What is tree and landscaping insurance?
Whether you are cleaning a lawn after a storm or treating a tree, clients acknowledge your expertise. Landscapers and various other lawn care businesses have exposure to potential risks that lead to financial losses. In case of an unfortunate event during work, tree and landscaping insurance helps you cover all the damages. As a tree trimmer or a landscaper, you not only lift heavy equipment but also spend a lot of time at your clients’ property. According to Reveal News, Tree Care Industry Association reported 580 deaths due to tree trimming accidents from 2009-2015. Fortunately, landscaping business insurance comes into the picture and gives small business owners freedom from financial risk.
Tree and landscaping insurance are necessary because:
While you are busy helping your clients clean their lawn or treat a tree, your client might trip over a cable and injure himself. You might be trimming a tree, and you accidentally nick the power line. In situations like these, you could end up with a lawsuit against you. Other similar risks faced by these businesses are:
- An employee sues you for work related injury.
- Your client gets sick because of herbicides and pesticides you use.
- Because of your business there is a property damage to your client.
- Your employee steals something from the client. In return client sues your company.
You may not foresee these instances because sometimes accidents just happen. Landscaping insurance can help business owners protect their money, property, and employees from these situations.
- Lawncare service providers: Companies providing general gardening services like mowing, weeding, and landscaping trees need landscaping insurance.
- Grading and excavation service providers: Companies providing services like preparing the land for landscaping and adjusting the ground level to create drainage must take landscaping insurance.
- Tree pruning business: Tasks such trimming, dusting, and stump removal are dangerous. If you are into tree pruning business, you must opt for landscaping insurance. According to the CDC, 42% of deaths are because of being struck by an object, most commonly a tree or a branch.
Insurance helps you to take control of any situation related to risks in an industry. Having insurance ensures peace of mind and gives you an edge over your competition by developing confidence in the work you do. If your business provides services including handyman, electrician, and contractors, then contractors insurance can protect your business from risks.
What policies are under tree and landscaping insurance?
Business Owners Policy:
The business owners policy (BOP) combines general liability, commercial property and business interruption insurance policies into one package. BOP is a must for any small business owners as it gives a tailored fit solution to manage the risks. The following claims are covered under the business owner policy:
- Bodily Injury: Your client accidentally hurt themselves while you were cleaning their backyard.
- Property Damage: Your employee broke a window while working on the site.
- Employee Dishonesty: Your employee decided to sue your company.
These claims can be a substantial financial burden for any small to mid-sized business owners.
According to CDC, the BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) identified 789 deaths due to traumatic injuries among landscape services workers.
Workers Compensation Insurance:
Workers compensation insurance helps your business cover any financial loss for work-related injury or illness. Most states require workers comp if you have any employees. Workers compensation insurance covers the following claims:
- Bodily injury: If your employee is hurt while using heavy equipment, this policy will cover the medical costs.
- Wage replacement: If your employee met with an accident and cannot come for the work, insurance companies help you cover for the lost wage for the time your employee is on leave.
- Employee death benefits: Your employee dies at your workplace due to some injury. The insurance company will provide you with death benefits.
According to OSHA, your company needs to report work-related fatalities within 8 hours of finding out about the event.
Commercial Property Insurance :
Commercial property insurance covers your business assets, such as building, tools, and equipment. The losses faced by your business due to fire, vandalism, and other unfortunate events are under the policy. Property insurance helps to:
- Repair or replace any tools and equipment.
- Cover damages caused by fire, theft.
Lawnmowers are considered as business property and not as commercial auto. If someone steals a lawnmower while you are moving it from your warehouse to the site, then commercial insurance most likely won’t pay the cost. Inland marine insurance will cover the losses for the stolen goods. There are various injuries caused due to lawnmowers. Injuries to lawnmower sent more than 80,000 people – including 5,000 children – to U.S. emergency rooms in 2015, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Commercial Auto Insurance:
Commercial auto insurance helps cover for damage to any vehicle that you or your employees use on the job. Commercial auto insurance covers claims such as:
- Property Damage: Your vehicle accidentally caused damage to other’s property.
- Bodily Injury: You met with an accident and injured someone.
- Vehicle damage: This policy will cover damage to your vehicle due to an accident.
Commercial auto insurance does not insure a lawnmower because it is not a vehicle. It is considered personal property, but business property insurance can help cover the losses.
Commercial General Liability Insurance:
Commercial general liability insurance (CGL) covers third party bodily injury and property damage. You have exposure to multiple risks as a lawn care business owner. For example, you are digging a hole, and suddenly you hit a gas line buring the house. Your client may sue you for this. With the help of general liability insurance, you can protect your business against lawsuits that will probably bankrupt your business. According to Alabama Media, lawnmower injuries have been blamed for an average of 70 deaths annually.
CGL protects from:
- Client Injury
- Property Damage
- Advertising Injuries
Employment Practices Liability Insurance:
Employment practices liability insurance or EPLI protects your company from covering legal expenses against lawsuit filed by your clients. Some of the issues that your contracting business can face are:
- Wrongful Termination
Inland Marine Insurance:
Inland marine insurance helps protect all the tools and equipment that you transport from your warehouse to the job site. It also helps cover for the losses if your supplies get stolen from the workplace. For example: If your tools get stolen from your van while transporting them, inland marine insurance for landscaping will help you cover the losses.
Business Interruption Insurance:
Business interruption insurance covers the loss of income in situations where you cannot run your business because of covered loss. This policy will cover for employee pay as well as any ongoing projects.
Factors affecting the eligibility for business income policy are:
- The industry of the business
- Previous claims
Commercial Umbrella Insurance:
Commercial umbrella insurance provides coverages above the liability limit of primary policies. For example, you incur a loss of $4 million; your general liability covers only $2 million, then umbrella insurance helps you pay for the remaining $2 million.
Contractual Liability Insurance:
Any mistakes while doing your contractual work might put your business into risk and result in financial loss. Contractual liability insurance will help you cover the losses while doing your contractual work as a third party.
Some of the endorsement and exclusion are:
- Herbicide and pesticide application coverage – Any harm caused to your client’s property while treating the lawn with herbicide, will not be covered by your landscaping insurance. You can add this as an endorsement.
- Workmanship Error coverage – Insurance companies won’t cover the losses if there is any damage due to contractors own faulty workmanship.
- Crime – In case any employee falls into criminal activity, you can save your business reputation with crime insurance.
How much does tree and landscaping insurance cost?
Multiple factors influence the landscaping and arborist insurance cost. Each state has different requirements. Therefore, one cost structure won’t fit for all types of businesses. Despite this, you can get an estimate for your coverages based on:
Multiple states offer less expensive insurance policy compared to the others. For example, companies in Oregon are less costly to insure than California. Therefore, the location where your business is operating plays a vital role in determining the cost.
The number of employees and the subcontractors your business hires.
Liability insurance requires annual receipts of the businesses. Premium costs will increase if there is an increase in company revenue.
Various tools and equipment used for your business purposes will determine the overall amount.
The type of vehicle used for your business, the year, model number, impacts the cost directly.