Lawn care and landscaping contractors have special considerations when it comes to running a business. Your clients count on you to keep their homes, offices, and city streets looking pristine, and that means you provide a service on their turf. Running a business that provides a service exclusively on your client’s property means you are in the unique position of having a higher risk for accidental property damage.
Your landscaping tools and equipment are not located on a specific job site with a safety fence around it to keep the public out. In most cases you are out and about with the public all around you as you work. The specialty equipment needed for your landscaping or lawn care business brings with it an added risk for injuries to your employees or third-parties.
To protect your business, you will need insurance custom-tailored for landscaping professionals. Here are some of the landscaping insurance options you should consider for your business.
General Liability—Landscaping Insurance Must
Landscaping and lawn care businesses have their own unique risks to property and person. One of your employees accidentally destroys a sprinkler system. Another damages a residential fence. A person is injured by debris from a piece of your equipment that malfunctions. Each of these incidents could lead to a lawsuit that could cost you your entire business.
With general liability insurance, your policy could cover the cost of repairs, legal fees, and any damages that have to be paid. Even a frivolous claim could cost your business millions if a judge decides it has some legs. General liability insurance is there to protect you from just that.
Your employees handle potentially dangerous equipment in hazardous circumstances daily; it is part of the job when you run a landscaping business. Even something as small as a bee sting, or repetitive motion from mowing and other yard maintenance tasks could lead to an injury on the job.
Workers’ compensation insurance protects your landscaping business by providing medical treatment, and payment for lost time or disability to your employees in the event of an injury. With an adequate policy, your business can financially cover the unexpected medical expenses, court costs, or settlements that could arise from an accident.
Workers’ comp replaces legal liability with no-fault insurance, simultaneously protecting your business and providing for your employees. While laws vary from state to state, most states require that you carry workers’ compensation if you have W2 employees.
Inland Marine insurance (aka tools and equipment insurance) may not sound like something one would add to their landscaping insurance coverage, but don’t let the name confuse you. Inland Marine is designed to compensate businesses if their goods are lost or damaged during transit.
Landscaping businesses and lawn care professionals regularly transport equipment, tools, and supplies as they service their clients. Inland Marine protects your mowers, sheers, weed eaters, and other valuable tools of the trade against accidental loss, theft, or vandalism while they’re in transit from one job to the next. Inland Marine even covers digital information and data, including lead-tracking data, accounting software, and other electronic assets.
You need your tools and equipment to service your customers and grow your business. If your equipment is stolen, lost, or damaged, Inland Marine insurance is your means to replace it.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Your personal auto policy does not cover any vehicles you use for your landscaping business purposes. You’ll need commercial auto insurance to protect you from devastatingly expensive property damage, medical expenses, and legal costs in the event of an auto accident. Your commercial auto policy (also called fleet insurance) can even supplement the personal policies of your employees if they use their own vehicles while doing your business.
What if you had an accident, say in your work truck, and after all was said and done, the settlement on the accident was $600k. Now let’s pretend your insurance limit on claims is only $500k. You would be responsible to pay the extra $100k. Would you be prepared to sell off your business assets to pay for it?
When you want extra peace-of-mind, Umbrella Liability is a cost-effective way to expand your landscaping insurance coverage. Umbrella Liability allows you to raise the limits of your General Liability policy, kicking in to cover the additional amount past your General Liability limits.
Don’t underestimate the random accidents that happen in business. Contact Citizens General to find out which policies are right for your landscaping business, and protect the assets you need to do your job.