For carpenters and carpentry contractors in Wisconsin, having proper insurance is crucial to protect your business from the risks inherent in woodworking and construction projects. Even routine jobs can lead to accidents, injuries, property damage, and costly lawsuits if uninsured.

This comprehensive guide provides an overview of key insurance policies Wisconsin carpenters need, factors that influence costs, illustrative premium ranges based on your business size, additional coverages to consider, and advice on securing optimal protection. With insight on tailoring a complete insurance program, Wisconsin carpenters can safeguard their company and continue delivering outstanding work.

For carpenters in Wisconsin, having the right carpenter insurance protection is essential. This usually includes liability insurance for carpenters to protect against third-party claims and workers’ comp coverage for carpenters to cover employee injuries on the job.

Key Factors Influencing Insurance Costs for Carpenters in Wisconsin

Insurance costs for Wisconsin carpenters depend on several key factors:

Experience – New businesses usually pay higher rates. 5+ years claims-free often equals discounts. Less experience may increase pricing.

Revenue – More annual revenue means higher liability limits needed to adequately cover potential losses, driving up premiums.

Number of Employees – Additional staff results in greater workers compensation premiums. More employees mean more workplace injury risk exposure.

Services Offered – Carpentry businesses focused on riskier work like framing, demolition or restoration may have higher premiums than those concentrated on finish carpentry. The specific tasks your employees complete influence rates.

Location – Geographic region also impacts pricing. Urban areas like Milwaukee may have higher premium costs compared to rural parts of the state thanks to elements like more litigious legal environments in cities or higher medical costs.

Deductible Levels – Choosing higher deductibles for policies like general liability and inland marine lowers annual premiums but increases potential out-of-pocket costs if a claim occurs. This tradeoff should be evaluated closely when optimizing insurance.

Claims History – Past claims drive up pricing as insurers view your business as riskier. Maintaining a clean claims record keeps carpenter insurance premiums more affordable. However, going too long without reporting valid claims can leave you underinsured.

Safety Protocols – Implementing thorough safety programs that include elements like driver training, hazardous materials procedures, equipment maintenance logs, and accident investigation processes demonstrates an emphasis on risk management that insurers may reward with discounted premiums. Safety lowers risk.

Credit History – For policies like commercial auto and surety bonds that evaluate individual financial responsibility, maintaining better personal credit often translates to savings in the form of lower premiums.

Overview of Cost Ranges for Carpentry Businesses

Below we provide typical, low-end, and high-end insurance premium ranges for small, medium and large carpentry contractors in Wisconsin. Rates are based on businesses working mostly with homeowners on residential projects with 5+ years experience and no recent claims.

Actual premiums depend on your unique risk profile. Work with an insurance advisor to get quotes tailored to your specific business characteristics and coverage needs. The goal is paying reasonably for adequate protection with a quality insurer who understands carpentry risks.

Small Carpentry Business Insurance Cost Overview

$150K Revenue, 1 Owner, 1 Employee

General Liability

Typical: $3,200

Low-End: $2,500

High-End: $4,500

Workers’ Compensation

Typical: $6,900

Low-End: $5,500

High-End: $12,000


Not required currently in Wisconsin but some municipalities may impose bond mandates in the future.

Key Takeaways

At this business size, general liability and workers compensation are crucial starting points. Inland marine coverage for tools is also wise. Commercial auto is recommended if investing in a work truck. Focus coverage around protecting against third party injury/damage claims and workplace injuries.

Medium Carpentry Business Insurance Cost Overview

$500K Revenue, 1 Owner, 3 Employees

General Liability

Typical: $10,000

Low-End: $8,600

High-End: $12,800

Workers’ Compensation

Typical: $20,600

Low-End: $15,500

High-End: $34,000


Not required in Wisconsin

Key Takeaways

As you hire more staff, workers compensation protection becomes even more vital. Carefully tracking payroll and employee job duties keeps premiums aligned with exposure. An umbrella liability policy can provide additional protection as your projects increase in size and value.

Large Carpentry Business Insurance Cost Overview

$1M Revenue, 1 Owner, 5 Employees

General Liability

Typical: $20,700

Low-End: $15,500

High-End: $25,300

Workers’ Compensation

Typical: $34,400

Low-End: $24,100

High-End: $53,300


Not required in Wisconsin

Key Takeaways

At this stage commercial property coverage is recommended if you now have workshops, lumber storage facilities or offices. Employment practices liability can shield against staff lawsuits as your workforce grows. Cyber liability should be considered if collecting substantial customer data. Continue optimizing your insurance portfolio to align with evolving risks.

Overview of Additional Insurance Coverages

As your Wisconsin carpentry business grows, here are some additional insurance coverages to consider:

Commercial Auto Insurance

Covers vehicles used for business purposes. Typical premiums range from $1,000 – $4,000 per vehicle annually. About half of small contractors don’t carry this. But it’s crucial for protecting your company against liability claims from vehicle-related damages.

Inland Marine Insurance (Tools & Equipment)

Insures tools and machinery during transport and while on jobsites. Typical premiums range from $750 – $2,500 annually. Some carpenters opt for low $2,500 equipment coverage limits. But if you have $10,000+ in gear, higher limits around $15,000 provide superior protection.

Commercial Property Insurance

Protects workshops, lumber yards, offices from insured property damage risks like fire, smoke, wind, hail, vandalism and theft. Typical premiums range from $2,000 – $8,000 annually. For carpenters, key covered items include tools, materials, and inventory when kept on premises.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

Shields against employment lawsuits around issues like discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, breach of employment contract, infliction of emotional distress, and invasion of privacy. Typical premiums range from $2,000 – $5,000 annually. Often not carried by carpenters but highly recommended for protection once hiring staff.

Cyber Liability Insurance

Covers costs like computer forensics, legal counsel, notification procedures, public relations services, potential settlements, and regulatory actions arising from a data breach involving customer information or other sensitive company data. Typical premiums range from $500 – $2,000 annually. Must-have coverage for any digital operations.

Commercial Umbrella Liability Insurance

Provides extra liability protection above your other policies’ limits. For an additional $1 million in coverage, typical premiums range from $750 – $2,000 annually. Higher underlying liability policy limits decrease umbrella costs but also increase expenses on those underlying coverages. Evaluate this tradeoff closely when optimizing your program.

Key Takeaways on Additional Coverages

  • Discuss specific risks with your insurance advisor to determine optimal additional coverages.

  • Property, cyber and employment liability become more crucial as your business expands.

  • Weigh the value of higher underlying liability limits vs purchasing umbrella insurance.

  • Bundling multiple policies with the same insurer may unlock package discounts.

Securing Optimal Carpenter Insurance in Wisconsin

Here are key steps for Wisconsin carpenters to take when securing proper insurance at competitive pricing:

Compare Multiple Quotes

A specialist who shops your policies to various commercial insurance carriers can often secure substantially lower pricing than going direct to a single insurer. The ability to obtain multiple bids for your business insurance leads to savings.

Work With a Carpenter Specialist

Leverage an insurance advisor who focuses specifically on carpentry contractors. Their expertise in carpentry risks and insurance claims enables tailored recommendations based on your operations. Avoid agents with little construction expertise.

Review Options Annually

Revisit your coverage needs before each policy renewal to avoid over or underinsuring as your business evolves. Growing from 2 to 10 employees shifts risks substantially. Be proactive realigning insurance as your company scales.

Ask About Package Discounts

Many insurers offer premium discounts when bundling multiple policies together. Combining general liability, commercial auto, inland marine, workers compensation, property, and umbrella with one carrier may unlock considerable savings.

Focus on Core Coverages First

Prioritize securing adequate general liability, workers compensation, and inland marine initially, then augment with supplemental coverage as your business grows and new risks emerge. Don’t overextend with unnecessary policies too early.


Proper insurance tailored to your carpentry operations safeguards your Wisconsin business. Use this guide as a resource when evaluating the right insurance coverages at each stage of business growth. With policies from specialty insurers that understand carpentry risks, you can operate confidently knowing your livelihood is protected against whatever pitfalls arise. Focus on delighting clients with flawless carpentry work while your insurance shields your company.