For handymen and contractors in Tennessee, having proper insurance coverage is crucial for protecting your business from the risks inherent in home repair, maintenance, installation, and small construction projects. Even routine handyman tasks carry hazards that can lead to substantial financial losses if something goes wrong. As a handyman, you operate in your clients’ homes and businesses, where accidents and mishaps can easily occur. Suitable insurance provides a safety net so your business can survive unforeseen problems. This overview will explore key factors influencing insurance costs for handymen in Tennessee, provide illustrative premium ranges for small, medium and large handyman businesses, and summarize typical costs for common policies beyond general liability and workers compensation.

Handymen working in Tennessee need to have the appropriate handyman insurance coverage in place. This typically includes liability coverage for handymen to safeguard against third-party claims and workers’ comp insurance for handymen to cover employee injuries sustained while working.

Key Factors Influencing Insurance Costs for Handymen in Tennessee

Insurance premiums for Tennessee handymen depend on several key factors:

  • Revenue: More revenue equates to greater project values and increased risk exposure for insurers, resulting in higher premiums. Handymen with higher annual revenues take on larger and more complex projects typically, which increases the chances of claims occurring. As your handyman business grows, it’s important to continually re-evaluate insurance needs.
  • Number of Employees: More employees means greater exposure for workers compensation claims. Each additional handyman or subcontractor increases the risks of workplace incidents. Staff size directly impacts premium costs, so this should be monitored closely.
  • Services Performed: Specialized or hazardous work like electrical, handyman or roofing may have elevated premiums compared to general handyman services. The specific trades and tasks your business handles influence risks and premiums.
  • Claims History: Frequent past claims will drive premiums upward. Insurers associate claims with higher chances of future claims. Maintaining a clean claims record helps keep costs affordable.
  • Business Longevity: New businesses often pay higher rates initially. Long-tenured operations with 5+ years experience tend to qualify for discounts from insurers. Proving your staying power reduces perceived risks.
  • Location: Urban regions like Memphis and Nashville may have moderately higher premiums than rural areas due to increased property risks. Population density increases exposure potential.
  • Insurer Competition: The abundance of insurance carriers in Tennessee creates competition helping keep handyman premiums competitive. Comparison shopping is advised.

Illustrative Insurance Costs for Tennessee Handymen

Here are illustrative premium ranges for small, medium and large Tennessee handyman businesses based on typical coverage. Actual costs depend on specific risks.

Small Handyman Business

Typical Attributes:

  • $150,000 Annual Revenue
  • Sole Proprietor
  • 1 Employee

General Liability

Typical Premium: $2,900

Low End: $1,400

High End: $4,700

General liability protects against third party property damage and bodily injury claims. Typical limits of $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate are recommended. Higher revenue businesses may need increased limits.

Workers Compensation

Typical Premium: $5,000

Low End: $4,000

High End: $8,800

Workers compensation covers medical expenses and lost wages for employees injured on the job. Rates vary based on risk classifications, payroll amount and claims history.

Surety Bonds

Typical Premium: $300

Low End: $100

High End: $500

Bonds act as a financial guarantee of your work. Many clients require bonded contractors. The premium is typically 1-3% of the bond amount.

Medium Handyman Business

Typical Attributes:

  • $500,000 Annual Revenue
  • Sole Proprietor
  • 3 Employees

General Liability

Typical Premium: $7,600

Low End: $3,800

High End: $11,200

As a starting point, always aim for at least $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate.

Workers Compensation

Typical Premium: $15,100

Low End: $11,300

High End: $24,900

The moderate payroll amount with 3 employees leads to a sizable workers comp premium, which grows as staff is added.

Surety Bonds

Typical Premium: $300

Low End: $100

High End: $500

With significant project values, a $15,000 – $25,000 bond is recommended to satisfy most clients.

Large Handyman Business

Typical Attributes:

  • $1,000,000 Annual Revenue
  • Sole Proprietor
  • 5 Employees

General Liability

Typical Premium: $16,100

Low End: $8,300

High End: $25,600

Higher GL limits like $3 million per occurrence and $6 million aggregate should be considered for large revenues.

Workers Compensation

Typical Premium: $25,100

Low End: $17,600

High End: $39,000

The sizable payroll amount with 5 employees leads to a hefty workers comp premium. Risk management is key.

Surety Bonds

Typical Premium: $300

Low End: $100

High End: $500

A $25,000 – $50,000 bond is typical for larger handyman businesses bidding on bigger projects.

Additional Common Handyman Insurance Coverages

Beyond general liability and workers compensation, here are typical premium ranges for other important policies:

Commercial Auto Insurance

Covers vehicles used for business purposes.

Typical Premium: $1,800 – $3,000 per vehicle

Commercial auto protects your business vehicles and covers liability claims arising from their use. Pick-up trucks, cargo vans and trailers should be covered.

Inland Marine (Tools & Equipment) Insurance

Protects tools and machinery during transport and on job sites.

Typical Premium: $600 – $2,000 per year

Also called contractors equipment coverage, this protects your vital tools that are exposed to theft and damage risks on the go and at job sites.

Commercial Property Insurance

Safeguards business properties like workshops, sheds and offices.

Typical Premium: $1,000 – $5,000 per year

This covers your business locations against common risks like fire, theft, vandalism, smoke damage and natural disasters. Inventory should also be included.

Employment Practices Liability

Shields against employment-related lawsuits.

Typical Premium: $2,000 – $5,000 per year

EPLI provides protection against claims like wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment and other employee allegations. It’s crucial for larger staffs.

Cyber Liability Insurance

Covers data breaches and hacking incidents.

Typical Premium: $500 – $2,000 per year

Cyber insurance covers costs stemming from data breaches, computer hacking, electronic theft and other IT security incidents. It’s vital for any online handyman presence.

Umbrella Liability Insurance

Provides additional liability limits above other policies.

Typical Premium: $1,000 – $2,000 per year

Umbrella coverage increases limits for general liability, auto liability and employer’s liability. Added protection as your business grows is wise.

Getting Multiple Quotes for Your Handyman Business

Working with an independent insurance agent or broker who specializes in covering handymen is highly recommended. They have access to top regional and national insurance carriers and can shop multiple quotes tailored to your business’s unique risks and needs.

This enables finding coverage at competitive rates from insurers offering the right blend of price, financial stability, customer service, and strong claims handling for Tennessee handyman operations.

Ask trusted industry peers for referrals and search for specialists with expertise beyond standard policies. Discuss bundling options to maximize discounts. Thoroughly review limits and exclusions before binding coverage.

Optimizing Insurance Costs

There are also steps handymen can take to control costs and reduce premiums beyond maintaining a positive loss history:

  • Raise deductibles cautiously to lower premiums
  • Implement formal safety programs and training
  • Provide secure tool storage
  • Follow stringent hiring practices
  • Favor workplace safety over productivity
  • Adopt digital tools to document completed work
  • Join trade associations for exclusive access to group insurance programs
  • Explore high-deductible plans offering premium savings

Knowing these best practices also allows you to demonstrate risk management commitment to insurance partners. Discuss these in-depth with agents to maximize savings.


Properly insuring your handyman business in Tennessee provides peace of mind knowing you have transferred the key risks your company faces to insurance carriers. Work with a specialist to secure tailored, affordable policies so you can focus on satisfying customers with quality workmanship. Evaluate insurance needs early when starting out and revisit coverages routinely as your business evolves.