Having adequate and affordable insurance is an indispensable part of operating a financially sustainable painting business in Michigan. This comprehensive guide provides painters and painting contractors across Michigan with a detailed overview of the typical insurance costs, coverages, limits, premiums and carriers they can expect when seeking to protect their enterprise.

Whether you are a sole proprietor residential painter or a larger commercial painting contractor, properly understanding insurance fundamentals is key to safeguarding your business interests. We’ll explore how common factors like years in business, annual revenue, payroll amounts, services provided, equipment value, and claims history can impact insurance rates for Michigan painters.

Use this guide as an informative starting point when evaluating your protection needs. Work closely with an independent insurance broker who specializes in the painting industry to subsequently discuss your specific circumstances and get tailored recommendations and quotes. An expert broker provides invaluable guidance on getting adequate, affordable coverage from reputable providers.

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

Key Factors Influencing Insurance Costs for Painters in Michigan

Multiple important factors determine insurance costs for painting contractors in Michigan, including:

Years in Business – Newer contractors and startups face higher baseline premiums that gradually improve over time as they build experience, implementation of formal risk management protocols, and establishment of a positive claims history. Well-established painting firms with 5+ years in business often benefit from significant experience credits and loyalty discounts from carriers.

Annual Revenue – Insurers inherently associate higher total annual revenues with larger-scale operations, more employees, pricier projects and increased general business exposures. Thus, as a rough rule of thumb, painting companies with higher annual revenues pay proportionally higher overall insurance premiums.

Payroll Amounts – Payroll directly impacts workers’ compensation premiums, which represent a major cost. The greater the total annual payroll, the greater the workers’ comp premium. For other coverages, higher payroll also suggests elevated exposures.

Services Provided – Specialized high-risk services warrant costlier premiums. For example, a painting firm focusing on tall skyscrapers or chemical plants will pay more than one painting residential homes. Hazardous materials also raise rates.

Equipment Values – Painters with higher total values for tools, gear, vehicles and other equipment insured via inland marine policies pay higher premiums because of the increased replacement costs those items represent for insurers.

Claims History – Too many past claims, like in personal auto insurance, lead to notably increased premiums over time. Contractors with clean recent claims histories benefit from lower experience modifiers.

Overview of Cost Illustration for Small, Medium, and Large Painting Businesses in Michigan

To provide helpful context around typical insurance costs for painting contractors across Michigan, below we outline illustrative premium ranges for small, medium and large painting businesses based primarily on their annual revenue and number of employees.

These premiums assume the business is well-established with 5+ years experience, focuses exclusively on lower-risk residential home painting services, maintains safety best practices, and has no major recent claims. Actual premiums depend on your unique circumstances.

Use this framework as an informativeinsurance cost benchmark.

Small Painting Business

  • $150,000 Annual Revenue
  • 1 Owner
  • 1 Full-Time Employee

General Liability

  • Typical: $1,900
  • Low End: $1,100
  • High End: $3,200

Workers Compensation

  • Typical: $2,100
  • Low End: $1,700
  • High End: $3,700

Surety Bonds

  • Not Legally Required in Michigan

Medium Painting Business

  • $500,000 Annual Revenue
  • 1 Owner
  • 3 Full-Time Employees

General Liability

  • Typical: $3,600
  • Low End: $2,000
  • High End: $5,300

Workers Compensation

  • Typical: $6,400
  • Low End: $4,800
  • High End: $10,500

Surety Bonds

  • Not Legally Required in Michigan

Large Painting Business

  • $1,000,000 Annual Revenue
  • 1 Owner
  • 5 Full-Time Employees

General Liability

  • Typical: $7,500
  • Low End: $3,000
  • High End: $11,100

Workers Compensation

  • Typical: $10,600
  • Low End: $7,400
  • High End: $16,500

Surety Bonds

  • Not Legally Required in Michigan

Overview of Common Insurance Policies for Painters in Michigan

Beyond General Liability and Workers Compensation which are necessities, let’s discuss some other common insurance coverages painting contractors across Michigan should consider:

Commercial Auto Insurance

Legally required if company vehicles are used for business activities, this protects against financial liabilities arising from any accidents, injuries or damage involving company vehicles out on the job. Policy limits of $500,000/$1 million are advisable. Premiums range from approximately $1,500 to $3,000 annually per vehicle.

Inland Marine (Contractor’s Equipment) Insurance

This covers equipment like ladders, scaffolding, compressors, paint sprayers, hand tools and similar assets against theft or damage at work sites or in transit. Premium costs typically vary from about $250 to $2,500 annually depending on total value of equipment insured. Can prove invaluable if gear is lost or damaged.

Commercial Property Insurance

For painting contractors who own offices, warehouses, or other business property, having adequate commercial property insurance is strongly recommended to safeguard those assets against perils like fires, storms, theft, and vandalism. Typical annual premiums range from approximately $500 to $5,000 or more depending on specifics of the property insured.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

Though not legally mandated, having active EPLI coverage is becoming almost indispensable in today’s increasingly complex regulatory environment to protect painting business owners against potential lawsuits from employees alleging wrongful termination, discrimination, failure to promote, and other employment practice violations. Typical annual premiums for smaller painting contractors generally range from about $2,000 to $5,000 or more depending on headcount and revenue.

Cyber Liability Insurance

With nearly all paintings businesses relying on digital infrastructure to run their enterprise, specialized cyber insurance is equally vital to cover costs associated with data breaches, hacks, and electronic theft that could damage software systems or expose sensitive client information. Average annual premiums for smaller painting contractors are typically $500 to $1,500.

Commercial Umbrella Insurance

Supplemental umbrella coverage provides an additional layer of liability protection above and beyond the limits of core insurance policies, which often max out at $1 million to $2 million in coverage. Umbrella insurance starting at $1 million in extra coverage typically costs around $500 to $1,500 annually, but offers essential peace of mind.

Surety Bonds

Unlike most states, Michigan does not currently mandate statewide bonding requirements for painters and painting contractors. However, many specific municipalities and public agencies frequently impose localized bonding requirements on painting projects. When needed, typical annual premium costs range from approximately 1% to 3% of the bond amount.

Partnering With the Right Insurance Broker Matters

Shopping insurance for painting contractors involves more than just securing the cheapest overall premium quotes. It’s vital to work with a reputable, independent brokerage and agent who thoroughly understands the painting business, and who has established long-term relationships with top performing insurance carriers familiar with handling the needs of painters.

The right insurance broker acts as your trusted advocate. They take time to carefully understand your firm’s specific risk exposures, operating environment and protection needs. They offer invaluable expertise guiding you through available coverage options. They leverage their industry connections to secure tailored coverage at optimal value from financially stable insurance partners.

Establishing this type of relationship with an experienced painting insurance broker provides a number of important benefits:

  • Knowledgeable Expert Advice – You benefit from working with specialists who understand the nuances of painting contractor risks.

  • Policy Fine-Tuning – They’ll help refine and enhance policies to address your particular needs.

  • Competitive Quotes – They enable access to pricing from multiple high-quality insurance carriers.

  • Superior Service – Reputable brokers are selective with carrier partnerships, choosing only those known for fair claims handling, prompt payments, and exemplary service.

  • Convenience – The broker handles policy administration, certificates of insurance, compliance and renewals for you.

  • Cost Savings – They offer techniques like bundled policy discounts to help reduce premium expenditures.

Take time to carefully select an independent insurance broker with demonstrated expertise supporting painting contractors. Avoid brokers attempting to steer you to just a single carrier. The most valuable relationships provide both robust insurance knowledge and access to competitive pricing.


For painters and painting contractors across Michigan, proper insurance represents one of the most crucial investments in effectively protecting your business assets and financial future. Use this guide as a helpful starting point for understanding typical coverages and costs. Then partner with an experienced painting insurance broker to craft tailored policies fitting your unique requirements. Stay safe and stay properly insured.