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Do You Really Need Landscaping Business Insurance? 

Landscaping business insurance is essential, no matter the size of your company. It’s a safety net to protect you, your employees, and your clients in the event of an accident. Like an umbrella in a storm, you don’t want to get caught without it. 

In this article, learn about the different types of insurance and why they might be right for your business. 

Get tips on how to save money when buying commercial insurance. Then, read more suggestions you can use immediately when shopping for coverage. 

Importance of Landscaping Business Insurance 

All businesses should have insurance, and landscaping companies are no exception. Insurance covers the cost of various unexpected events that would otherwise have to come out of your own pocket. If the expense is large enough, it could empty your bank account or even put you out of business. 

Commercial insurance should be tailored to the specific types of risk in the buyer’s field. What are some typical risks in the landscaping industry? 

First, there’s property damage—either your own or your client’s. For instance, one of your employees could knock over and break an expensive sculpture in your client’s yard. Or your vital equipment, like mowers and trimmers, could be vandalized or stolen.  

Damage by fire or storms is another possibility. 

Then there are liability concerns. Liability is when you’re responsible for harm to someone else or their property. The property damage described above is technically a liability. A recent study showed that 40% of small businesses in the US can expect a liability event or property loss every 10 years

Another example of liability is leaving a dangerous tool behind after a job. Imagine that the client’s children or pets get hurt by it. That injury would leave your business on the hook for medical care. 

Liability can also include things like: 

  • Auto accidents driving between clients 
  • Cyber theft of client credit card information 
  • Measuring or calculation errors 
  • Wrongful termination of an employee 

Speaking of employees, what happens if one of them gets injured on the job? We discuss below how that common hazard may even be regulated by law in your state. 

RELATED ARTICLE: Landscaping Liability Insurance: What You Need to Know 

Key Aspects of Landscaping Business Insurance 

Fortunately, for all the risks described above, there is landscaping business insurance to protect you. Let’s review the different types of insurance you may wish to purchase in one aggregate policy. 

Insurance companies often put multiple kinds of coverage together for certain professions. But you can usually add or remove parts based on your unique needs. 

General Liability Insurance 

General liability insurance protects you if a non-employee is hurt or their property is damaged, and your business is at fault. It covers many of the scenarios described above and more. You will probably be required to carry this coverage to get business funding or bid on larger jobs. 

Pros: You minimize loss of assets if you need to pay a settlement or claim. Liability insurance also covers legal and court costs if you are sued. 

Cons: Even small liability claims can make your rates go up, making this vital insurance more expensive. Also, you can reach your payout cap quickly with just one accident. The solution is to add umbrella insurance (see below). 

Special Liability Insurance 

This additional coverage is protection you can add for specific situations, such as: 

  • Errors and omissions: covers mistakes in calculations, like the load-bearing capabilities of a retaining wall 
  • Employee practices: coverage for allegations of wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, etc. 
  • Bonds: when you aren’t able to complete a job on time or to proper standards, including due to another contractor’s failure 

Pros: You get peace of mind knowing you’re covered for a longer list of scenarios. 

Cons: You’re less likely to use this insurance than many others, although it may give you greater peace of mind. Look carefully at your business model to see if it’s worth the added expense. 

Property Insurance 

This insurance typically covers your own property, including office space you own and/or equipment and tools you need to operate. It protects you in case of damage, theft, vandalism, or loss to fire. 

Pros: You can rapidly get back to work after an unexpected disaster without dipping into your bank account. 

Cons: Property insurance can get pricey fast. It’s especially true if you need earthquake or flood insurance for your office building. And, like other kinds of insurance, you may never need it.  

Additionally, it’s getting harder to obtain property insurance lately. This is due to an uptick in severe weather events, wildfires, and other costly claims. You could face limited options in this category. 

Commercial Auto Insurance 

Your personal auto insurance won’t cover any vehicles you drive for work, even your own truck or van. You must have commercial auto coverage for any vehicles you or employees use in your landscaping business operation. 

Nearly every state has mandatory liability coverage. This pays for other people’s medical care or property damage when you or an employee is at fault in a crash. 

Pros: You and your employees can register and drive vehicles lawfully. Plus, you won’t have to pay up to your cap after an accident. 

Cons: It’s more expensive, but you should choose full coverage. It includes collision and comprehensive protection. It covers repairs and vehicle loss/damage in case of fire, theft, vandalism, or storms.  

Without full coverage, you may not be able to operate. This would result in a serious loss of revenue. 

It’s also worth noting that the state’s minimum liability requirement is low. It rarely covers the entire cost of replacing another person’s vehicle after a serious accident. To get the coverage you need, you must either purchase more liability protection or add an umbrella policy, as discussed below. 

Workers’ Compensation Insurance 

Workers’ compensation pays for employee medical care after an on-the-job injury. Covered expenses include doctor’s appointments, medications, rehabilitation, and lost wages. Most states also require this insurance if you have one or more employees. 

Pros: You can’t be sued for an employee’s accident expenses if you have this insurance. 

Cons: Workers’ comp is a gamble, but one you must participate in. That’s the negative. You may never have an employee get hurt at work. 

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Cyber Insurance 

This protects your business in case of cybercrimes. It can be a lifesaver if you are the victim of a hack, data breach, or identity theft. 

Pros: It makes taking digital payments and maintaining customer files easier. Your clients know you are insured for cyber incidents outside your control. 

Cons: Cyber insurance can be complicated. You need to investigate exactly what’s covered and what’s not, as policies vary widely. You also need to evaluate if it’s worth the expense, given the amount of data you collect. 

Commercial Umbrella Insurance 

As the name implies, this is broad coverage for various liabilities. Umbrella insurance kicks in when you reach the cap on other policies, like general liability or auto liability. 

Pros: If you do huge landscaping projects with higher risk or if you have a larger business, it’s a solid safety net. 

Cons: An umbrella policy typically has a high limit of $1 million or more. But you pay for that with premiums. If your two-person business is primarily mowing lawns and trimming beds, you may not need it. 

Choosing the Right Landscaping Business Insurance Coverage 

So, how do you select the perfect coverage for your landscaping business? Here are some steps to help you narrow down what you need: 

  • Take a hard look at your business. Where do you see the greatest possibility for risk? That’s where you want to focus coverage. For example, do you have an employee who’s not the best driver in the world? Do you serve clients who are ultra-picky about their properties? 
  • Review your state requirements. This will determine the baseline for auto liability and workers’ compensation coverage.  
  • Do jobs you bid on require certain insurance coverage? Some projects—especially municipal jobs—demand bonds or builder’s risk property insurance. 
  • Have you ever had to file an insurance claim before? How did it go? Did you wish you had better coverage at the time? How could you change your coverage now to reflect that? 
  • Consider where you see your business in six months or a year. Do you intend to hire more workers, buy a fleet of trucks, or start taking credit cards? You’ll have to up your coverage accordingly. Choose a policy that will let you do that with ease. 

Navigating Landscaping Business Insurance Costs 

As mentioned earlier, the cost of landscaping business insurance can vary by many factors. These include: 

  • The size of your business and the number of employees 
  • The type and scope of jobs you take on 
  • Your geographic location and state requirements 
  • History of previous insurance claims 

Nevertheless, there are some actions you can take to reduce insurance expenses. Try these tips to save money on your coverage: 

  • Understand how deductibles function. This is a fairly small amount you must pay yourself when filing a claim to discourage frivolous claims. Usually, choosing a higher deductible will give you a lower premium. 
  • When thinking about filing a claim, ask if it’s worth it. If the payout is close to your deductible, it’s probably not. You’ll likely see your rates go up more than what you receive from the claim. 
  • Reduce overhead that needs coverage as much as possible. Do you really need that office space when you’re out seeing clients all day? How many vehicles do you need to operate at a minimum? Your revenue must justify any increased insurance expenses. 
  • Shop around with different carriers. You’ll be surprised how much coverage varies between insurance companies. 
  • Don’t pay for coverage you don’t need. For instance, you don’t need employment practices insurance added to your liability policy if you don’t have any employees. 
  • Bundle as much insurance as possible with one agent or carrier for a discount. Ask if getting your personal and business insurance under one roof would save even more money. 
  • Inquire about discounts for safety. You may be eligible for good driver savings on an auto policy. Special training for employees could lower your liability costs. 

You may pay less if you pay your insurance premiums annually or every six months versus monthly. 

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Top Takeaway Tips for Choosing Landscaping Business Insurance 

Ready to start shopping for landscaping business insurance? Here are some final suggestions to make the process easier: 

  • When discussing property insurance, ask about a business owner’s policy (BOP). This coverage combines physical property and equipment insurance in one policy. It’s ideal if you have an office or even a garage out of which you operate. 
  • Check with your state about any insurance requirements related to your corporate status. For example, the state may need proof of certain types of insurance to form an LLC or S Corp. 
  • Inquire about any additional insurance you may need for special tasks related to your landscaping business. You might want a policy for herbicide/pesticide use or for running a snowplow in winter. Inland marine coverage protects you during the transport of others’ valuable property. Examples include a rented auger or a client’s antique fountain. 
  • To minimize downtime that can result in loss of income, get an auto policy that provides a rental if your truck has to go into the shop. Roadside assistance is great for this, too.
  • Be sure to consult with an independent insurance agent in your area. They will have access to all the major carriers plus many lesser-known ones. They’ll be familiar with your local business climate, so they can give you a more customized quote. 

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