Whether you are just starting your landscaping business or you are already an established and respected landscaper, you no doubt have heard about landscaping insurance.
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It is a convenient package that can save you costs emanating from anything from a workplace accident to property theft that may hinder you from completing your projects. Because ‘human is to error,’ even an innocent enough job such as cutting grass on a lawn may land you into a lawsuit if a client claims you damaged their property.
Hence, to wriggle out from paying such claims out-of-pocket, setting aside a monthly sum for landscaping business insurance costs is paramount.
Next, you will learn more on the payable premiums, types of cover and tricks of the trade for landing the cheapest yet fulfilling landscaping insurance policies.
While at it, you may also like to learn about insurance for tractors, including cost saving tips, here.
What is landscaping insurance?
Landscaping insurance, as the above introduction implies, is a policy that provides financial backup for landscape businesses that face small court claims, including third-party personal injury as well as peripheral damage. It is premised on the fact that clients and workers are within rights to claim what the landscaper damages or harms.
Companies providing such cover offer quotes based on a number of factors such as the nature of landscaping, e.g. tree trimming, the size of business, e.g. small lawn mowing, and risks involved in each location.
How much does insurance cost for a landscaping business?
One pertinent question that often bothers starting landscapers is: how much does insurance cost for a landscaping business?
Well, the kind of landscaping services you provide and the work risks associated with it determine the monthly premiums. On average, the $45 monthly package, which varies by a few dollars from one insurer to the next, is the most common in the United States. It is applicable to the general liability insurance type of cover.
It is most true that the bigger the company, the greater the general liability cover and thus the higher the premium. In many cases, companies that service trees may expect to pay a median $1,650 per year. It may seem costly but it is the most comprehensive cover available as it matches up to the business risk involved.
On the other hand, how much does insurance cost for a landscaping business in a smaller field like lawn-mowing? In many cases, it costs anywhere between $400 and $507 yearly, which translates to around $40 to $49 in monthly fees.
Additionally, landscaping business insurance costs revolve around the following possible scenarios:
- Specialization: companies that offer only one specialized field of landscaping may attract a quote, high or low, depending on the risk associated with the field. For example, a tree trimmer is at higher risk of causing third-party injuries than a tree foliage sweeper and thus the former attracts a higher quote.
- Extra risks: if, on top of landscaping, the client needs extra services such as irrigating the landscaped land, then risks multiply and the quote changes accordingly.
Common landscaping insurance types and respective costs
Here are the four landscaping insurance types and their respective costs.
1. General liability insurance
This is the most common form of landscaping insurance. It covers general claims by a third-party, usually your client, if they suffer property damage or injury due to your landscapers’ negligence.
It costs as little as $40, and for low-tier business, can even go as low as $15 monthly, and peaks at $49. Yearly costs rarely go beyond $1650 for large businesses. Each approved occurrence will net your business as little as $300k and as high as $1 million in compensation sums.
2. Workers compensation
Also known as employer’s liability insurance, it settles claims by workers injured during landscaping. It helps you settle sick leave fees, hospitalization expenditure, layoff costs, personal injury litigation fees, among other liabilities.
This type recoups much of landscaping business insurance cost because it has 5-dollar figure to 6-dollar figure claimable limits for every occurrence.
Most entities start with $100K compensation limits for each workplace incident but this figure can climb to $500K and $1 million, as your business expands.
3. Tools and equipment
This covers that hole in your pocket that your mowers, kits, sickles and other trimming tools may occasion in case of theft, damage or loss. So, how much does landscaping insurance cost, if a tool is no longer available or is not working properly?
With this cover, you pay the least premium of all other policies above, at $26 at the lowest and $68 for larger companies. The compensation you can hope to obtain per tool occurrence ranges from a base of $3000 to a peak of $10,000.
4. Commercial property and commercial auto
These are two related policies that cover your business premises such as buildings and cars that you use to operate your landscaping company.
For the property type, you can expect compensation of up to $25K for each incident while for occurrences involving your motor department, you can claim anywhere between $85K and $1 million.
Why does a landscaping business need insurance?
An increase in the number of properties needing professional landscaping has given rise to many general liability claims.
Therefore, a landscaper needs a policy package that can readily settle lawsuits and worker injury expenditure.
Other reasons why your business needs landscaping insurance include:
- Other than general claims by third parties for damaged property, your workers may suffer from chemical exposure in the line of duty that may require costly treatment. A workers’ insurance policy covers these claims.
- The client may report negligence and this may cost you not only compensatory fee on damaged property but legal fees as well. Hence, you need to apply for and pay monthly for your landscaping business insurance cost so as to instantly pay such fees.
Requirements to qualify for landscaping insurance
To qualify for landscaping insurance, you require the following documents:
- Your Federal ID especially if associating your personal name with your business.
- A business permit as a landscaper is required as a show of a legally operating business.
- An employer identification number, especially when applying for workers’ compensation policy cover.
After meeting the underlined simple requirements and qualifying for a policy cover, you can finally secure a Certificate of Insurance (COI) from your insurer, as this shows that you have a policy in place.
Which companies offer landscaping insurance in the US?
There are dozens of companies offering landscaping insurance in the US and out of these you can narrow down to a few. The main ones include:
- The Hartford: this is one of the leading landscaping insurance companies in the US, which offers instant quotes and garners an A-plus rating with most customer research agencies.
- Hiscox: Best suited for those new in business who may need to start at the bottom of the pile, particularly in the lawn care field. The company offers quotes on the Internet and has a rating of A for excellence.
- CoverWallet: Considered the most affordable. Not only does it give instant online quotes but extends a helping hand with a personal adviser, especially for new small landscapers.
- Progressive: if you have a truck that keeps your landscaping job going smoothly, then Progressive is the specialist insurer for this line of business for the insurer deals with landscaping + trucks. The company gives online quotes and its customer hotline is available any time of day and night.
- NEXT: Prides itself as the one-stop shop for small landscapers.
- Acuity: Another highly rated insurer that works best with contractors in the landscaping business.
How to spend less on landscaping insurance
The question now on top of your mind has most likely changed from “how much does insurance cost for a landscaping business”, to “how can I spend less on insurance.”
Well, the nature of your work determines the risk and thus the cost. As such, here are a few points to note to reduce costs where possible:
- Shop from companies that suit your particular business. If you are a lawn mowing outfit, go for insurers who specialize in your field as these offer the lowest rates.
- Invest in workers’ insurance as this is mandatory in many states. By doing this, you will be reducing out-of-pocket costs if incidents involving your landscapers occur.
- The place and state also determine your price: a West Coast landscaper will on average pay more insurance than an Ohio-based one. So, if you seek to cut costs, move to a cheaper State and preferably a less expensive neighborhood as the neighborhood location also comes into consideration when calculating quotes.
Ultimately, having landscaping insurance is an important way to settle claims on property damage and workers’ injuries that may otherwise affect the smooth running of your business. Incurring landscaping business insurance costs per month will prove cheap in the long run: these costs eventually come to help you pay small and big claims once.