putty insurance

Innovative Insurance for Handymen: Short-Term, Project-Based Insurance Policies

Anne Shaw

If you’re a handyman without business insurance, you’re not alone. In fact, we discovered in a recent survey that just 43% of handymen are currently insured. Respondents without insurance reported that they either don’t think they need it or that they’re “willing to take the risk.” But what is the risk?

Let’s say that you’re installing a barn door. If it slips off the track and damages your customer’s hardwood floor, then you’re on the hook for repair costs. If the homeowner’s children trip on tools at your job site and get injured, then you may have to cover their medical bills. Or perhaps you use a stain on your customer’s custom wood furniture that transfers onto their authentic $20,000 Persian rug—you could have to replace it.

Stories like these are the reason financial experts like Dave Ramsey urge people—even those who only work side gigs—to minimize their risk with the right insurance coverage. The good news: There’s now an option to insure your short-term projects, even ones that take as little as two hours.

Putty: Business Insurance for Short-Term Handyman Projects

In March of 2020, insurance professionals at The Hartford introduced Putty: short insurance policies for short projects. A product of The Hartford’s Small Business Innovation Lab, Putty insurance policies start as low as just $7 and cover handyman projects that last from two hours up to two weeks. Business owners choose a general liability limit ranging from $300,000 to $1 million. Most short-term insurance buyers choose policies that cover a single day or less, and 35% have purchased short-term insurance for multiple projects.

“Three-quarters of people who purchase short-term insurance policies didn’t carry insurance prior to having an option like Putty, so we’re glad to see that it makes business insurance attainable for more small business owners,” says Christopher Lowell, head of small business innovation for The Hartford. “We launched Putty because we want to better address the risk management needs of all types of small business owners.”

Projects covered include everything from installing ceiling fans to repairing drywall to installing air conditioning units and more. Workers with Putty insurance policies are covered when it comes to:

Damages to their client’s property within one year of the policy period—even if the damage occurs months after the job’s completion

Medical payments related to bodily injury that results from their work

Legal costs associated with related lawsuits

When You Need Business Insurance for Your Side Gig

It’s not just full-time contractors who purchase Putty policies. More and more people are taking on side gigs to earn extra money, including some of Putty’s earliest customers. In fact, nearly half of working Americans now report working a side gig apart from their primary job—up from about 33% reported one year prior in a different worker survey. The reasons people picked up a side gig included needing extra income, fulfilling a passion outside their everyday job, using their side gig as a training ground to practice new skills, and more. No matter the reason, it’s helpful to have an additional income stream in your back pocket.

“Bite-sized insurance will allow more handymen—both full-time and part-time—to operate with less risk hanging over their heads during what are already uncertain times,” says Lowell.

When Side Gigs Have Legal Risks

If you’re working a side gig, you’re likely doing so to improve your life in some way. One thing you certainly aren’t hoping for is a lawsuit. Unfortunately, that’s a risk that you carry with many part-time projects, especially handyman jobs. While side gigs present an opportunity to gain financial freedom and flexibility, a costly lawsuit can deliver the opposite.

Strongly consider purchasing a short-term business insurance policy for your project if you answer ‘yes’ to any of the following questions:

Will you spend time in your customer’s home?

Would the cost of legal fees or settlements related to a lawsuit be a heavy financial burden to you?

Could someone get physically hurt as a result of your work?

Do you install or work with valuable materials that could get damaged?

To avoid heavy financial losses due to an accident or other type of damaging incident, getting insurance for your side gig is a must. And now you don’t have to pay for an annual insurance policy to cover your part-time risk. Instead, you can purchase a policy that works for you only while you need it.

To learn more about Putty’s project-based insurance policies, including which types of projects are covered, visit Putty’s website. Once there you can read more, sign up for email updates, or even start a digital quote for your upcoming project.

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