As a handyman operating in Wisconsin, having adequate insurance is crucial to protect your business from the risks inherent in home repair, maintenance, installation, and small construction projects. Even routine handyman tasks carry hazards that could lead to substantial financial losses if something goes wrong. A slipped tool can damage a client’s property. An errant hammer strike can shatter a window. A fall from a ladder can cause serious injuries. This makes insurance vital for shielding your handyman business.

This comprehensive guide will explore the key factors that influence insurance costs specifically for handymen in Wisconsin. It also provides a detailed overview of typical premium ranges for small, medium, and large handyman businesses based on common policies like general liability, workers’ compensation, bonds, commercial auto, inland marine, commercial property, employment practices liability, cyber, and umbrella insurance.

Having insight into potential insurance costs allows you to strategically plan for and secure adequate, affordable protection tailored for your Wisconsin handyman operation as it evolves.

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

Key Factors Influencing Insurance Costs for Handymen in Wisconsin

Insurance premiums for handymen in Wisconsin depend on several important factors:

Years in Business

Being longer established with 5+ years in business often leads to lower premiums because it demonstrates a proven track record of operating safely and avoiding frequent claims. New start-up businesses with less than 2 years of experience will typically pay higher initial insurance rates.

Annual Revenue

More annual handyman business revenue equates to taking on larger project values and greater overall risk exposure. This increased exposure results in insurance carriers requiring higher premiums to adequately cover potential losses and liabilities from larger projects.

As an example, a handyman business generating $500,000 in annual revenue will need higher general liability limits to protect from losses compared to a business with just $150,000 in annual revenue. The premiums scale up accordingly.

Number of Employees

Having more handyman employees on your team increases exposures and risks, particularly when it comes to workers’ compensation policies. Additional staff mean you will be taking on more job sites and projects concurrently, increasing the chances an accident or injury could occur. This results in insurance carriers charging higher premiums for each additional employee you have.

Services Performed

Offering highly specialized, inherently hazardous services like electrical work, handyman, or roofing may result in slightly elevated insurance premiums compared to a general handyman business focused more on basic repairs, drywall, tile, carpentry, painting, and everyday home maintenance. Insurance carriers classify and rate risk levels based on your business’s services, tasks, and exposures.

Claims History

Your insurance claims history will significantly impact premium costs. Past claims drive rates up. Handymen who maintain clean records with minimal claims generally enjoy lower insurance premiums. Too many claims over a compressed timeframe can even result in policy cancellation altogether by the insurance company.

Business Location

Insurance regulations, legal environment, and risk levels vary across different cities and counties within Wisconsin. Urban areas like Milwaukee and Madison often have somewhat higher premium costs than rural counties within the state. Location contributes to pricing.

Customer Types

Serving predominantly residential homeowners generally represents lower risks and premiums for handymen than regularly taking on commercial clients like offices, retail stores, warehouses, and apartments. Commercial projects frequently come with higher customer expectations and exposures.

Safety Record

Handymen who invest in safety training for employees, implement robust safety protocols, and cultivate a strong safety culture can qualify for lower premiums. Carriers reward policyholders who take safety seriously and prioritize injury prevention.

Deductible Levels

Choosing higher deductibles for policies like general liability and inland marine can lower premium costs, but also increases your out-of-pocket costs in the event a claim is filed. Evaluate deductible options carefully based on your risk tolerance and financial ability to cover those initial outlays before insurance kicks in.

Overview of Typical Cost Ranges for Handyman Businesses in Wisconsin

Below we provide typical annual premium ranges for small, medium, and large handyman businesses in Wisconsin based on common policies. Use these as helpful benchmarks when planning insurance costs. Actual premiums will depend on your particular business characteristics and risk factors. Work with an experienced insurance broker to get personalized quotes tailored to your specific handyman operation and coverage needs.

When reviewing these numbers, focus in on the lower end of the premium ranges by maintaining safe operations, minimal claims, and partnering with an agent who can access top insurance carriers offering competitive rates.

The rates below assume established handyman businesses working predominantly with residential homeowner clients, having 5+ years in business, and no major loss claims in the past 5 years. Actual costs will go up for new businesses, those serving primarily commercial accounts, or those with a history of multiple past claims.

Small Handyman Business in Wisconsin ($150K Annual Revenue, 1 Owner, 1 Employee)

General Liability Insurance

  • Typical Annual Premium: $2,800
  • Lower End of Premium Range: $2,100
  • Higher End of Premium Range: $4,200

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

  • Typical Annual Premium: $5,500
  • Lower End of Premium Range: $4,400
  • Higher End of Premium Range: $9,600

Surety Bonds

  • Wisconsin does not have a statewide bonding requirement for handymen. But some municipalities have local license and bond mandates to be aware of.

Medium Handyman Business in Wisconsin ($500K Annual Revenue, 1 Owner, 3 Employees)

General Liability Insurance

  • Typical Annual Premium: $8,800
  • Lower End of Premium Range: $7,400
  • Higher End of Premium Range: $11,100

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

  • Typical Annual Premium: $16,400
  • Lower End of Premium Range: $12,300
  • Higher End of Premium Range: $27,100

Surety Bonds

  • Wisconsin does not require bonds for handymen statewide. But some local municipalities have their own regulations.

Large Handyman Business in Wisconsin ($1M Annual Revenue, 1 Owner, 5 Employees)

General Liability Insurance

  • Typical Annual Premium: $18,600
  • Lower End of Premium Range: $17,600
  • Higher End of Premium Range: $22,800

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

  • Typical Annual Premium: $27,300
  • Lower End of Premium Range: $19,100
  • Higher End of Premium Range: $42,400

Surety Bonds

  • No statewide bonding regulations, but select cities implement local handyman license and bond requirements.

Overview of Premium Ranges for Other Common Handyman Insurance Policies in Wisconsin

Commercial Auto Insurance

Covers bodily injury and property damage arising from the use of vehicles for business purposes:

  • Typical Premium Range: $1,500 – $3,050 per vehicle

Inland Marine (Tools & Equipment) Insurance

Protects tools and machinery when on job sites and in transit:

  • Typical Premium Range: $650 – $2,000 per year

Commercial Property Insurance

Safeguards business properties like workshops, warehouses, and offices:

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

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

Protects against employee lawsuits alleging discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, etc:

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

Cyber Liability Insurance

Covers data breaches, hacking incidents, and electronic theft:

  • Typical Premium Range: $500 – $1,500 per year

Umbrella Liability Insurance

Provides additional liability coverage above policy limits:

  • Typical Premium Range: $750 – $1,500 per year

Importance of Getting Multiple Quotes for Handyman Insurance in Wisconsin

Because costs can vary significantly based on your unique risks and business characteristics, it is highly recommended to work with an insurance broker that specializes in handyman policies. They will contact multiple insurance carriers and quote your business across a wide range of options.

This allows you to make an informed decision on a insurance program tailored specifically for handymen that provides adequate limits while also fitting your budget. Never opt for a policy solely based on the cheapest premium or baseline state minimum requirements. It likely won’t meet your actual business needs when a claim arises.

How an Insurance Broker Helps Wisconsin Handymen Get Customized Coverage

Partnering with an insurance broker that has access to top regional and national insurance carriers is key to getting coverage that is customized for your Wisconsin handyman business. Here are some of the benefits of working with a specialist:

  • Evaluates your specific operations to gain an in-depth understanding of potential risk exposures and insurance needs. They will take a close look at the services you provide, tools you use, clients you serve, number of employees, etc. This allows them to build a tailored policy.

  • Has established relationships with A-rated insurance carriers familiar with covering handymen. This allows them to shop your policy for the most competitive pricing.

  • Determines appropriate coverage limits to adequately protect your business without any gaps. You don’t want to be underinsured or overinsured. They identify the right limits.

  • Recommends optional endorsements and added coverages that make sense based on your operations. This customizes the policy to address potential exposures.

  • Handles shopping quotes and securing the policy so you don’t have to fill out multiple applications. They streamline the process.

  • Provides ongoing support if you have claims, questions, experience growth or other changes, and at renewal time. A long term partner for your insurance needs.

What Happens If You Don’t Have the Right Handyman Insurance in Wisconsin?

Handymen in Wisconsin who fail to carry proper insurance for their business face major risks including:

  • Any claims for third-party property damage, injuries, or accidents related to your work would come straight out of your own pocket. This can quickly add up to tens of thousands in expenses if you lack coverage.

  • You may be violating state or local insurance requirements which could lead to fines or inability to legally operate until compliance is achieved.

  • The absence of insurance is a liability deterrent to homeowners considering hiring you. You’ll lose out on a majority of potential customers and revenue without being insured.

  • Lack of workers’ compensation insurance leaves you wide open to serious lawsuits if an employee gets injured on the job and files a claim against you.

  • Being uninsured makes it very difficult to win contracts from commercial clients who require you carry insurance before being hired. This greatly limits your market reach.

  • Any damage to your expensive tools, work vehicles, or other business assets would need to be paid for out of your own money if uninsured.


Properly insuring your Wisconsin handyman business is absolutely essential for demonstrating your commitment to clients while also protecting your company’s assets and finances. Use our overview as a guide to budgeting for typical handyman insurance costs in the state. Then partner with a broker to get quotes customized to your current operations and evolving risks.