Your painting business faces very different risks when compared to other contractors. Because you’re not cutting, nailing or screwing into walls and floors, the chances of accidentally doing damage to the property you’re working on is much lower.
Your crew probably won’t be faced with a water damage claim for an errant screw that punctured a plumbing line. Likewise, thanks to the fact that most paints are now water-based, painting contractors are no longer faced with many claims related to fumes making someone sick.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be faced with claims. The difference is that the overwhelming majority of claims for painters today are related to overspray and spillage. In other words, getting paint on something that’s not supposed to be painted.
Most painting contractors use some combination of rollers, brushes and sprayers, to apply paint to different kinds of surfaces under different conditions. Sprayed paint is the most likely to end up somewhere it’s not supposed to be, if your crew is not careful about using dropcloths, masking and containment barriers. But even if you’re using brushes and rollers, there’s always the risk of a spill.
Your firm is contracted to re-paint a parking garage. All cars are moved out of the garage the day before, and because of the nature of the work, you decide to use sprayers to complete the job. Because it’s an underground garage, your crew decides that it’s not necessary to put up a containment barrier. It’s a multi-day job. On the final day, you are painting the top level. Your crew doesn’t notice that a significant breeze picks up during the day. Although it’s an indoor garage, it’s not completely sealed. At the end of the day, someone notices that cars parked outside are speckled with overspray. They need to be professionally cleaned and detailed.
Total claim: $17,000
Insurance aside, every painter knows that prepping for a paint job is every bit as important as the painting itself, because paint where you want paint is great, but paint where you don’t is messy and hard to clean up. The best way to protect against overspray and spillage claims is to take extra care before you begin a job to tape what needs to be taped, place dropcloths and set up containment barriers. As the example above shows, it’s better to be over-cautious, especially when you’re spraying. During a job, every time you have to refill a paint tray or the cup on your spray gun, make sure to reseal your paint bucket or can afterward, to prevent spills.
Want to add to this story? Let us know in comments below! Mitchell & Whale is a fast-growing insurance brokerage in Ontario, striving to make insurance _not suck_ one customer at a time. Give us a call today to discuss any of your insurance needs at 1.800.731.2228.