Just like with licensing, you may run into a lot of handymen who have no insurance. Take a good look at their businesses,
though. They most likely get less than optimal clients, and are always kind of flying below the radar. Don't buy the line that you
don't need insurance. You do.
All the good handymen have "license and insured" on their business cards and on any other marketing
materials. Be like them. And when something does go wrong (this is a "when" not an "if") you'll thank your lucky stars you got insurance.
Actually, the event of actually needing insurance is not the real reason to get it. Sure, things go wrong, but the real reason
is that if you're not insured most of the good clients won't take a second look at your business card. You're not the
only handyman in town, and if you want the really good clients, like apartment complex owners and real estate brokers, you're
going to have to measure up to the other handymen around town. Without "licensed and insured" on your business card
you won't even make it past the first round of consideration.
There a several different kinds of insurance. At the very least, you want to get liability insurance. This will cover you if
you accidentally injure someone while doing your work (or if your work accidentally injures someone). It will also protect you
if you damage someone's property. So if it happens that your ladder accidentally smashes a $10,000 stained glass window, at least
you'll know you're covered. Your client will know, too. Clients who are really doing their homework will ask you about your
liability insurance, so be sure to know the basics of your coverage just in case.
You should also seriously consider gettng health insurance if you don't already have it. And, if there's any moeny leftover, even
just a little, look into getting life insurance if you're married or have children or even have brother and sisters who would
benefit. However, if you're just starting out, getting at least a good liability insurance policy and some "catastrophic" health insurance.
Catastrophic health insurance will protect you if a major accident occurs. But if you've got a sore throat, you're on your own.
You should get at least $250,000 worth of liability insurance. $1,000,000 is much better, and is the level the most professional
handymen like to have. Shop around for your policy. There are a number of different websites that let you compare policies and
prices. Or, if you know an insurance agent you like, or are already a member of a union or any other kind of professional group, check with
them. Professional associations can frequently get great deals for their members -- it is part of their business model.