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Handyman vs. Remodeling Contractor

Author: Kristin Bolhuis

Do you know the difference between a handyman and a remodeling contractor?  In the insurance world, it’s important that an insured is classified accurately based on their true exposures so, in the event of an unforeseen loss, the coverage is there.  

Handyman and Remodeling Contractor risks are often confused and misclassified when it comes to a General Liability Insurance policy.  

Here are a few distinct differences that will help you when trying to determine how best to classify a potential insured: 

  • In most states, there is no licensing or certification required to be called a “handyman” whereas a contractor performing a specific trade or skill such as an “electrician” or “plumber” requires a license and certification.  
  • A handyman is exactly what the name implies: a person who is handy and can perform various tasks around the home or building. Hired to do smaller jobs/repairs that require “one” person.  A handyman usually has specific skills they are trained in or good at. Some handyman jobs might include:
    • Small painting jobs (fences, decks, rooms). 
    • Minor plumbing repairs.
    • Repairing drywall, patching holes in the walls.
    • Repairing tile in a bathroom or kitchen.
    • Repairing a fence.
    • Caulking.
  • A Remodeling Contractor is a general contractor who specializes in improvements to an existing building. Generally, they are hired to do larger home improvement projects that could involve multiple trades (two or more).  Some examples of remodeling projects include:
    • Additions (new room).
    • Remodeling a basement.
    • Carpentry work such as framing rooms, hanging doors, and installing cabinets.
    • Replacing plumbing fixtures, sinks, and toilets.
    • Hanging drywall.
    • Installing flooring.
    • Finish work. 
When trying to determine what best classifies your customer, it’s important to ask several questions and inquire as to the types of jobs they will be performing so that they are certain to obtain the necessary insurance coverage to protect them while performing the jobs they are hired to do. When in doubt, please reach out to one of our underwriters for proper classifications and possible questions you can ask to obtain the necessary information to best ensure your customer.  

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