Essential health insurance for solo renovators

Self-employment as a renovator in Canada brings numerous opportunities and challenges. While the freedom to run your own business is liberating, it also means taking on greater responsibility for your own financial security. To safeguard both your personal and professional interests, it’s crucial to have the right types of insurance coverage. In this article, we’ll explore the essential personal insurance options that self-employed renovators should consider in Canada.

Self-employed solo renovators are not covered by WSIB

No doubts, very often we all think that it won’t happen to me. But non-emotional statistics say that 33% of workers between ages 30-64 will experience a disability greater than 90 days.

Under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA), independent operators, sole proprietors, partners, and executive officers in the construction industry are exempt from compulsory coverage if they are engaged exclusively in home renovation work, as defined in this policy.

If you are a sole proprietor and your business only does home repairs and renovations where you are hired and paid directly by the homeowner or resident, then you are not covered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) of Ontario.

Many people get injured simply doing their routine home improvement jobs. And if an accident happens at your work place, you are on your own. “On your own” doesn’t mean that you won’t have medical help; of course you will! It means that nobody will compensate your loss of income for the time for your temporarily disability.

The essential personal health insurance options

Disability insurance

Disability insurance covers:

  • Income replacement: Disability insurance provides a portion of the insured person’s income in the event they become disabled and are unable to work. This ensures that they can continue to meet their financial obligations, including mortgage payments, living expenses, and other financial commitments.
  • Rehabilitation and medical expenses: Disability insurance may cover expenses related to rehabilitation and medical treatments necessary for recovery. This can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and specialized medical equipment.
  • Long-term and short-term disability: Disability insurance can be categorized into short-term and long-term policies. Short-term policies provide coverage for a specified period, usually up to two years, while long-term policies can extend for several years or even until retirement age.
  • Partial Disability: Some policies offer coverage for partial disability, where the insured person can work part-time or in a reduced capacity due to their disability. The insurance provides a partial benefit to supplement their income.
  • Critical illness coverage (if included): Some disability insurance policies may include coverage for critical illnesses that prevent the insured person from working. This can provide an additional layer of financial security.
Health insurance

As a self-employed individual, you won’t have access to employer-sponsored health benefits. Therefore, it’s crucial to invest in personal Health Insurance to cover medical expenses that are not covered by OHIP.

Life insurance

While not directly related to your business, Life Insurance is essential for self-employed individuals who have dependents or significant financial obligations. It provides a financial safety net for your loved ones in the event of your passing, ensuring they’re provided for and can maintain their quality of life.


Other essential personal business insurance options

Commercial general liability insurance

Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance is fundamental for any self-employed renovator. It provides protection in case you’re held liable for property damage or bodily injury to third parties. This coverage is crucial, as accidents can happen during renovation projects, and you could be held legally responsible. CGL insurance can cover legal expenses, medical costs, and potential settlements.

Professional liability insurance

Also known as Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance, this type of coverage is especially important for professionals offering design or consultation services as part of their renovation business. It protects against claims of negligence, errors, or omissions in your professional work, ensuring you’re financially covered if a client alleges that your services fell short of their expectations.

Tools and equipment insurance

As a self-employed renovator, your tools and equipment are the lifeblood of your business. Protecting them from theft, damage, or loss is paramount. Tools and Equipment Insurance provides coverage for your valuable assets, ensuring that you can replace or repair them without significant financial strain.

Business property insurance

This type of insurance covers the physical assets associated with your renovation business, such as your office space, workshop, or storage facility. It provides protection against perils like fire, theft, vandalism, and natural disasters. Business Property Insurance ensures that your business can recover swiftly in the event of property-related losses.

Business interruption insurance

If unforeseen circumstances, such as a fire or natural disaster, force you to temporarily halt operations, Business Interruption Insurance can be a lifesaver. It provides financial support to cover ongoing expenses (like rent, utilities, and salaries) and helps you stay afloat while you get your business back on track.

Commercial auto insurance

If you use vehicles for your renovation business, such as vans or trucks to transport materials or equipment, you’ll need Commercial Auto Insurance. This coverage protects against accidents, theft, and other risks associated with business-owned vehicles.

Having the right types of insurance coverage is a critical aspect of being a successful self-employed solo renovator in Canada. These policies offer protection for both your business and personal well-being, providing peace of mind and financial security in the face of unexpected events. Consulting with an insurance advisor who understands the unique needs of self-employed individuals can help you select the right coverage to safeguard your business and your future.

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Please let us know how we can help. Whether it is a free no-obligation quote or just a question – we will be happy to provide you with detailed answers.


Please let us know how we can help. Whether it is a free no-obligation quote or just a question – we will be happy to provide you with detailed answers.

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