Having adequate insurance coverage at a competitive cost is vital for painters and painting contractors operating in New Hampshire to effectively safeguard against the liabilities and risks inherent in their daily operations. This comprehensive insurance guide examines the key factors that influence costs and drive coverage considerations for Granite State painting companies, provides illustrative premium ranges for different sizes of contractors, and gives an overview of the essential policy types painters need to properly insure their business.

Properly insuring your painting enterprise requires understanding how various elements like your services, number of employees, experience level, risk management protocols and more impact your exposure. It also requires working with an agent that specializes in contractor insurance and has appointments with top regional and national carriers tailored for the painting industry. This enables securing tailored coverage at optimum value. Read on for the insights New Hampshire painting business owners need to make informed insurance decisions.

New Hampshire painters must have the right painting insurance coverage to operate legally in the state. This usually includes general liability insurance for painters to protect against third-party claims and workers’ compensation for painting businesses to cover employee injuries on the job.

Key Factors Influencing Insurance Costs for Painters in New Hampshire

Insurance premiums for painting companies in New Hampshire depend on several important factors:

Industry Classification Codes – For pricing insurance policies like workers’ compensation, insurers assign class codes to occupations representing their inherent risk level. Painters fall under code 5474, which carries typical WC rates of $7.28 per $100 of payroll in New Hampshire. More hazardous trades have higher rates.

Claims History – As with auto insurance, making frequent claims on policies like general liability or workers’ comp can drive premiums upward over time. Maintaining a clean history helps keep insurance costs in check.

Location – Geographic location within New Hampshire can impact premiums. Urban areas like Manchester may have slightly elevated premiums compared to rural parts of the state owing to higher localized risk levels.

Business Size – More employees, vehicles, equipment assets, and higher payroll and revenues mean greater overall exposure for an insurer. This increased claim likelihood translates to higher premiums.

Services Offered – Specialized high-risk services like exterior painting on tall commercial structures warrants higher premiums than routine interior residential repainting due to the hazards.

State Regulations – New Hampshire has relatively modest regulations for contractors compared to stricter licensing and oversight in other states, helping keep local insurance costs affordable.

Years in Business – Newer contractors are perceived as higher risk. As painters demonstrate experience over 5+ years, premiums incrementally decline.

Risk Management – Implementing robust safety protocols, loss prevention measures, employee training, and accident investigation processes helps reduce insurance costs over time by managing risks.

Deductible Levels – Choosing higher deductibles reduces premiums but increases out-of-pocket costs in the event of a claim. This lever should be evaluated carefully.

Insurance Limits – Higher liability coverage amounts lead to higher premiums, but may be strategically necessary for larger painting firms.

Premium Payment Options – Paying premiums in full upfront rather than through installment plans can save 3-5% on insurance costs.

Overview of Cost Ranges for Small, Medium and Large Painting Firms

Below we provide an overview of typical annual insurance premium ranges for small, medium and large residential painting contractors in New Hampshire with 5+ years experience and no recent claims. Painters can use this as a benchmark, but may see some variance depending on their particular characteristics. Working with an appointed agent providing access to top regional and national insurance carriers can assist companies in securing rates at the lower end of these ranges.

Small Painting Business

($150K Revenue, 1 Owner, 1 Full-Time Employee)

General Liability Insurance

Typical Premium: $2,300

Low End: $1,500

High End: $4,100

Workers’ Compensation

Typical Premium: $3,100

Low End: $2,500

High End: $5,400

Surety Bonds

Not required in New Hampshire

Medium Painting Business

($500K Revenue, 1 Owner, 3 Full-Time Employees)

General Liability Insurance

Typical Premium: $6,300

Low End: $4,800

High End: $7,600

Workers’ Compensation

Typical Premium: $9,300

Low End: $7,000

High End: $15,300

Surety Bonds

Not required in New Hampshire

Large Painting Business

($1M Revenue, 1 Owner, 5 Full-Time Employees)

General Liability Insurance

Typical Premium: $12,100

Low End: $8,900

High End: $16,600

Workers’ Compensation

Typical Premium: $15,500

Low End: $10,800

High End: $24,000

Surety Bonds

Not required in New Hampshire

Overview of Additional Common Painting Insurance Coverages

Beyond general liability and workers’ compensation policies, painting contractors in New Hampshire need to consider these important supplemental insurance coverages:

Commercial Auto Insurance

Protects company vehicles from liability claims in the event of accidents while out on painting jobs. Typical premiums range from $1,500 – $3,000 annually per vehicle.

Inland Marine Insurance

Also called contractors equipment coverage, this insures tools, ladders, scaffolding, and other gear on painting job sites or in transit between sites against theft or damage. Typical premiums range from $250 – $2,500 per year based on total equipment value.

Commercial Property Insurance

Covers painting business properties like offices, warehouses, and storage facilities against damage from fire, natural disasters, vandalism, and theft. Typical premiums range from $500 – $5,000 annually depending on property value.

Employment Practices Liability

Protects against claims like wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, and other employee lawsuits. Typical premiums range from $2,000 – $5,000 per year based on company size.

Cyber Insurance

Covers data breaches, hacking, electronic theft and other digital risks for painters relying on networked computer systems to run their business. Typical premiums range from $500 – $1,500 annually.

Pollution Liability

Covers property damage, bodily injury or cleanup costs caused by exposure to hazardous painting materials or waste like solvents, chemicals, or lead-based paints. Typical premiums range from $750 – $2,000 depending on materials used.

Umbrella Liability

Additional liability coverage beyond existing policy limits for large claims or lawsuits. Typical premiums range from $500 – $1,500 per year for $1 million in additional coverage.

Surety Bonds

Bonds are not mandated for painting contractors under New Hampshire state law. But many municipalities have local bonding requirements worth verifying. Typical premiums range from 1-3% of the bond amount.

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)

Bundles general liability, commercial property, and inland marine into one policy. Provides premium discounts but has coverage caps. Typical premiums range from $2,000 – $8,000+ based on revenue.

Getting Multiple Quotes for the Right Insurance at the Best Price

Because insurance needs and risk exposures vary so greatly based on services, number of employees, location, equipment values and other factors, it is highly advisable for painting contractors in New Hampshire to work with an independent insurance agent or broker who specializes in contractor insurance.

Unlike captive agents that only have access to policies from one carrier, independent agents have built relationships and appointments with numerous A-rated insurance carriers. This enables them to solicit multiple comparative quotes for your specific business’ coverage needs. They also offer valuable expertise guiding you to structure adequate limits and add specialized endorsements to fill any potential gaps.

Appointed agents can shop your risk profile and coverage specifications across the different carrier partners they represent in order to identify the optimal combination of coverage breadth, customer service, financial strength, and competitively discounted premium pricing. Going direct to carriers or through captive agents severely restricts your insurance options.

An experienced painting insurance specialist translates your daily risk exposures into proper liability limits, optional additional coverages, and exclusions to avoid underinsuring or overpaying. Getting multiple comparative quotes provides benchmark pricing data and leverage to secure the best carrier value tailored for New Hampshire painting contractors.

Evaluating Your Painting Company’s Specific Insurance Needs

Because each painting business is unique in services offered, number of employees, experience level, risk management protocols, equipment used, and clientele served, insurance needs can vary tremendously. Here are some key considerations for evaluating your particular company’s insurance requirements:

  • Do you perform specialized high-risk work like commercial window washing, industrial coatings, spraying pesticides or lead abatement? Such services may warrant higher liability limits or specific policy endorsements.

  • Do you have physical office, warehouse or storage locations in need of commercial property insurance?

  • Do you have company-owned vehicles like vans and trucks needing commercial auto insurance policies?

  • Do you utilize owned or rented equipment like scaffolding, lifts or generators that should be scheduled on inland marine insurance?

  • Do you maintain sensitive client data or rely on networked computer systems that may require cyber insurance?

  • Do you employ office staff, sales reps or laborers vulnerable to employment practices claims?

  • Do you transport or handle hazardous materials requiring environmental liability insurance?

  • Does your staff work at heights, requiring robust safety protocols to get lower workers’ compensation premiums?

Carefully examining your business activities will help determine if you need supplemental coverage like umbrella policies to increase limits or surety bonds to meet local contracting license requirements. Discussing your specific operations and risk exposures with an insurance expert is the best way to ensure proper protection.


This insurance guide examined key considerations and premium ranges for New Hampshire’s painting contractors. It’s designed to provide a starting point benchmark to help painters evaluate policies like general liability and workers’ comp. But your personal risk profile also heavily factors into costs. Work with a reputable painter-focused independent insurance agent representing multiple carriers to receive quotes for tailored coverage.

An appointed broker shops your needs across different carrier partners to find the right policy blend of breadth, strength, service and value. Take time to discuss your exact business activities so they can fill any potential gaps with optional endorsements. Following these best practices enables properly insuring your painting enterprise at the most favorable available cost.