Many people are attracted to landscaping because it allows them to get outside and draw on their creativity and sense of freedom. However, one thing landscapers are not free from is the need to carry adequate landscaper insurance for their business. A landscaper insurance program needs to consider how a landscapers business is different from other businesses. While some coverages such as general liability and commercial auto may be similar, a landscaping business in the Milwaukee area might likely have special needs such as coverage for snow removal operations in the winter months.
A Place to Start
As with most businesses, a good place for landscapers to begin their coverage is with a Business Owner’s Policy. These policies almost always bundle together: General Liability Insurance, Property Insurance, and Worker’s Compensation Insurance.
General Liability Insurance is there to protect a business owner from things that could potentially go wrong as a result of their normal job duties. Possible coverage areas may include things such as a property owner or their guest tripping on a sprinkler head that was supposed to be buried better or if someone had an allergic reaction to a plant in the yard, They might also be more seriously injured – perhaps by a piece of equipment used on the job.
Worker’s Compensation insurance is a must for a landscaping business that employs others, whether they are in the field or work from an office, such as those in accounting or marketing. Having this insurance will assure that if any of your people get hurt while working, they will be able to collect at least partial paycheck and have their medical bills paid. Depending on the terms of the specific policy, the exact worker’s compensation coverage may vary.
Property Insurance provides basic coverage for property that belongs to the company or the owner of the company if it is used for business purposes. If you have a building and/or piece of land where you store supplies or where your employees check in for non-landscaping tasks, it should be covered by the property portion of the policy. Some of the business’s property used in operations, such as computers, as well as many of your landscaping supplies up to a certain value.
In addition to these types of coverage that are recommended to most businesses, there are other areas that a landscaper needs to lend proper attention too. These Include
Commercial Auto Insurance – Landscapers do the majority of their work outside the office, and use a variety of vehicles while doing their job, especially trucks, trailers and vans. Like a personal auto policy, commercial auto insurance will cover the driver of these business vehicles when they are being used for business purposes. Business owners need to be aware that even if they drive their business vehicle for personal purposes, personal policies don’t usually cover accident damage and injuries sustained in the course of running a business.
Natural Disaster Insurance – If your work or equipment is severely damaged due to some sort of natural disaster, it may not be automatically covered under your general liability coverage, or that coverage may be limited. The type of coverage to discuss with an agent depends largely on what types of natural disaster is most likely to occur near your business. West coast businesses seek out earthquake insurance, and coastal areas will often ask about hurricane coverage. In Wisconsin, landscapers are more concerned with straight-line winds, tornadoes, or flooding due to severe storms.
Property Damage Insurance – When you are resculpting a customer’s yard, things are likely to look a little broken, but sometimes bigger mishaps happen. For example, a large branch you are removing from a tree could fall on a house and break a window. As a result of the broken window, the homeowner might suddenly experience a pest problem, such as a colony or ants, wasps, or rodents. If this happens, you may need to make a claim on the property damage portion of your landscaper’s insurance policy.
Equipment Breakdown Insurance – Landscapers use many different pieces of equipment in their work, from hand tools to tractors. They also use weed whackers, power saws, mowers, blowers, clippers, and more. When equipment breaks down, a landscaper not only is faced with the dollar expense of having it repaired or replaced, but they may be forced to put their specific job on hold and/or prevent him or her from accepting new work. Depending on the policy terms, equipment breakdown insurance may pay to have the equipment fixed and may cover expenses toward its maintenance.
Business Income Insurance – If you injure yourself while working in your landscaping business, your ability to work may be highly limited for a while. This can also put big limits on your income. Business income insurance is designed to see that you will still have at least a portion of your typical income available to you for a period of time shown in your policy.
If you’re looking for insurance coverage for your landscaping businesses or have questions on whether your current policy is providing the coverage you need, call us or use our online form to let us know your concerns or request a quote.