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California Handyman Insurance: Cost & Quotes from $13/mo

Did you know that small DIY and domestic repair and improvement projects around the US amounted to $457 billion in 2020? Despite the small cost and scope of these kinds of projects, they add up to quite a sum.

These small projects can still be a significant source of liability for your handyman business if you aren’t careful. In California, handyman workers must meet requirements like possessing a contractor license and getting proper permits for work for more than $500.

Even if you are doing smaller jobs, handyman insurance policies may be a solid investment to protect against being exposed to liability on the job. This article will cover tackle all questions about handyman insurance in California, such as:

  • Does a handyman need insurance in California?

  • What are the different types of business insurance for handymen in California?

  • Cost of handyman insurance in California

  • Best California handyman insurance companies

Does a Handyman Need Insurance in California?

California law requires that any licensed handyman has specific insurance policies to be able to operate in the state. These policies are a general liability insurance policy and a worker’s compensation insurance policy.

However, someone can operate as an unlicensed handyman if they do not accept any job that exceeds $500 in value. When operating as an unlicensed handyman, you do not need to have insurance. 


California Handyman Liability Insurance

California handyman liability insurance comes in different forms of coverage. The most common types of handyman liability insurance coverage are listed below:

PolicyWhat it Covers
General liabilityCovers liabilities and expenses incurred from damage if a non-employee gets hurt or property becomes damaged on the job.
Professional LiabilityHelps handymen defend themselves if they are accused of making a mistake that causes the client to lose money


General Liability Insurance for Handymen in California


CoverWallet NEXT (Best)Thimble HiscoxThe Hartford
Per occurrence limit $1,000,000$1,000,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000$300,000/$2,000,000$1,000,000
Aggregate limit $2,000,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000$300,000/$2,000,000$2,000,000
Products and completed operations aggregate limit 
$2,000,000
$1,000,000$1,000,000$1,000,000
$2,000,000
Advertising injury coverage aggregate limit $1,000,000$1,000,000$1,000,000$1,000,000$1,000,000
Tenant’s legal liability coverage limit 
$1,000,000
$100,000$5,000$100,000
$1,000,000
Waiver of subrogation included?YesNoIncludedExcludedYes
Hired/non-owned auto liability coverage included?YesNoExcludedExcludedYes
Equipment breakdown floater included?No YesYesExcludedNo 
Can you get a certificate of insurance online?YesYesYesYesYes
Name additional insureds?YesYes
YesYesYes
Deductible$0$0$0$0$0


General liability insurance is the bread and butter of handymen insurance in California. Any licensed handymen will be required to have this, and clients commonly ask for proof of coverage to agree to a job. General liability can help pay for certain expenses like:

  • Hospital visits and medical fees

  • Property damage on the job

  • Any lawyer's fees and court judgments


The minimum general liability coverage required to get a handyman license in California is a policy with a cumulative limit of $1 million. These licensing requirements are decided by the California Contractors State License Board.


What Can a Handyman Do Without a License in CA?

Without a license, a handyman is limited to simpler and less costly jobs. Examples include:

  • Hang drywall

  • Fix a broken fence

  • Repair leaky sinks

  • Fix a toilet that won’t flush

  • Repair someone’s door

  • Fix household appliances


Does a Handyman Need Insurance in California?

Yes, a handyman will need to have a license for any jobs that exceed $500 in value, which requires a general liability insurance policy.


Professional Liability Insurance for Handymen in California


CoverWallet (Best)NEXTThimbleHiscoxThe Hartford 
Per occurrence limit $1,000,000$10,000/$25,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000$250,000/$2,000,000$1,000,000
Aggregate limit $2,000,000$20,000/$50,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000$250,000/$2,000,000$2,000,000
Name additional insureds?YesYesYesYesYes
Waiver of subrogation included?YesNoNoNoYes
Deductible $500$500$500$500$500


Professional liability insurance is the policy that protects Handymen from any errors or omissions that happen on the job. For example, if you improperly install a toilet and that toilet floods the bathroom, this policy could cover the liability expenses you may incur.


Do Contractors in California Need Professional Liability Insurance?

Professional liability insurance is not required by California law. However, professional liability policies can be included in general liability policies, which are required by law for licensed handyman workers.

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A handyman worker with a tool belt


Tools and Equipment Insurance for Handymen in California


NEXT (Best)Thimble
Aggregate limit$5,000/$10,000$1,000/$5,000
Offered as an endorsement to general liability insurance?YesYes
Covers hired and borrowed equipment?YesYes
Miscellaneous equipment also covered?YesNo
Deductible$500$500


Tools and equipment insurance in California covers the handyman’s expensive gear while it is on a job site. Any damage to your equipment can be covered, as well as instances of theft. It is sometimes an add-on for general liability policies.


Can I Insure Personal Tools?

Yes, personal tools can be insured through a tools and equipment policy. However, any damage or theft they experience is only covered while they are used on a job.


Commercial Property Insurance for Handymen in California


CoverWalletNEXT (Best)HiscoxThe HartfordThimble
Building coverage limit (minimum)$50,000$110,000$15,000$50,000$25,000
Contents coverage limit (minimum)$50,000$15,000$15,000$50,000$250,000
Outdoor signsExcluded$2,500ExcludedIncluded
Excluded
Accounts receivable ExcludedExcludedIncludedIncludedIncluded
Money and securitiesExcluded$2,500IncludedIncludedExcluded
Lock and keys Excluded$2,500ExcludedExcludedExcluded
Business interruption floaterExcludedIncludedIncludedIncludedIncluded
Equipment breakdown floaterExcludedIncludedExcludedExcludedIncluded
Inland marine insurance floaterExcludedExcludedExcludedExcludedExcluded
Employee dishonesty floaterExcluded$5,000IncludedIncludedIncluded


Commercial property insurance focuses on liabilities and expenses that may occur away from the job site. If you have real estate where you store equipment, tools, or materials, while they are on the premise, they are covered for thefts or damages. This insurance also covers damage to the building itself as well.


Does a Handyman Need Commercial Property Insurance in California?

No, commercial property insurance policies are not required by law for licensed handyman workers.


Business Owner’s Policy for Handymen in California


CoverWalletNEXT (Best)Thimble The HartfordHiscox
General liability aggregate limit $2,000,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000$300,000/$2,000,000
Commercial property coverage limit $50,000$320,000$25,000/$500,000$35,000$75,000
Optional policies can be added?YesYesYesYesYes
Name additional insureds for free?YesYesYesYesYes
BOP discount?YesYesYesYesYes


Business owner’s policy combines claims from other policies like commercial property and general liability to save costs rather than buying both policies. Business owner’s policy can cover things like:

  • Property damage

  • Lawsuit fees

  • Medical expenses

  • Stolen business property


Commercial Auto Insurance for Handymen in California

Commercial auto insurance for handymen covers any expenses that their vehicle incurs while performing their work. Regular auto insurance will typically not cover the damage from accidents related to work unless it happens during a work commute.

What Are the Requirements for Commercial Auto Insurance in California?

Any commercial auto policies must have a minimum limit of $15,000 per person and $30,000 per accident. They must also include at least $5000 of property damage. This policy limit may increase based on the type of vehicle. These limits are set by the DMV of California.

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Cost of Handyman Insurance in California

The average California handyman insurance cost is $80 per month for a $1 million general liability coverage. The price of handyman insurance will vary based on the policy options available and the tools and equipment you need to be covered. Below is a price comparison of some of the top handyman insurance companies in California:

CompanyCost per MonthCost per YearBest for
NEXT$13$156Best overall; Fastest general liability insurance for handymen
The Hartford$19$228Tracking claims
Hiscox$28$336Small businesses
Tivly$29$348Comparing handyman insurance quotes over the phone
Thimble$42$504Policy bundling
CoverWallet$60$720Comparing handyman insurance quotes online

Compare California Handyman Insurance Quotes Online

Get all the best quotes from leading providers in a click of a button!

Best California Handyman Insurance Companies

Handyman liability insurance in California is not always easy to find because of the many options that exist out there. Luckily, we have created a roundup of some of the best choices and the advantages of having a handyman insurance policy with their company.


NEXT Handyman Insurance

Pros

  • Best overall

  • Issues an online proof of insurance instantly

  • Fastest general liability insurance handymen

  • Great customer service and reputation

  • Excellent rates

  • Outstanding value for money

  • Get a 10% discount if you buy two or more policies 

Cons

  • Couldn’t find any

NEXT has affordable insurance options no matter what the size of your business is. They offer cover policies for equipment, general liability, professional liability, and commercial property. Their general liability insurance can also be packaged with professional liability and tools & equipment coverage.

This company was founded in 2016 but has garnered an impressive amount of expertise in that time. They earned an A- (Excellent) financial score from AM Best rating. They report servicing over 420,000 customers a year with a high retention rate.

Best for: Best overall; Fastest general liability insurance for handymen

Average cost: $13 per month

Our rating: 10/10


The Hartford Handyman Insurance

Pros

  • The filing process is online and simple

  • Instant insurance certification

  • Combining policies is easy

Cons

  • Fewer options than some

The Hartford has an A+ BBB rating for its customer satisfaction and boasts an A+ rating from AM Best. Their financial security translates into $11 billion of direct premiums written in 2022. They are a great choice for a small business owner since they service over one million small businesses every year.

They offer general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, professional liability insurance, and business owner’s policy insurance options that handyman workers can take great advantage of.

Best for: Tracking claims

Average cost: $19 per month 

Our rating: 10/10


CoverWallet Handyman Insurance

Pros

  • Compares quotes quickly

  • Good selection of insurance partners

  • Represents you in the claims process

Cons

  • Not a provider

CoverWallet, as its name suggests, is a digital wallet for your insurance policies. It allows you easily compare quotes from top insurers so you can choose the right one. They have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

CoverWallet offers general liability insurance options for handyman workers in California through their partners. You can get free quotes online, or you can leave your insurance decision in the hands of an experienced broker that provides customized recommendations.

Best for: Comparing handyman insurance quotes online 

Average cost: $60 per month 

Our rating: 10/10


Tivly Handyman Insurance

Pros 

  • Quick process

  • Huge partner selection

  • Helps connect you through a tailored customer experience

Cons

  • Doesn’t write the policies

Like CoverWallet, Tivley is another tremendous digital marketplace with many insurance partners. They have over 200 different insurance partners, which guarantees that you will have lots of choices. They are focused on the digital space but have over 20 years of insurance experience under their belt.

Some of the top providers of handyman liability insurance that they partner with is The Hartford, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, and Gallagher. Tivley is highly reviewed online and has an A rating from the BBB. Call a representative to compare quotes over the phone. 

Best for: Comparing handyman insurance quotes over the phone

Average cost: $29 per month 

Our rating: 10/10


Thimble Handyman Insurance

Pros

  • Helps you with risk management

  • Purchase what you need

  • Bundling multiple policies is simple

Cons

  • Not a provider

Thimble has one of the best selections for handymen for their liability insurance thanks to its policy bundling and many partners. They allow you to bundle general liability, professional liability, business owner’s policy, and tools & equipment however you want. You only pay for what you need.

This company is a jack of all trades, supporting insurance policies for over 300 professions. This makes it easy to get those extra options that might be convenient. They have an A+ rating from the BBB and have been accredited since 2018. They have an impressive 4.5/5 stars for their customer reviews on BBB.

Best for: Policy bundling

Average cost: $42 per month

Our rating: 10/10


Hiscox Handyman Insurance

Pros

  • Tailored insurance for small businesses

  • Worldwide coverage if the policy is purchased in US or Canada

  • Dedicated claims agents

Cons

  • Purchases require talking to an agent

Hiscox is a great choice for small business handyman workers. They offer a tailored general liability policy that protects against bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury.

This company has an A+ from AM Best for its financial strength. They use their business acumen to write policies for 500,00 customers, many of whom take advantage of their small business expertise.

Best for: Small businesses

Average cost: $28 per month 

Our rating: 10/10


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