowest in the market, whilst our multi-award-winning service is well above the level of our competitors.


As you can see there are plenty of factors that can affect a painter’s public liability insurance.

Some factors have nothing to do with your business, whilst others are directly affected by your business activities and history.

The best option is to shop around, let the insurance company or broker know everything about your business, and choose a provider that you’re comfortable with.

The team at Trade Risk would love to help with any questions you have, and can be contacted on 1800 808 800 or online.


Painters Insurance Cost