12 February 2020
You need landscaping business insurance to protect your operations – that’s a no-brainer. Exactly which policy to get, however, might not be as clear.
We’ll take you through some of the most common types of insurance for landscapers, so you have a better idea of what to look for.
The first step to getting landscaping insurance should happen before you even sit down to buy a policy. That includes understanding the specific risks you face in your day-to-day work, so you can find coverage that protects you from them.
Examples of potential risks you may face as a landscaper include:
Taking a few minutes on these details now will give you a solid framework for deciding which insurance policies are best for you. It also will leave you feeling more confident about your insurance when the time comes to file a claim.
You spend almost all of your working hours on someone else’s property, whether it’s a single-family home or a city park; accidents are bound to happen.
Picture this: You’re working in a client’s front yard, and your mower kicks up some gravel. Next thing you know, there’s a gaping hole where a plate glass window used to be – and your client is furious. Great. Now what?
You didn’t intend to break a window, obviously, but you still have to make things right.
Your client expects you to replace it, and without coverage, you could be writing a big check. That’s where general liability insurance comes in. Also known as commercial general liability, or CGL, it’s a fundamental basic for landscapers. CGL helps protect you from unexpected costs if you damage something – whether it belongs to you or someone else.
Here's another example where GL can come in handy: Say a client asked you to regrade his yard in June. Your team gets the job done, but months later – in December – you get some bad news: The client tells you his basement is collecting water, and that it’s a result of your work. You can’t even try to correct the issue until spring and, worst of all, he’s suing you for property damage.
In this scenario, general liability insurance could cover your legal costs, as well as pay out any damages that you're ordered to pay as a result of the lawsuit. It's a must-have policy for landscapers, as you can't control when a client may decide to sue you (even if you did nothing wrong!).
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Even if you’ve never had an accident, you’ve probably had to replace or repair broken equipment. Or maybe you’ve been hit by theft or vandalism. Property damage or theft are frustrating – to say the least – and can bring your workday to a complete halt while you straighten things out. That’s why property insurance is so important.
Take stock of power tools and large items like wood chippers or deck mowers. How much would a breakdown cost you, not just for the tool itself, but for the hours you lose while it’s out of commission?
A property policy will cover business assets like your tools, equipment, or building – even an inventory of plants or trees you might have. Bottom line: If you need it to get the job done, keep it covered.
There’s a good chance your state requires workers compensation insurance from the moment you hire your first employee. Even if it’s not legally required based on your location, it’s still a smart idea to have a workers comp policy.
After all, you’ve gone to the trouble of hiring and training employees in this physically demanding industry. If someone on your team gets sick or hurt on the job, workers comp helps cover their medical costs and lost wages. Getting appropriate medical care means they can recover and return to work more quickly. So while it helps your employees, in turn, it also supports your productivity.
Landscapers spend a good part of their day driving from job to job. You already know you’re legally required to have at least some insurance for your work truck or van – but going with the bare minimum means potentially leaving yourself open to problems.
A commercial auto insurance policy can cover accidents when you’re at fault, or if you’re hit by an uninsured driver. Besides covering repairs to your truck, you should have a policy that also covers injuries or property damage to a third party.
Consider also how your jobs change from summer to winter. Do you go from hauling a trailer of lawn equipment to plowing driveways? If so, you probably need additional coverage for your plow work.
And make sure your policy extends to employees who drive a company vehicle, too. You don’t want to find out you weren’t adequately covered after a worker has a fender-bender.
It’s a lot to think about – but don’t worry. The basic purpose of any insurance policy is to protect against accidents or damages. If you’re just starting your landscaping business, you can keep it simple and go with a couple of key coverages.
Small landscapers usually need a general liability policy and a property policy. A third common option is commercial auto insurance coverage.
You can find and compare quotes for landscapers insurance at Simply Business. We specialize in landscaping insurance, so you can get personalized coverage at affordable prices. All you have to do is provide a few details about you and your landscaping business — we’ll take care of the rest.
I love writing about the small business experience because I happen to be a small business owner - I've had a freelance copywriting business for over 10 years. In addition to that, I also head up the content strategy here at Simply Business. Reach out if you have a great idea for an article or just want to say hi!
This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer
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