Landscaping Insurance: You Reap What You Sow
What Is Landscaping Insurance?
Landscaping insurance policy protects lawn care professionals and businesses from any ensuing risks. Since landscapers and tree trimmers work with heavy equipment, they are constantly exposed to risks that can lead to financial losses.
As per Dripline’s report, around 25 percent of fatalities in the tree care industry involve tree care professionals, highlighting the importance of having landscaping insurance.
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Why Is Landscaping Insurance Important?
When providing services such as mowing the grass or pruning the trees of your clients, there’s a risk of bodily injury occurring. In such situations, your business could face a lawsuit. Additionally, businesses face the following risks:
- An employee sues you for an occupational accident
- Property damage due to business operations
- Your client gets sick from your business using chemicals, such as pesticides and herbicides
- Employees stealing from a client, resulting in a lawsuit
Such events are often unpredictable. Landscaping insurance can help business owners protect their property, income and employees from such situations.
Who Needs Landscaper’s Insurance?
Lawn care service providers
Landscaping insurance is for businesses that provide general gardening services such as weeding, mowing, and general landscaping.
Grading and excavation service providers
Companies that provide services such as preparing land for landscaping and adjusting the ground for drainage are highly encouraged to purchase landscaping insurance.
Tree pruning business
Tree pruning services such as dusting, trimming and stump removal are quite dangerous. For such risky tasks, purchasing landscaping insurance is very beneficial.
What Policies Come Under Landscaping Insurance?
Landscaping insurance is not an individual policy in itself but a combination of various business insurance policies.
While looking into landscape insurance you should consider some of the following policies to protect your business and employees from additional risks.
Business Owners Policy (BOP)
A business owners policy is a combination of general liability, commercial property and business interruption insurance policies. A BOP is an important insurance policy for small business owners as it is customizable according to your needs. This policy covers the following:
- Bodily injury: Your client hurt themselves in by tripping on a wire you put up while you were performing services in their backyard.
- Property damage: Your employee accidentally damaged the client’s property while working on site.
- Employee lawsuits: Your employee decides to sue your company for occupational dangers and injuries.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019 there were 229 fatalities for groundskeeping workers. Accidents do happen and a BOP can help shoulder the financial burden.
Workers Compensation Insurance
Workers compensation insurance helps your business cover financial losses that arise from work-related injuries or illness. The majority of the states require you to have this insurance if your business has any employees. This insurance policy covers the following claims:
- Bodily injury: If an employee is working and is hurt while operating heavy equipment, then workers compensation insurance will cover the employee’s medical costs.
- Wage replacement: An employee has an accident at work and is needs to take some time off to recover. The insurance policy will assist in paying for your employee’s wages for the duration your employee is on leave.
- Employee death benefits: If an employee dies on company property due to an injury, workers compensation insurance will provide death benefits to the family of the deceased.
Commercial Property Insurance
Sometimes business owners choose to get a standalone commercial property insurance policy instead of getting it in the business owners policy bundle. Your business assets, including buildings, tools and equipment, are covered by commercial property insurance. It typically covers property damage from perils such as fire, explosions, burst pipes, storms, theft and vandalism. Commercial property insurance assists in the following:
- Repairing or replacing physical assets
- Replacing lost income due to loss of a physical asset
- Covering the costs of replacing physical assets that you don’t own but are in your custody
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial auto insurance covers the damages to any vehicle that you or your employee uses during business operations. Since your landscaping business This insurance covers the following claims:
- Property damage: Your business vehicle caused damage to other’s property in an accident.
- Bodily injury: An employee injured another individual in a vehicular accident.
- Vehicle damage: An accident with another person’s automobile damages your business vehicle.
Note: Commercial auto insurance will not cover the loss of a lawnmower since it is not considered a vehicle. It is classified as property. Since commercial property insurance covers business property, it will cover the loss of a lawnmower.
Commercial General Liability Insurance
Although this policy is included in the business owners insurance bundle, some business owners choose to get it as a separate policy. General liability insurance covers property damage and bodily injuries to a third party. As a lawn care business owner, there are multiple scenarios in which a third-party may want to sue your company.
For example, while pruning a tree, you can suddenly cut an electric wire and cause an electrical outage. Your client may sue you for this error. With general liability insurance, you can protect your business against possible lawsuits. Therefore, pairing your landscaping insurance with CGLI is very essential.
CGL protects your business from the following:
- Client injury
- Property damage
- Legal expenses
Employment Practices Liability Insurance
Employment practices liability insurance assists your business in covering legal expenses for lawsuits filed by your employees. When an employee feels their legal rights as an employee have been violated and they sue your business, an employment practices liability policy will cover the costs.
Claims such as the following will be covered:
- Workplace harassment
- Wrongful termination
- Wrongful infliction of emotional distress
Inland Marine Insurance
Inland marine insurance helps protect your equipment that is transported from your warehouse to the job location. In addition to that, the policy also helps cover losses arising from the theft of your supplies and tools.
Business Interruption Insurance
Business interruption insurance covers the losses that arise from a temporary shutdown of business operations due to physical damage from covered perils. It can cover paying for employee salaries as well as replacing income the business would have gained had the shutdown not occurred. To protect your business in such situations, combining a BI coverage with landscaping insurance can be very beneficial
The eligibility for BI insurance is affected by a few factors, and they are as follows:
- The business’ industry
- Business location
- Previous claims history
Commercial Umbrella Insurance
Commercial umbrella insurance covers the costs that are above the liability limit of already existing primary policies. For instance, if you incur a loss of $500,000, but your general liability will only cover $300,000, umbrella insurance will cover the remaining $200,000. With that in mind, having a commercial umbrella coverage with landscaping insurance can benefit you in the long run.
If your business employs professionals such as contractors, electricians and handymen, then contractors insurance will be beneficial in protecting you from potential risks. Including this policy with your landscaping insurance protects your business and employees from risks that may arise while on a job.
Contractual Liability Insurance
If any mistakes are made while completing contractual work, this opens your business up to a lawsuit. In such situations, contractual liability insurance can help cover the losses while you are completing the contractual work.
Endorsements and Exclusions
Landscaping insurance can have additional endorsements and exclusions which are beneficial to know about. Some of them are as follows:
- Herbicide and pesticide application coverage: Herbicide and pesticide contain harmful chemicals. If not handled properly, they can cause harm to the client’s health. In such a situation, the client can claim medical expenses or sue you for endangering their health. This does not fall under the coverages of your landscaping insurance and thus, herbicide and pesticide application coverage can be a beneficial endorsement to have.
- Workmanship error coverage: Your insurance coverage will not cover the losses that arise from damages due to faulty artistry. The damage costs can be covered with this endorsement.
- Crime: If an employee is found to be stealing from your company, crime insurance can be very helpful for recouping the costs.
How Much Does It Cost?
Landscaping insurance and its cost are affected by multiple factors and influences. The requirements for this insurance are different across every state. Therefore, it cannot have a single cost structure that is applicable for all types of businesses in this industry. However, the cost estimates for the coverages can be based on the following:
- Location: Many states offer affordable insurance policies depending on the business location and where you operate.
- Payroll; The number of business employees and sub-contractors you hire can also affect the cost of the insurance policy.
- Revenue receipts: Annual receipts of the business are a requirement for liability insurance. The premium costs will increase if the revenue of the company grows.
- Property value: The insurance’s overall amount is determined by the type and number of tools your business uses.
- Vehicle type: The business vehicle’s type, manufactured year, and model number directly affects the insurance policy’s cost.
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