For handymen and contractors in Michigan, having proper insurance is absolutely vital to protect your business from the inherent risks of maintenance, repair, installation, and small construction projects. Even routine handyman tasks carry hazards that can lead to substantial financial losses if something goes wrong. A slipped tool can damage a customer’s property. An errant hammer strike can shatter a window. A fall from a ladder can cause serious injuries.

As a handyman contractor in Michigan, you operate in your clients’ homes and businesses, where mishaps and accidents can easily transpire. And while you aim to deliver quality work, things don’t always go according to plan. There may be defects in your workmanship, mistakes in installing a fixture, or errors in your project plans. All these scenarios illustrate why Michigan handymen need insurance.

Suitable insurance coverage provides a safety net so your business can survive unforeseen mishaps. The right policies buffer you from potentially company-ending risks. This comprehensive 2,000 word guide will explore typical insurance costs for Michigan handymen based on business size, highlight key factors that influence premiums, provide illustrative rate ranges for essential policies like general liability and workers’ compensation, and outline recommendations for coverage to consider at various business stages.

For handymen in Michigan, having the appropriate insurance for handymen is crucial. This typically includes liability protection for handymen to safeguard against third-party claims and workers’ comp coverage for handymen to cover employee injuries sustained while working.

Why Do Michigan Handymen Need Insurance?

There are several compelling reasons all Michigan handymen need adequate insurance coverage:

Mitigating Risks

Even simple handyman tasks come with hazards that can lead to property damages, injuries, and lawsuits. For instance, you may nick a water pipe while installing cabinets or damage a wall while mounting TV brackets. Insurance cushions the financial blow of such inevitable mishaps.

Complying with Legal Obligations

Michigan has licensing and insurance requirements for contractors to legally operate. Even when not mandated, clients overwhelmingly prefer hiring insured handymen. Carrying proper coverage is key to conducting business legally and appealing to customers.

Attracting Clients

An insured handyman immediately instills greater confidence in prospective Michigan customers compared to uninsured competitors. Clients will be more at ease hiring you knowing damages and liabilities are covered.

Reinforcing Your Reputation

Proper insurance aligns with running an organized, safety-focused business that follows industry best practices. It signals to Michigan customers that you operate responsibly and aim to protect their property, boosting your reputation.

Protecting Your Assets

As a handyman, your tools and equipment are vital income-generating assets. Insurance protects these indispensable assets from damage or theft when operating on a client’s premises.

How Can Insurance Aid Business Growth for Michigan Handymen?

Beyond just mitigating risks, insurance delivers additional benefits that aid business expansion for Michigan handymen:

Winning New Clients

Being properly insured makes you more appealing to prospective Michigan customers compared to uninsured handymen vying for jobs. Clients will be more at ease hiring you.

Building Contractor Partnerships

Other contractors are more willing to partner with and subcontract insured handymen rather than jeopardizing their own projects by collaborating with uninsured labor.

Accessing Bigger Projects

Larger commercial clients frequently mandate contractors carry certain insurance minimums to qualify for jobs. Being properly insured allows you to compete for more significant projects.

Retaining Top Talent

For handymen with employees, providing workers’ compensation shows you care about protecting your team. Employees feel valued knowing workplace injuries will be covered. This improves loyalty and retention.

What Insurance Do Michigan Handymen Need?

While specific requirements differ by county and city, here are the primary insurance policies Michigan handymen need:

General Liability Insurance

This is the core coverage protecting against third-party property damage and bodily injury claims arising from your business operations and completed work. It protects you when clients allege you damaged their property or caused them physical harm.

General liability policies cover legal costs to defend against covered claims. It also pays for judgments, settlements, medical expenses, and clean-up costs you become legally obligated to pay as a result of property damage or bodily injury caused by your Michigan handyman business.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

If your Michigan handyman business has any employees or subcontractors, carrying this legally mandated coverage is crucial. It provides medical care, lost wage replacement, death benefits, and rehabilitation services to employees who suffer job-related illnesses and injuries.

Rates vary based on employee job classification and injury risk level within the industry. This coverage protects your employees if injured on a job site while also shielding your business from any claims the employee might file against you for workplace bodily harm.

Commercial Auto Insurance

This is mandatory if your Michigan handyman business utilizes any type of vehicles like vans, trucks, or car trailers to transport tools and equipment. It covers collision damage and protects against liability claims if your employees cause damage to other vehicles or property while driving for business needs.

Inland Marine Insurance

Also known as contractors equipment insurance, this highly recommended coverage protects your hand tools, power tools, ladders, and machinery used for your Michigan handyman trade when you’re operating off-site at customer locations.

Inland marine insurance shields your tools if they become lost, stolen, or suffer damage either in transit or while at a job site. Your tools are vital business assets directly tied to your ability to work and earn income. This coverage protects them.


While not mandated for handymen statewide, some Michigan cities and counties do have bond requirements, as do certain commercial clients on larger jobs. These bonds act as a guarantee that you will complete contracted work properly.

The bonding company guarantees your work for a specified time period after project completion, often 1-2 years. If issues with your work arise during that time, the client files a claim and the bonding company takes care of any repairs or corrections necessary, up to the bond amount. This provides clients reassurance about hiring you.

Additional Insurance to Consider as Your Michigan Handyman Business Grows

Beyond the essential policies detailed above, here are additional insurance types Michigan handymen may need as their business expands:

Commercial Property Insurance

If your business owns or rents any structures like sheds, workshops, offices, or showrooms, having commercial property insurance is wise to cover the physical building and its contents from risks like fire, smoke, wind, hail, vandalism, and theft.

This covers the physical structure as well as everything inside like furnishings, equipment, and inventory. For larger handymen, tools and materials kept on premises should be covered under a commercial property policy in addition to inland marine coverage for when they’re off-site.

Commercial Umbrella Insurance

This provides additional liability insurance above and beyond your other policies’ liability coverage limits. If you face a claim that exceeds the standard limits of those underlying policies, umbrella coverage kicks in to provide extra protection.

It effectively increases the limits for general liability, auto liability, employer’s liability, and more. This added cushion of coverage becomes very important as your Michigan handyman business grows. Umbrella policies commonly start at $1 million in additional coverage.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

If your Michigan handyman business has multiple employees, this coverage protects against claims alleging employment discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, breach of employment contract or other employee rights violations. Disgruntled workers often target small businesses with EPLI claims.

Allegations could involve discrimination based on protected characteristics like race, gender, or disability status. Claims could also relate to wrongful termination, failure to promote, infliction of emotional distress, retaliation, wrongful discipline, denial of benefits, negligent evaluation, or invasion of privacy.

Cyber Liability Insurance

If your business handles any customer data like addresses, emails, or other personal details, having adequate cyber liability insurance is very important. This coverage protects you if customer information becomes compromised or exposed by malicious cyber events.

It covers costs like computer forensics, notifying customers, providing credit monitoring services, negotiating lawsuit settlements, and regulatory fines or penalties. Costs from a breach can easily exceed $100,000 without insurance.

What Does Handyman Insurance Cost in Michigan?

Insurance premiums for handyman-related policies in Michigan depend upon several key factors:

Years in Business

More experience translates to lower premiums, demonstrating safe operations and avoiding claims. New businesses often pay higher initial rates.


More revenue means larger project values and greater exposure, so higher liability limits are needed to adequately cover potential losses. This results in higher premiums.

Number of Employees

More employees leads to greater workers’ compensation and general liability costs. Employees increase the chance of workplace incidents and liability claims.


Insurance rates differ across Michigan based on local risk levels and legal environments. Urban areas like Detroit see higher premiums than rural regions.

Claims History

Too many past claims leads insurers to perceive your business as high-risk, resulting in increased premiums or possible policy cancellation. A clean claims history keeps costs lower.

Services Performed

Certain higher-risk tasks like electrical, handyman and roofing work may have slightly elevated premiums compared to general handyman services. Insurers classify risk by work type.

Here are illustrative premium costs for a Michigan handyman business with $500,000 in annual revenue based on common coverage limits:

Insurance Type – Typical Limits – Estimated Annual Premium

General Liability: $1M per occurrence/ $2M aggregate – $7,500

Workers’ Compensation: Statutory state limits – $13,500

Inland Marine Tools Insurance: $25,000 coverage limit – $1,000

Commercial Auto: $500,000 combined single liability limit per vehicle – $2,500

Surety Bonds: $25,000 Bond – $500

Insurance Costs for Small Michigan Handyman Businesses

For a small Michigan handyman business generating $150,000 in annual revenue with 1 owner and 1 employee, here’s an overview of potential insurance costs:

General Liability

Typical premiums range from $2,100 – $4,000 annually for $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate coverage limits. Experienced handymen can likely secure rates on the lower end.

Workers’ Compensation

Typical premiums range from $3,500 – $7,600 per year. Rates are based on the employee’s payroll and risk classification. Maintaining workplace safety helps control these costs.

Surety Bonds

Though not state-mandated, clients may require bonding. Typical costs are 1-2% of the bond amount based on credit history. A $10,000 bond would cost $100 – $200 annually.

Insurance Costs for Medium Michigan Handyman Businesses

For a medium Michigan handyman business generating $500,000 in annual revenue with 1 owner and 3 employees, here are typical insurance costs:

General Liability

With 3 employees and greater revenues, premiums typically range from $6,700 – $10,100 annually for $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate coverage limits.

Workers’ Compensation

Premiums typically run from $9,800 – $21,500 per year. Payroll, classifications, and claims history determine costs. Ongoing safety programs help control premiums.

Surety Bonds

Though not state-mandated, some municipal clients may require bonding. Typical costs are 1-2% of the bond amount based on credit history. A $25,000 bond generally costs $250 – $500 annually.

Insurance Costs for Large Michigan Handyman Businesses

For a large Michigan handyman business generating $1 million in annual revenue with 1 owner and 5 employees, here are typical insurance premiums:

General Liability

Premiums normally range from $12,300 – $18,900 annually for $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate coverage limits. Larger operations warrant higher limits to adequately cover risks.

Workers’ Compensation

Premiums normally fall between $15,200 – $33,700 per year. More employees increase potential workplace incidents, raising costs. Maintaining rigorous safety protocols helps control premiums.

Surety Bonds

Though not state-mandated, larger commercial clients may require bonding. Typical costs are 1-2% of the bond amount based on credit history. A $50,000 bond would cost $500 – $1,000 annually.

Overview of Additional Handyman Insurance Guide & Quotess in Michigan

Beyond general liability and workers’ compensation, here are typical premium ranges for other common Michigan handyman insurance policies:

Commercial Auto Insurance

Legally required for business vehicles. Protects against liability claims from accidents. Typical premiums range from $1,500 – $3,000 per vehicle annually.

Inland Marine (Tools & Equipment) Insurance

Recommended for gear valued over $2,500. Typical premiums range from $500 – $2,000 per year.

Commercial Property Insurance

Protects business properties against damage. Typical premiums range from $1,000 – $5,000 annually.

Employment Practices Liability

Shields against employee lawsuits. Typical premiums range from $1,000 – $5,000 annually.

Cyber Liability Insurance

Covers data breaches. Essential if collecting customer information electronically. Typical premiums range from $300 – $1,000+ per year.

Umbrella Liability Insurance

Additional liability coverage. $1 million in extra protection typically costs $500 – $1,000 annually.

Getting the Right Michigan Handyman Insurance

Partnering with an insurance specialist experienced in the trades simplifies getting affordable, tailored coverage. They understand inherent risks and can access top carriers offering policies designed for contractors’ exposures.

Getting multiple quotes is wise to compare options in terms of premiums, coverage details, exclusions, deductibles, and more. An expert broker simplifies this process. The right insurance advisor provides confidence you have optimal Michigan handyman insurance at a competitive rate.


Adequate insurance is crucial for Michigan handymen to protect their business, assets, people, and reputation. While premiums vary based on risk factors, this guide provides an overview of typical costs based on revenues, payroll, experience levels, and location. Connecting with an insurance professional simplifies getting customized protection so you can focus on growing your business and delighting customers.