painter decorator insurance – should my painter be covered?

Interior painting & decorating


So, you’ve decided to hire a painter and decorator to undertake an exciting new project in your home.

As you dream about clean lines and beautiful, fresh colours, checking whether your painter and decorator has insurance is probably the furthest thing from your mind.

However this blog will explain why it really should be a priority.

It will explore:

  • what painter and decorator insurance is
  • the different types of painter and decorator insurance, including public liability insurance and other types of painting business insurance
  • why you should avoid hiring uninsured painters and decorators and
  • how you can check whether your painter and decorator is insured.


Business insurance for painters and decorators is a form of risk management and exists to protect both the painter and the homeowner against financial loss. It provides both parties with peace of mind should the unexpected happen.

Painters and decorators are legally obliged to have certain types of insurance in place, whereas other types of insurance cover are simply deemed common sense and advisable to have.

Here are four of the main types of insurance every painter and decorator should consider getting:

1. Employers’ liability insurance

If a painter and decorator employs other people to work for them, (people who aren’t family members,) then they are legally required to have employers’ liability insurance. This applies even if they only employ one other person and that person works part-time.

Painters and decorators are legally responsible for the health and safety of all of their employees at work. If one of their employees is involved in an accident at work and is injured or falls ill as a result, they’ll be able to claim compensation against their employer.

Employers’ liability insurance protects the employer in such an event, by covering the cost of any compensation claim as well as any legal costs that arise during the settlement of the claim.

Failure to have valid employers’ liability insurance in place can result in the employer being fined up to £2,500 a day for every day they are without suitable insurance cover. They may also be fined up to £1000, if they refuse, when requested, to make their insurance certificate available to a Health and Safety Executive inspector.

2. Public liability insurance for painters and decorators

Decorators’ public liability insurance, whilst not legally required, is perhaps one of the most important types of insurance a painter and decorator should have.

It protects them against third party injury or damage caused by any painting and decorating work they carry out. This might include accidentally spilling paint on a client’s furniture or a client tripping over a dust sheet or some painting equipment and injuring themselves.

Without public liability insurance in place, a painter and decorator could face huge damages, if a client demands that they cover the cost of any repairs, medical care or legal bills.

3. Tool and equipment insurance

For most painters and decorators, their tools are their trade and it can take them a long time and cost a lot of money to amass high-quality, professional equipment.

In the event that these are stolen or damaged, a painter and decorator runs the risk of having to cancel jobs, disappoint clients and fork out for replacement equipment that they haven’t budgeted for.

Tool and equipment insurance can cover the cost of replacing a painter and decorator’s essential items including trays, brushes, ladders and dust sheets.

4. Motor insurance

Most painters and decorators will have their own vehicle (usually a van) to get to and from appointments and transport their tools and equipment. As such, they must legally have valid motor insurance.

Commercial van insurance allows a painter and decorator to use their van for business purposes. Some van insurance includes cover against uninsured drivers, vandalism and some may even replace a van that has been stolen or written off. 


To find out a little more about these and other types of insurance that a painter and decorator might need, follow this link.

Should my painter and decorator have insurance


Not only does having insurance in place make sense for the painter and decorator, but it makes sense for you as the client too, because it helps to minimise your risk and protect you financially.

1. Out of pocket expenses

Whilst many painting and decorating jobs are completed without a hitch, accidents do happen. If your painter and decorator accidentally spills paint on your carpet, or turns the corner with his ladder and chips your wall, you’ll want this fixed. If your painter has public liability insurance, then you can rest assured that any claim you make will be covered by their policy. However, if they don’t, you’ll be left to cover the cost of the repairs and pay the price for their shoddy workmanship.

Similarly, if you accidentally trip over a paint tray or dust sheet that’s been left out and sustain an injury that leaves you unable to work for a few weeks, you’ll be looking to claim compensation. If your painter has public liability insurance in place, not only will they be able to pay out compensation for your loss of earnings, but they may also be able to cover any fees that arise from your medical care. Without this insurance however, you’ll be left out of pocket, with a potentially hefty bill to cover.

2. Home insurance limitations

If you’re faced with the unfortunate prospect of footing the bill for damage caused by your painter and decorator, you may be under the impression that your home insurance will cover it.

However, standard home contents and building insurance often won’t cover accidental damage caused by your painter and decorator. You may instead find it’s listed as an exclusion under the phrase ‘faulty, defective or inadequate workmanship, repair, renovation or remodelling.’ It’s your responsibility as a homeowner to adequately vet the painting contractor you’ve selected to do the job and check they are insured.

3. Higher insurance premiums

If you’re one of the lucky ones and your home insurance policy does allow you to claim for bad workmanship or accidental damage caused by a painting and decorating contractor you’ve had in your house, this may come back to bite you further down the line. As you prepare to renew your home insurance, you may find that as a result of your claim, you are facing significantly higher premiums.

4. Missed or cancelled appointments

If a painter and decorator is unfortunate enough to have his or her van stolen and doesn’t have insurance in place to cover this, they may struggle to afford a replacement vehicle. This could mean they are forced to miss appointments, which jeopardises business continuity and could leave clients disappointed.

Additionally, if their tools ever get stolen, without adequate tool and equipment insurance in place, they may find it too costly to replace what’s been lost. This could leave them with no other choice but to cancel or postpone client appointments, increasing client frustration.

If they do choose to carry out the work, it may be with hastily replaced, cheaper items, which could result in substandard work and increasingly dissatisfied clients.

Want to know more about insured painters and decorators?

If you’re interested in learning more about the risks of hiring uninsured tradesman, check out this blog post.


Any painter and decorator who has insurance will usually advertise this fact on their website.

However, it’s always worth asking to see the actual insurance certificate well before any work begins or any contract is signed, so that you can be sure of what it covers and whether it’s valid. A reputable company or professional tradesman won’t be offended by you asking and will more than likely be happy to produce it.

When checking the certificate here’s what you need to look for:

  • the name of the business
  • the name of the insurer
  • the policy number
  • the policy period
  • details of the cover
  • the indemnity limit
  • any major exclusions 


Our tradesman and professionals package insurance is an umbrella insurance package that includes several important types of cover including public liability, employers’ liability and legal expenses.

Tradesman & Professionals Package Insurance certificate Here’s a copy of our painting business insurance certificate:

So now you know we’re fully insured, if you’re looking for professional painters and decorators in Cheltenham to help you spruce up your home, please give us a call.

We are a friendly, reliable and tidy painting and decorating company that has the skills and experience to provide you with the exceptional service you deserve.

Follow this link to find out more about our professional Exterior House Painting Service in Cheltenham.

Click here to discover more about our trusted Cheltenham-based Interior Painting & Decorating Service.


Painting business insurance considerations may not be top of your list when you begin your search for a painter and decorator, but deciding to hire an uninsured painter could be extremely costly.

Whilst you will no doubt be diligent in your search for a reliable, affordable and trustworthy painter, verbal assurances that work will be completed without incident are not enough. Accidents can and do happen and it’s up to you to ensure you are covered and protected should something unexpected happen.

Don’t be afraid to ask your painter for their certificate of public liability nor to go with someone else if they are unwilling or unable to provide it. You’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing you have minimised your exposure to financial risk – and you can’t put a price on that!

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  • Business insurance for painters and decorators is a form of risk management that protects both the painter and the client from financial loss.
  • There are various types of painter and decorator insurance, the most important of which are employers’ liability, public liability insurance for painters and decorators, tool and equipment hire and motor insurance.
  • Clients face numerous risks when hiring uninsured painters and decorators, including unforeseen costs, higher insurance premiums and missed appointments – so always check your painter has adequate decorator insurance cover in place.
  • As a client it’s worth asking to see your painter’s insurance certificate and carefully checking its details to ensure it’s valid and that you are covered. Most painters want to be seen as trusted, reliable and helpful and so will be more than willing to produce a copy of their certificate for you.


Do painters and decorators need insurance?

It’s wise for painters and decorators to take our insurance to cover themselves against any financial losses arising from claims made by members of the public, injuries sustained by their employees, or loss or theft of their equipment. It helps to protect the client too.

What business insurance does a painter and decorator need?

Any painter employing someone else must legally have employers’ liability insurance in place. Although public liability insurance is not a legal requirement it’s important as it protects the painter against any claim made by a member of the public for injury or property damage caused by their work.