Running a handyman business involves far more than just repairing leaky faucets and hanging paintings straight. An absolutely vital component is having proper insurance to fully protect your company from the many inherent risks that come with home repair and maintenance projects. Even seemingly routine handyman tasks carry hazards that can easily lead to substantial property damage, injuries, lawsuits and other losses if something goes wrong during a project.

As a handyman operating directly in your clients’ homes and businesses, mishaps and accidents can unfortunately transpire all too easily while working onsite. There may be defects or mistakes in your workmanship that lead to damages, errors made that accidentally cause harm to the customer’s property, injuries sustained from tools or falls on the job site, or any range of unanticipated issues. Without suitable insurance, these inevitable mishaps become major liabilities and expenses for your business.

Having adequate insurance coverage provides an essential financial safety net so your handyman business can survive and bounce back from these unforeseen accidents and problematic scenarios. The right insurance policies buffer you from potentially company-ending losses and risks. This comprehensive guide examines the key insurance coverages South Dakota handymen need, factors that influence costs, how insurance needs evolve as your business grows, and illustrative premium ranges based on common policy limits.

South Dakota handymen must have the right insurance protection for handymen to operate legally in the state. This usually includes general liability insurance for handymen to protect against third-party claims and workers’ compensation for handymen to cover employee injuries on the job.

Key Factors Influencing Insurance Costs for Handymen in South Dakota

Insurance premiums for South Dakota handymen depend upon several important factors:

Revenue: As you generate more revenue and take on larger project values each year, this increased exposure and risk will result in proportionally higher premiums to adequately cover greater potential losses. More revenue means expanded operations and a larger volume of work, raising the likelihood of claims.

Number of Employees: Having more helpers, apprentices and subcontractors on your team means increased payroll expenses and workers’ compensation exposure. Additional employees also heighten general liability risks. Even one part-time helper can impact your insurance costs.

Services Performed: Offering certain higher-risk handyman services like electrical, handyman, roof repairs, window installation, and other hazardous trades may result in elevated insurance premiums compared to focusing on lower-risk general handyman tasks. Insurers classify risk accordingly.

Years in Business: Long tenured handyman businesses tend to have lower premiums because their years in operation demonstrate safety consciousness, experience avoiding claims, and commitment to risk management. New startups often face higher initial insurance rates compared to established players.

Location: Being based in a more litigious urban area typically results in higher premiums compared to operating rurally. Most regions of South Dakota are rural, which helps keep costs lower. Population density impacts risk.

Claims History: Your past loss experience is a major factor in determining rates. Having frequent claims will quickly drive premiums upward. Maintaining a clean claims history keeps insurance affordable. This is a key factor within your control.

Overview of Cost Illustration for Small, Medium, and Large Handyman Businesses in South Dakota

Here we will illustrate typical insurance costs for small, medium and large handyman businesses in South Dakota to use as an approximate reference point for premiums based on common revenue and staff sizes.

These pricing examples reflect businesses working predominantly with residential homeowners and focused on general handyman services (not risky trades like roofing or electrical) with 5+ years in business and no major recent claims.

Of course, each company’s unique risks and needs are different. As your business evolves, so will your insurance program. Work closely with an experienced handyman insurance broker to get tailored quotes aligned to your specific business model, services, staff count, and revenue projections as the years go on.

There are specialist insurance agencies that focus exclusively on handymen and artisan contractors. These experts have access to top regional and national insurance carriers that offer coverage specially designed for the exposures facing handymen. This enables you to get multiple quotes and ultimately secure optimal, affordable protection. We strongly advise partnering with a dedicated handyman insurance broker who completely grasps the intricacies of your trade.

Small Handyman Business Insurance Costs

$150K Annual Revenue

  • 1 Owner
  • 1 Employee

Typical Annual Premiums:

  • General Liability – $3,800
  • Workers Compensation – $4,100
  • Bonds – Not required in South Dakota

Low End Premiums:

  • General Liability – $3,000
  • Workers Comp – $3,300
  • Bonds – Not required

High End Premiums:

  • General Liability – $5,300
  • Workers Comp – $7,300
  • Bonds – Not required

For a smaller handyman operation just getting started with around $150,000 in annual revenues and just the owner plus one part-time employee, typical expected annual premiums would be about $3,800 for General Liability coverage and approximately $4,100 for Workers Compensation.

Of course, handymen just starting out with clean risk profiles can potentially secure liability rates on the lower end around $3,000 and workers comp around $3,300 if partnering with the right insurance advisor who has access to top handyman markets. Those with past claims or riskier services may be quoted closer to the high end of $5,300 for general liability and $7,300 for workers compensation until their policy history is more established.

Medium Handyman Business Insurance Costs

$500K Annual Revenue

  • 1 Owner
  • 3 Employees

Typical Annual Premiums:

  • General Liability – $11,000
  • Workers Compensation – $12,400
  • Bonds – Not required

Low End Premiums:

  • General Liability – $10,200
  • Workers Comp – $9,300
  • Bonds – Not required

High End Premiums:

  • General Liability – $15,400
  • Workers Comp – $20,500
  • Bonds – Not required

For a more established handyman business with around $500,000 in annual revenue and a crew of the owner plus three employees, typical annual premiums often fall around $11,000 for General Liability and $12,400 for Workers Compensation, assuming no major losses.

Those with stellar claims histories can potentially qualify for pricing towards the lower end of $10,200 for GL and $9,300 for workers comp with the right insurance partner. Handymen with past incidents or elevated risk may see quotes closer to $15,400 for general liability and $20,500 for workers compensation until premiums can be reduced.

Large Handyman Business Insurance Costs

$1M Annual Revenue

  • 1 Owner
  • 5 Employees

Typical Annual Premiums:

  • General Liability – $22,300
  • Workers Compensation – $20,700
  • Bonds – Not required

Low End Premiums:

  • General Liability – $18,900
  • Workers Comp – $14,500
  • Bonds – Not required

High End Premiums:

  • General Liability – $26,000
  • Workers Comp – $32,100
  • Bonds – Not required

For larger handyman businesses generating around $1,000,000 in annual revenues and employing about five workers in addition to the owner, typical insurance premiums often range around $22,300 annually for General Liability and approximately $20,700 for Workers Comp.

Established handymen with excellent loss histories may qualify for lower pricing around $18,900 for GL and $14,500 for workers comp when partnering with an experienced handyman insurance broker. Less tenured businesses or those with past claims could see quotes closer to $26,000 for liability and $32,100 for workers compensation until improving their record.

Overview of Additional Insurance Coverages and Typical Premiums

As your handyman operation evolves, here are some additional insurance policies to consider securing beyond just core general liability and workers compensation:

Commercial Auto Insurance

Covers vehicles like vans, trucks, and trailers used for business purposes. Typical premiums range from $1,500 – $3,050 per vehicle annually.

Inland Marine (Tools & Equipment) Insurance

Covers tools and equipment at job sites and in transit. Typical premiums range from $500 – $2,000 per year.

Commercial Property Insurance

Protects business properties like workshops, storage sheds, offices from damage. Typical premiums range from $1,000 – $5,000 annually.

Employment Practices Liability

Protects against employment lawsuits. Typical premiums range from $1,000 – $5,000 annually.

Cyber Liability Insurance

Safeguards against data breaches and hacking. Typical premiums range from $300 – $1,000 annually.

Umbrella Liability Insurance

Provides additional liability coverage above other policies. Typical premiums range from $500 – $1,000 for $1M in additional protection.

As your revenues, staff count, assets, and risks grow over time, it becomes important to re-evaluate insurance needs annually. Meet with your handyman insurance broker to ensure adequate coverage and optimize pricing as your business evolves.

Getting Multiple Quotes and Securing the Right Insurance for Your Handyman Business

Working with an experienced independent insurance broker who specializes in handymen is key to getting multiple tailored quotes for your business. Avoid going direct to insurance carrier websites for DIY quotes. As a handyman, your risks are unique and complex. You need an expert with insider access to top regional and national insurance markets catering to the artisan trades.

Leveraging a broker with specialized expertise in covering handymen grants you flexibility in securing optimal insurance at competitive pricing. A dedicated handyman insurance advisor will combine coverage from multiple elite carriers to build a customized program with the right mix of protection for your specific operations. Don’t leave coverage to chance with standard carriers that won’t fully grasp your business. An independent agent who intimately understands handyman risk exposures is your best asset for affordable, comprehensive protection.


In summary, carrying proper insurance is imperative for South Dakota handymen seeking to fully safeguard their business, assets, people, projects, and reputation from the many hazards and liabilities associated with repair and construction work. Unexpected mishaps and accidents are an inevitable fact of life for handymen. Ensure you have an adequate financial safety net and peace of mind by securing suitable insurance customized to your specific handyman operation’s unique risks and evolving needs over time.