As a plumber operating in Delaware, having proper insurance coverage is essential to safeguard your business from the day-to-day risks inherent in plumbing work. This comprehensive guide examines typical insurance costs for plumbers in Delaware based on annual revenue and number of employees.

We’ll take a close look at the key factors that influence insurance pricing, provide estimated premium ranges for small, medium and large plumbing businesses, highlight additional insurance options worth considering, explain how carriers calculate rates, and offer guidance on getting the right insurance tailored for your enterprise.

Understanding these elements will equip you to make prudent insurance decisions to fully protect your company, employees, assets, and reputation.

Delaware plumbers must have the proper insurance protection for plumbing to operate legally in the state. This typically includes liability protection for plumbers to safeguard against third-party claims and workers’ comp coverage for plumbing companies to cover employee injuries sustained while on the job.

Key Factors Influencing Insurance Costs

Several important factors primarily determine the insurance costs for plumbers operating in Delaware:

Annual Revenue: As your annual plumbing revenue increases, it generally means you are taking on more plumbing jobs and your overall risk exposure grows in parallel. More revenue results in higher liability insurance premiums.

Payroll Size: The more employees you have performing plumbing work, the greater the cumulative risk. Higher payroll devoted to plumbing-specific tasks leads to increased workers’ compensation and liability premiums.

Claims History: If your business has a history of frequent claims, whether large or small, it drives insurance prices upward. Maintaining a clean claims history without incidents helps keep your premiums in check.

Work Performed: If your plumbing business specializes in high-risk, complex or hazardous work like sewer line repair, underground piping, or hot water heater installation, you may face higher premiums due to the nature of these jobs. Simpler, low-risk tasks can decrease costs.

Business Location: Plumbing contractors operating in areas with high crime rates or severe weather exposures like hurricanes or floods are likely to see higher premiums for property, liability and workers’ compensation policies compared to safer regions. Location matters.

Policy Limits: The higher the limits you choose for policies like general liability or commercial auto, the greater the potential payout for insurance carriers. Higher limits mean increased premiums in almost all cases. Consider minimum state requirements and contractual obligations when selecting limits.

Insurer Competition in the Market: Robust competition among insurers typically helps keep premium pricing competitive in regional markets. Having access to multiple specialized plumbing insurance carriers provides leverage to secure the optimal terms and rates.

Small Plumbing Business Insurance Costs

For a small plumbing contractor in Delaware, defined as a business with approximately $150,000 in annual revenue and between 1 to 2 employees, here are typical estimated premium ranges:

General Liability Insurance – Annual premiums typically ranging from $5,700 on the low end up to $10,000 on the high end for $1 Million per occurrence and $2 Million aggregate limits. General liability protects against third party bodily injury and property damage claims arising from your operations.

Workers’ Compensation – Annual premiums ranging from $3,000 up to $5,200 with lower pricing reflecting a highly safe and experienced contractor. Workers’ compensation covers job site injuries and occupational illnesses suffered by employees.

Surety Bonds – Annual premiums as low as $50 but up to $250 or more based on bond amount and contractor’s credit/financials. Bonds are typically required to meet state licensing and permit requirements. Local jurisdiction determines specifics.

Medium Plumbing Business Insurance Costs

For a medium sized plumbing business in Delaware, defined roughly as $500,000 in annual revenue and 3 full-time employees, here are typical estimated premiums:

General Liability – Annual premiums ranging from $12,600 up to $20,200 assuming $1 Million per occurrence and $2 Million aggregate limits. The increased revenue necessitates higher limits to sufficiently protect the business.

Workers’ Compensation – Annual premiums from $8,900 on the low end up to $15,700 on the high end. The growth in payroll results in greater workers’ compensation costs.

Surety Bonds – Annual premiums ranging from $50 to $250 for required license and permit bonds. Bonding requirements typically don’t change materially with moderate business growth. If you’re looking to expand your skills and knowledge in plumbing, consider obtaining a Delaware Plumbing License which can greatly enhance your professional career.

Large Plumbing Business Insurance Costs

For a larger plumbing contractor in Delaware, defined as approximately $1,000,000 in annual revenue and 5 or more employees, here are typical estimated premium ranges:

General Liability – Annual premiums ranging from $38,100 up to $49,500 assuming $1 Million per occurrence and $2 Million aggregate limits. The substantial revenues necessitate more robust liability limits.

Workers’ Compensation – Annual premiums from $14,900 on the low end up to $26,100 on the high end. The expanded payroll results in major workers’ compensation costs.

Surety Bonds – Annual premiums ranging from $50 to $250 to fulfill state and local licensing bonding requirements which typically don’t increase substantially with business growth.

Additional Insurance Coverages to Consider

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Consider These Additional Insurance Coverages

For plumbing contractors, considering insurance needs goes beyond just the basic requirements. There are several different types of insurance that should be examined for their potential value in safeguarding the business:

  • Property Insurance: This insurance provides coverage for buildings, business contents, and equipment against losses from things like fire, wind, hail, theft, and vandalism. For contractors, the average annual premiums can range from $500 to over $2,000. The cost will depend on the value of the property and its location.
  • Inland Marine Insurance: Specifically designed to protect costly contractor tools and equipment while they are on job sites or being transported, this insurance’s average annual premiums range from $250 to $750. The cost can vary based on the value of the equipment.
  • Commercial Umbrella Insurance: This type of insurance offers extra liability coverage beyond the standard general liability, auto, and employers liability policies. For plumbing contractors, each additional $1 million in umbrella coverage usually costs between $400 and $800 annually.
  • Errors & Omissions Insurance: This insurance covers the business against financial losses from third parties that may arise from alleged mistakes or negligence in the quality of work. Typical annual premiums for plumbing contractors are in the range of $500 to $1,000.
  • Cyber Insurance: With the growing risks of digital crimes like data breaches and hacking, this insurance has become nearly essential. It helps protect against stolen customer information and other online threats. The average annual cost is between $750 and $1,500.
  • Employment Practices Liability Insurance: This protects plumbing businesses from legal actions related to employment issues such as wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and other disputes with employees. The usual annual premiums for this insurance run from $800 to $1,200.

Regularly reviewing insurance needs with a professional agent can guide the customization of a policy package. Such a tailored approach ensures that the insurance coverage continues to align with the unique needs and growth of a plumbing contracting business.

How Insurance Carriers Calculate Premiums for Plumbers

Insurance companies take multiple factors into account when developing premiums specifically for plumbing contractors:

  • Classify employees by risk profile using standardized classification codes set by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). Plumbers fall under the NCCI class code 5183 which carries a set rate range per $100 of payroll.
  • Calculate total payroll allocated towards plumbing-specific tasks. More payroll equates to greater overall risk and higher premiums. Payroll doing lower risk clerical work is excluded.
  • Apply an experience modification factor to the workers’ compensation premium. Favorable loss history lowers the experience mod, reducing premiums. Higher experience mods suggesting frequent claims will raise the rate.
  • Factor in the plumbing business’ total annual revenue which is indicative of overall operations risk. The greater the revenue, the larger potential liability, so higher premiums apply.
  • Review past loss and claims history of the business across all policies. Numerous past claims suggest greater risk and drive premiums upward accordingly.
  • Evaluate the type and total insured value of plumbers’ tools, materials, and equipment. More expensive equipment warrants appropriately higher premiums for coverage.
  • Assess the total number of vehicles insured. Contractors insuring large fleets pay substantially higher auto insurance premiums compared to smaller fleets.
  • Analyze personal credit history and financials which may suggest higher risk. Poorer credit scores often lead to higher premiums.
  • Incorporate unique state regulations, local market dynamics, and cost of living which impact pricing.

Getting the Right Insurance for Your Plumbing Business

Navigating insurance for plumbers can be complex. It’s recommended to work with an independent insurance specialist who deeply understands the plumbing industry and associated risks. Avoid agents who only dabble in plumber coverage. You want an expert who lives and breathes plumber insurance daily.

The right specialist will have access to top regional and national commercial insurance carriers tailored to trades like plumbing. This provides leverage to secure comprehensive coverage at optimal terms and pricing. An experienced specialist will also advise on emerging risk exposures and ensure your insurance programs align with evolving business risks.

Investing time upfront to get the proper insurance package in place saves tremendous money and headaches over your plumbing business’s lifetime. The right coverage with adequate limits prevents you from having to pay claims out-of-pocket which can put your business in financial jeopardy.


The cost of properly insuring a plumbing business in Delaware depends on several variables, primarily annual revenue, payroll size, clientele served, past claims, and specific coverages required by contract. Exact premiums are driven by the individual risk profile of each plumbing contractor.

Work closely with an independent insurance specialist who takes the time to thoroughly understand your business and risks so they can offer expert guidance. They will analyze your unique exposures to architect a tailored insurance program providing adequate protection at competitive pricing. This allows you to focus on delivering excellent service to your plumbing customers.

As your business evolves, your trusted insurance advisor will ensure your policies and limits scale in parallel, giving your growing company the coverage it requires at each stage while avoiding paying for unnecessary insurance. Investing in the right insurance coverage is essential for all plumbers in Delaware seeking to properly mitigate risk and safeguard their enterprise for the long-term.