You know how much time and effort you've put into your business. That investment is worth protecting! Learn how to do this with our guide to getting lawn care insurance.
Below we'll cover the main differences between lawn care insurance and landscaping insurance, what types of insurance may be a good idea for you to consider, and when it's a good time to get lawn care insurance for your business.
The one type of insurance that is a great foundation to protect your business is general liability insurance. General liability insurance will protect you and your business from lawsuits and claims from certain property damages and bodily harm to other people (like a customer).
Say you're mowing a lawn and entirely by mistake, you misjudge the distance when rounding a corner and accidentally dent your customer's car, which is parked much more closely to the edge of the lawn than usual. Of course the customer is not happy and spends more time lamenting over the damage to their vehicle, than the work you've done on their lawn.
They expect you to pay to fix the damage to their car, and you know you're at fault but you just bought new equipment for your business; you can't afford to pay hundreds to fix a small dent. This is where general liability insurance comes in, because you could file a claim to help cover the cost of the car repair.
Or maybe you left a rake on the ground while putting other tools in your truck. While you're loading your vehicle, your customer accidentally trips over the rake and using their arms to catch their fall, sprains a wrist. General liability insurance would cover the cost of medical care for your customer.
Dealing with claims isn't a pleasant process to go through, but at least going through your insurance company to right your wrong will hopefully help keep your relationship with your customer on good terms.
These are the types of things that general liability would help to cover, as well as the cost of the lawsuits you may need to enter into to clear your business's name.
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Running a business includes a lot of miscellaneous costs, from the gas you need to purchase to get to a customer's house across town, to the cost of business cards. As a lawn care professional, one thing that you won't want to skimp out on is your tools.
Aside from a lawn mower, which isn't a cheap expense, there are many other tools you need to acquire and keep up to run a lawn care business. For example: different types of rakes (for leaves and soil), hoes, pruners, clippers, hedge shears, and more.
An unfortunate thing to account for these days, is tool theft or vandalism. And even if nothing happens to the tools, if one were to break and you need to replace it, then you'd need a way to reimburse yourself for the tool, as well as the time you couldn't work while you were waiting for the replacement.
It's situations like the above that make a property policy worthwhile to look into. Investing in contents coverage to cover your tools will ensure that your property is protected, in case anything happens.
If you hire someone to help with your business, regardless of whether they work part or full time, there's a good chance that your state has some type of policy requiring you to get workers compensation insurance.
If you've gone through the trouble to interview, hire, and train a new employee, then investing in worker's comp is a wise choice. If this person were to get hurt on the job, then workers comp can help cover their medical expenses and the wages they lose while they're unable to work.
Because your employee will receive the right type of care for their injury, they'll be back to work quickly. Even if your state doesn't require workers comp to be purchased when hiring an employee, it's always a safe decision to make on behalf of your business and employee(s).
Remember those tools we talked about earlier? Well, they aren't easy to lug around with you, from jobsite to jobsite. And if you're a lawn care business owner, you most likely keep a lot of gear in your vehicle.
Sure, if you drive, you know you're legally required to have some type of insurance, but investing in commercial auto insurance can provide extra protection for your business. If you get into an accident and repairs are needed, commercial auto insurance could cover the cost of repairs, as well as the added cost of a temporary transportation rental. It may also be helpful should any third party become injured in an accident.
If we were to compare taking care of grounds to a house, we could say that landscaping is the foundational work--building the frame; lawn care however, is the work that touches up the house, like hanging shingles or painting.
Landscaping is a job that includes a lot of the framework of the grounds, such as planting new flower beds, installing garden structures such as fountains, or designing the layout of fences, pools, and ponds.
Lawn care is the aspect of the work that involves the coloring-in of that framework. Think: the aeration of soil, pruning a property of dead wood, fertilizing land and weed control.
While these two specialties work well together and it's great if you can manage to do everything under both umbrellas, many businesses choose to specialize in solely the lawn care business, because that's quite a lot of work in of itself!
Running a business gives you a lot to think about, and we know insurance is just one more thing on your plate. But really, if you think about it, it could end up protecting all the things on your plate (and your table, even!).
If you're just beginning your lawn care business, you can keep things simple by starting with general liability insurance and adding contents coverage. Other options that are commonly chosen are workers comp and commercial auto insurance.
If you're curious to begin exploring what types of policies and coverages are available, you can compare quotes at Simply Business. Let us know a few key details about your business, and we'll walk you through the process from there.
I’ve told stories since I learned to talk and written since I could hold a pen. As a small business owner myself - I'm a freelance writer and yoga teacher - I love contributing to the entrepreneurship community in different ways (including writing for Simply Business!). When I’m not drafting articles for SB, I can be found on my yoga mat, perusing an indie bookstore, and writing (with my cat nearby of course).
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
*Harborway Insurance policies are underwritten by Spinnaker Insurance Company and reinsured by Munich Re, an A+ (Superior) rated insurance carrier by AM Best. Harborway Insurance is a brand name of Harborway Insurance Agency, LLC, a licensed insurance producer in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. California license #6004217.