Do landscapers need insurance?
Great question, easy answer. Yes! Commercial landscaping insurance protects the business, owner, and employees — both financially and physically.
- Lawn Irrigation Contractors
- Landscape Designers
- Tree Trimmers
- Lawn Care Businesses
- Landscape Architects
Granted, if you’re a tree trimmer you probably face many different risks than a landscape designer. Either way, you’re in the right place to buy the best insurance plan for your needs.
Trust us, we won’t beat around the bush.
Types of Landscaping Insurance
Your clients rely on you to keep their outdoor spaces in tip top shape– whether you’re cleaning up after a disastrous storm or creating a wonderful new backyard paradise. Your work is physical, you interact with clients, and you’re sometimes exposed to harmful chemicals. Those are the types of things that make insurance so important.
Although many coverages can protect a landscaping business, the top two policies to consider first are general liability and workers’ compensation.
Landscaping Liability Insurance
General liability insurance coverage is a common insurance policy that has a broad range of protection for small businesses.
- Property Damage: Let’s say you’re meeting with a client to go over a new backyard design. Your coffee spills and damages their laptop. It would pay for the replacement or repair costs associated with the accident.
- Bodily Injury: You’re working on someone’s lawn, and they trip over some of the tools you left on the sidewalk. Rather than footing the bill for the fractured wrist, your policy would cover the medical costs.
- Personal/Advertising Injury:This portion of the policy covers claims involving libel, slander, false advertising, and copyright infringement.
- Legal Defenses & Settlements: You were at a client’s house spraying the lawn, and their pet fell ill soon after. Even though you told them not to let their dog out back for a certain amount of time, they are suing you. If you face any legal issues, court costs will be covered by this policy.
Workers’ Comp for Landscapers
The main purpose of this policy is to protect you and your employees in the event of a workplace injury. Workers’ comp is state-regulated. Whether you’re required to have it or not depends on where you live.
Not only is workers’ comp an important coverage for landscapers to have either way, it’s often required in order to get hired. Many times a hiring party won’t let you start work without showing proof of coverage. Sometimes they’ll even ask you to show them a Certificate of Insurance.
People want those working for them to have their own COI because it takes the liability off of themselves. In other words, if something goes wrong at work, they will not be held responsible. Your policy will pay for the damages, rather than theirs.
- Getting hurt on the job: For example, you suffer a puncture wound while pruning a large shrub and need stitches.
- Falling ill from a work-related activity: Landscapers work with harmful chemicals daily. If you suffer an illness from inhaling the chemicals and take a trip to the hospital, it’ll cover your medical bills.
- Lost wages: If you or an employee requires time off work to recover, your wages will be supplemented.
- Employers’ liability: Should an employee file a claim for negligence or failure to provide a safe work environment, attorney’s fees, settlements, and other costs will be covered.
- Employee lawsuits: You will be protected if an employee files a lawsuit for medical expenses and/or lost wages.
Additional Insurance Requirements
There are several important coverages to consider to make sure you’re fully protected. Some include commercial property, inland marine, commercial auto, and umbrella insurance. One of our experts can help you figure out exactly what you need.
Landscaping Property Insurance
You need more than a green thumb to make a living. A landscaper relies on a variety of tools and equipment to perform work duties. And the cost of that gear can really add up.
To make sure your tools, equipment, and inventory are protected, think about business property insurance. It keeps your stuff safe while on your business premises. It also covers the premises itself, along with whatever’s in it.
Commercial property insurance is great to have, but when you leave your business premises, the protection ends. In order to protect your gear in transit and at other sites, you will need inland marine insurance.
Landscaping Auto Insurance
Business auto insurance covers cars, trucks, and any other service vehicle owned by your business.
- Physical Damage
- Bodily Injury
- Property Damage
It’s important to note that this policy covers vehicles your business owns. If you hire, borrow, or rent vehicles for work, you will need hired and non-owned auto insurance to have the right protection. This policy also extends liability coverage if you or your employees are using personal vehicles on behalf of your business.
Umbrella insurance, also known as excess liability insurance, is like the whipped cream on a sundae. It costs a little extra but gives some extra padding on top of an existing policy.
How does it work? It’s easy. All policies have limits. Once a limit has been met, it is the policyholder’s responsibility to pay the remaining balance.
For example, let’s say you get into a car accident driving from a nursery to a client’s address. You injure a couple in the other car. Luckily, your commercial auto policy paid up until the limits, which was $500,000. Unluckily, the total claim amounted to $600,000. Without umbrella insurance, you would be responsible for the additional $100,000.
An umbrella policy would pay the remaining damages. That’s much better than paying the extra costs out of pocket.
Landscaping Insurance Costs
Liability Insurance Cost
Many landscapers pay around $525 per year for a general liability insurance policy, which is less than $45/month. However, landscaping insurance costs depend on a lot of different factors. A few factors include your zip code, policy limits, and the size of your team.
In a nutshell, the bigger your business grows, the more your insurance will likely cost.
Looking to save? Why not consider a business owner’s policy, or BOP? BOPs package general liability and commercial property insurance into one bundle at a discounted price. It’s cheaper than buying each policy separately. You can also tailor a BOP to your needs by adding other coverages into it. One of our experts can help you with that.
Workers’ Comp Cost
Workers’ comp can be one of the hardest policies to estimate. But generally, landscaper workers’ comp prices rely on a few factors:
- Where you live
- What you do
- Your number of employees
- Your loss history
Workers’ comp is state-regulated. Because all states have different rules and regulations, the cost will vary by location. For example, some states make the business owner cover themselves. Other states just want to make sure the employees have the proper coverage in place. Including yourself as the owner also leads to a higher premium. You can only imagine different each state’s rules are.
The second factor is your industry. It’s all about risk. The greater the risks your industry faces as a whole, the higher your classification rate will be.
Third, the number of employees you hire is always a big cost factor. The higher your payroll, the more expensive your policy will be. This makes sense since there are more people to cover.
The next factor is your loss history. The more claims you’ve had, the higher your experience modifier, or mod, will be. An average mod is around 1.0. The more claims you have the higher the number is. If your mod is a 2.0, your insurance premium could be up to double the cost.
The final price factor is the expense constant, which covers administrative fees. This tends to cost around $200.
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