Having proper insurance coverage in place is an absolutely vital component for any painting contractor seeking to operate a financially protected and legally compliant business in Montana.

Painting work inevitably carries various inherent occupational hazards on a daily basis – from the risks of falls and injuries working at heights, to the dangers of operating heavy machinery, to the potential for overspray damage to clients’ personal property. Without adequate insurance, these and other perils can expose painting business owners to major financial and legal liabilities arising from unforeseen accidents, natural disasters, lawsuits, theft and other adversities.

This guide will provide an extensive overview of the most essential insurance coverage options painting contractors in Montana need to consider, along with illustrative premium ranges based on business size and other important cost factors.

With helpful insights on policies like General Liability, Workers Comp, Inland Marine and more, Montana painting company owners can craft an affordable insurance program tailored to safeguard their specific operational risks and business assets.

Montana painters must have the appropriate business insurance for painting to operate legally in the state. This typically includes liability insurance for painters to safeguard against third-party claims and workers’ comp for painting companies to cover employee injuries sustained while working.

Key Factors Influencing Insurance Costs for Painters in Montana

Insurance premiums for painting contractors in Montana can vary substantially based on these key factors:

  • Business Size – Both total number of employees on payroll as well as overall annual revenues are factored in by insurers, with larger painting firms generally facing proportionately higher insurance costs due to greater overall risk exposures.

  • Years in Business – New start-up painting contractors are considered higher risk and charged higher base premiums by insurers, which then gradually improve over years of continued operations. Firms with longer operating history represent lower risk.

  • Claims History – Painters with past insurance claims on record – for events like workers’ injuries, overspray damage, lawsuits from clients, etc. – are rated as higher risk and charged higher ongoing premiums, similar to auto insurance. Painting contractors with clean recent claims history enjoy lower premiums.

  • Services Offered – Specialized high-risk offerings like external window washing and painting tall commercial high-rise buildings warrant significantly higher premiums compared to interior house painting services. Insurers classify services by risk levels.

  • Work Sites – Contractors exclusively working on residential homes are considered lower risk versus those operating on potentially dangerous commercial construction sites with heavy machinery and equipment. Work site category affects premiums.

  • Location – Geographic service area matters, as premium rates approved by state regulators inherently differ between regions. Costs in high-risk urban centers like Billings exceed lower-risk rural towns. Location also impacts local competition between insurers.

  • Materials Used – Painting companies frequently using hazardous volatile chemicals and toxic solvent-based paints and finishes represent greater environmental liability and injury risks versus contractors exclusively applying water-based latex paints. Materials used influence premiums.

  • Policy Limits – Higher liability coverage limits naturally mean greater financial exposure for insurers, resulting in proportionately higher premiums charged to painting contractors to compensate for expanded coverage.

  • Insurer Competition – Areas with more insurance providers actively competing for painting contractor clients will offer lower premium rates to attract business, compared to areas with fewer options. More choices provide negotiation leverage.

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

Below we have illustrated some typical annual insurance premium ranges painting contractors in Montana may expect to encounter based on their business size and other parameters. These can serve as helpful baseline benchmarks, but keep in mind actual quoted premiums can vary significantly based on your firm’s unique characteristics and risk profile.

These cost ranges assume contractors have 5+ years in operation with a clean recent claims history, and focus on residential repainting services using standard latex paints. New startups, excessive past claims, non-standard paints, or expanded services would increase costs.

Small Painting Business

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

General Liability Insurance

Typical Premium – $2,100

Low End – $1,600

High End – $2,800

Workers’ Compensation

Typical Premium – $3,100

Low End – $2,500

High End – $5,400

Medium Painting Business

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

General Liability Insurance

Typical Premium – $5,600

Low End – $3,700

High End – $6,700

Workers’ Compensation

Typical Premium – $9,300

Low End – $7,000

High End – $15,300

Large Painting Business

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

General Liability Insurance

Typical Premium – $10,800

Low End – $7,500

High End – $13,300

Workers’ Compensation

Typical Premium – $15,500

Low End – $10,800

High End – $24,000

Overview of Additional Common Insurance Policies and Typical Premiums

Beyond the core General Liability and Workers Compensation policies outlined above, painting contractors in Montana often carry supplemental insurance coverage for added protection:

Commercial Auto Insurance

Protects company vehicles used for business purposes like transporting ladders, paint and tools to job sites. Typical annual premiums range from $1,500 – $3,000 per vehicle.

Inland Marine (Equipment) Insurance

Covers painters’ ladders, sprayers, scaffolding and other tools and gear against theft and damage – both on customer job sites and in transit. Typical annual premiums range from $500 – $2,000 total.

Commercial Property Insurance

For any owned office, warehouse, or other company properties. Safeguards against perils like fire, storm damage and vandalism. Typical annual premiums range from $1,000 – $5,000 depending on building value.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

Protects against claims of discrimination, harassment or wrongful termination by employees. Typical annual premiums range from $2,500 – $5,000 depending on number of employees.

Cyber Insurance

Covers costs related to data breaches and hacking incidents. Typical annual premiums range from $500 – $1,500 for most small painting contractors in Montana.

Commercial Umbrella Insurance

Additional liability coverage beyond the limits of primary policies. For an extra $1 million in protection, typical annual premiums range from $750 – $2,000 depending on risk factors.

Professional Liability Insurance

Provides protection against financial damages arising from professional errors or negligent work. Annual premiums typically range from $800 – $2,500.

Importance of Getting Multiple Quotes from Specialized Painters Insurance Agents

It’s crucial for painting contractors to keep in mind that insurance is a highly specialized field. The painters insurance market is complex, with significant variability in products, rates and eligibility between different carriers.

Working with an independent insurance agent that focuses specifically on the painters insurance segment and has existing access to multiple specialized markets is key to obtaining comparative quotes customized for your firm’s unique risk characteristics and exposures.

This market access enables crafting an optimal insurance portfolio at the most competitive pricing available. Agents with specialized expertise also provide guidance on adequate coverage levels and risk management best practices to improve insurability over time.


Insurance coverage plays an indispensable role in protecting Montana painting contractors against the diverse array of risks and potential liabilities involved in daily painting operations.

While premiums naturally vary based on factors like business size, experience, services, and history, typical costs range from approximately $5,000 – $6,200 annually for small painters up to $26,300 – $38,300 for larger firms.

Core policies like General Liability, Workers Comp, Inland Marine, and Commercial Auto provide fundamental financial protection, while additional specialty products fill remaining coverage gaps.

Partnering with a painting insurance specialist is key to securing affordable, tailored policies that provide peace of mind and position a painting business for long-term, sustainable success.