What Insurance Do You Need To Be a Plumber?

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Plumbing insurance provides vital financial protection for businesses in the plumbing industry, covering liability and property damage claims. Many policies include general liability, commercial property, professional liability and workers' compensation, providing plumbers with a comprehensive suite of business coverage.

Learn about the different insurance types, along with tips on how to shop for insurance for plumbers.

Key Takeaways

  • Plumbing insurance coverage provides plumbers with financial protection against risks and liabilities associated with plumbing work.
  • Certain types of plumbing insurance may be legally required such as having workers’ compensation if you employ workers.
  • Plumbing contractors, septic system technicians, piping specialists and other related professionals can benefit from buying plumbing insurance.
  • Plumbers can expect to pay between $365 to $1,700 annually for general liability insurance and $300 to $2,500 for professional liability insurance.
  • Plumbers with company vans should be wary of auto claims, which constitute the second most expensive claims at $45,000.

What Is Plumbing Insurance?

Plumber insurance is a type of coverage designed for plumbing handymen and businesses in the plumbing industry. It provides financial protection against potential risks and liabilities associated with plumbing work, such as incorrectly installed pipes and negligence. It can also include coverage for the plumber’s tools and equipment if they are stolen or damaged.

It should be noted that plumbing insurance isn’t always a specific product sold but rather, a collection of different coverages that would be useful to a plumbing professional. These coverages often include general liability, professional liability and commercial property insurance.

Why Do Plumbers Need Insurance?

Depending on your state, insurance may be required as a condition of getting your license. For example, New York requires plumbers to carry at least $1 million in general liability coverage to receive a plumbing license.[1]

In addition, most states will also require employers to have workers' compensation, as well as commercial auto insurance if they drive company cars or vans.

Who Needs Plumbers Insurance?

Any type of professional that deals with plumbing should buy plumbers insurance, including:

  • Plumbing contractors
  • Septic system technicians
  • Piping specialists
  • Installers of drainage systems
  • Contractors specializing in sewer hookups
  • Drainage system installers
  • Sprinkler installers
  • Contractors for sump pump installation and maintenance
  • Experts in water pump installation and servicing
  • Contractors specializing in water system balancing and testing

What Types of Insurance Do Plumbers Need?

Plumbing contractors and subcontractors need protection from a wide range of potential liability and property losses. Below are some of the most common and necessary coverage types for plumbers.

Business Owners Policy (BOP)

Mimicking the handiness of plumbers, business owner policies are useful insurance packages that roll general liability, business property and sometimes business interruption insurance into a single policy. BOPs are ideal for anyone looking to save money while starting a new plumbing business or an LLC.

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance, or plumber liability insurance, is one of the most common insurance types, protecting against bodily injury, property damage and personal injury liability claims. So, if a prospective client stumbles and breaks their phone while at your business office or if you accidentally knock over an expensive vase inside a client’s home, your insurance will cover the cost of repairs or replacements.

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance protects inventory, tools and any physical structure owned by your plumbing business if a fire, break-in, windstorm or some other covered peril damages any of your company's property. That means you won't have to worry about your 22-piece Milwaukee plumbers tool kit if it gets destroyed by a fire that consumes your warehouse or office because your insurance should cover a new set.

Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption insurance is an invaluable commercial coverage that provides you and your plumbing business with wage replacement, loan payments and funds for temporarily relocating your plumbing operation if your current office becomes unusable. Covered losses include hail, fire, windstorms, theft, vandalism and more.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance, or errors and omissions insurance (E&O), covers claims of negligence, misrepresentation and defamation. An example would be if you were sued because you installed plumbing incorrectly for a new-build house, which caused the contents to not drain properly. Professional liability insurance would cover the damages, as well as your legal defense costs.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance operates similarly to personal auto coverage, covering primarily liability claims but also damage to your vehicle and the medical needs of you and any passengers you may have, depending on the coverage included in your policy.

Since plumbers often drive vans for business purposes, commercial auto coverage will protect your business if you or one of your employees rear-ends someone on their way to a job.

Remember that auto insurance claims are the second most costly at $45,000 according to The Hartford.[2]

Additional Policies To Consider

The below coverages can help extend your plumbing insurance protection.

  • Workers' compensation insurance: Covers medical benefits and lost wages for workers injured or made ill due to work-related causes. This coverage is usually required for any plumbing business with employees.
  • Tools and equipment insurance: Provides financial protection for any plumbing tools or equipment used for your trade if damaged, destroyed or stolen. Covered equipment may include power tools, pipe benders, soldering supplies, hand tools, etc.
  • Equipment breakdown insurance: Covers the cost of replacement or repair for equipment such as water heaters and sump pumps that are damaged by an accidental or sudden event, as well as extra damage protection should something you install be faulty and cause a client bodily injury or property damage.[3]
  • Cyber insurance: Covers data breaches, including client details, and offers financial assistance for investigations, litigation, lost revenues and system improvements.

How Much Does Plumbers Insurance Cost?

The cost of plumbing contractor insurance will depend on a number of factors, including how long you've been in business, where you're located, how many employees you have, your claims history and what types of coverage you purchase. Below is a simple table that breaks down the above coverages by average annual cost.[4][5][6]

Insurance Type

Average Annual Cost

Business Owners Policy

$350 to $2,500

General Liability

$365 to $1,700

Commercial Property

$500 to $3,500

Business Interruption

$500 to $1,500

Professional Liability

$300 to $2,500

Commercial Auto

$750 to $2,500

Workers' Compensation

$375 to $1,400 per employee

Tools and Equipment

$150 to $540

Cyber Liability

$650 to $2,357

How To Get Plumbers Insurance

To secure the necessary insurance coverage for your plumbing business, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the specific policies suitable for your plumbing business, which will often include general liability, professional liability and commercial property coverage.
  2. Streamline the gathering of insurance quotes using SmartFinancial. You can provide details such as your location and number of employees to get matched with a policy.
  3. Evaluate coverage limits, deductibles, exclusions, premiums and any additional benefits or features offered by each insurance provider.
  4. Look for customer reviews, seek ratings from independent rating agencies and gather relevant information to assess the reliability of each insurer.
  5. Ensure you have all the necessary coverage for your plumbing business included and that they accurately reflect your requirements. Once satisfied, make the required payment to secure your insurance policy.
  6. Review your policies annually, making necessary updates to account for any changes in your operation, location, or evolving needs.
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What are the insurance requirements for plumbers?

Plumbing insurance requirements will vary depending on where you're located. New York, for example, requires plumbers to have $1 million in general liability coverage, while California has no insurance requirements.[1][7]

How can I get a COI for my plumbing business?

You can get a certificate of plumbing insurance (COI) by going to your provider's page and logging into your account. You can also get a COI by using your carrier's mobile app.

Who needs plumber's insurance?

Essentially, anyone professionally working with water pipes or related equipment should get plumbing insurance to ensure they’re covered for liability and their tools.

Do I need general liability insurance if I'm a plumber?

General liability insurance, or plumbing liability insurance, is an essential form of coverage that can protect you against claims involving bodily injury, property damage or personal and advertising injury. Without this coverage, you will pay out-of-pocket if someone sues you.


  1. New York City Buildings. “Licensing Insurance Guidelines.” Accessed July 6, 2023.
  2. The Hartford. “The Hartford Reports: More Than 40 Percent of Small Businesses Will Experience a Claim in the Next 10 Years.” Accessed July 6, 2023.
  3. Allstate. “What Is Equipment Breakdown Coverage?” Accessed July 10, 2023.
  4. AdvisorSmith. “Small Business Insurance Costs.” Accessed July 6, 2023.
  5. Next Insurance. “Tools & Equipment Insurance.” Accessed July 6, 2023.
  6. AdvisorSmith. “Cyber Insurance Cost.” Accessed July 6, 2023.
  7. California Contract State License Board. “Information About Commercial General Liability Insurance .” Accessed July 10, 2023.

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