Lawn Care Insurance Policy Information
Lawn Care Insurance. As a lawn care professional, you're aware of how important your service is to the community. Lawn maintenance services are required for public parks, private homes, and corporate exteriors. Lawn mowing, weeding, fertilizing and seeding are labor-intensive task that primarily involves maintaining the owner's yard as per their expectations. And, accidents happen in such a line of work.
You might be having an endless list of clients who clamor to hire you. But, just one unfortunate incident is enough to put you and your startup at risk for significant financial loss, regardless of whether you're a victim of happenstance or you're the one at fault. If you're a sole proprietor, you'd be held personally liable for damage or loss if you don't have a lawn care insurance policy. That could imply losing personal property, including your home, in some cases.
Lawn care insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked lawn care insurance questions:
- How Much Does Lawn Care Insurance Cost?
- What Type Of Insurance Do Lawn Care Providers Need?
- Do You Have To Buy Lawn Care Insurance?
- Do Lawncare Services Need Commercial Auto Insurance?
How Much Does Lawn Care Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small lawn care businesses ranges from $37 to $59 per month based on location, size, payroll, sales and experience.
What Type Of Insurance Do Lawn Care Providers Need?
The most common small business insurance policies lawn care businesses carry are: general liability, business property, commercial auto, and workers' compensation. There are other specialty coverages available based on their specific operations.
Do You Have To Buy Lawn Care Insurance?
Insuring a lawn care business will protect it against accidents, property damage, lawsuits, and equipment failure, in addition to helping one focus on the primary task at hand. In fact, securing lawn care insurance is among the basic requirements for a business that offers commercial or residential property lawn care in most states. It ensures that you and your employees are protected. In case something goes wrong, having the proper insurance policy in place takes much worry and financial stress away.
Having a licensed insurance professional to guide you would an excellent way to help design the appropriate insurance package. There are multiple, different kinds of coverage plans which can help prevent costly accidents. As with most other businesses, a simple combination of property insurance, workers' compensation, and general liability is an excellent starting point. Furthermore, some of these basic policies are almost always required by state law and local municipal codes. The various kinds of insurance available for a lawn maintenance business are discussed below.
Types of Lawn Care Insurance Policies
General Liability Insurance - Your services entail working on a property that belongs to other people for the most of your day. As such, it's important to ensure your insurance package provides coverage for personal injury or property damages which could arise from the business operations.
General liability insurance guards you against lawsuits from clients, protecting you and your lawn care business against multiple forms of negligence. You can pair general liability insurance with other lawn care insurance coverage policies to cover the crucial bases.
Business Owner's Policy - People tend to overlook the fact that lawsuits can be incredibly costly. And, most small businesses barely budget enough to cover such costs. Once an accident occurs, you won't know how costly it'll be or how much damage it'll cause. Damaged equipment or lawsuits can financially ruin your business. A business owner's policy will help keep your business afloat during such difficult times as it combines general liability, commercial property and business income bundled in one lawn care insurance policy.
Property Insurance - Property insurance protects the premises, furniture, and other business equipment like phones, computers, copiers, and cabinets. This lawn care insurance policy will insure your business against loss or damage to structures used in regular business operations.
Workers' Compensation Insurance - Working in the landscape care and maintenance industry presents several safety risks. Accidents can happen, even to the most cautious person. Unexpected accidents can threaten your business, especially if you're not well insured. An injured employee might hold you responsible for medical fees and damages.
As an employer, you should carry a workers comp policy to protect the livelihood of both your business and employees. It is mandate in most states for any non-owner employees and is aimed at covering the cost of missed wages, medical bills, and legal fees that might be incurred after the occurrence of an accident.
Commercial Auto Insurance - Do you transport the equipment using your own vehicle? If so, then covering your vehicle would be beneficial to your business. Business auto insurance will help protect you against significant vehicle-related costs, including lawsuits that might arise from accidents. You can extend commercial auto coverage across other vehicles that are used in your business' day-to-day operations.
Umbrella Liability Insurance - Perhaps you work on high-priced real estate properties. In such cases, your clients might need higher insurance coverage. Umbrella/excess liability insurance will enable you to have a plan that has more lawn care insurance coverage without having to raise the premium of your general liability policy.
Inland Marine Insurance - Machinery and tools are your business' lifeline. And, lawn care services often involve much traveling. Securing inland marine insurance will help cover your equipment during transport. It'll ensure that you don't get caught in situations which would result in you needing to repurchase expensive equipment.
Additional Lawncare Insurance Tips
- Obtain a package that's right for your style and size of business.
- Be prudent and seek adequate legal advice.
- If possible, set up automatic renewal policies on the primary lawn care insurance coverage types.
- Have the basic liability coverage policies in place at the beginning stages of your business if you're getting started.
- Aside from insurance, put a safety plan in place to ensure smooth, efficient business operations.
- Strive to fulfill the service agreements that your clients sign for.
- Revise your insurance options 2-3 times each year and seek legal advice for any blind spots or loopholes.
Do Lawncare Services Need Commercial Auto Insurance?
It doesn't matter whether you're a single-team operation working out of your own pick-up truck or a massive lawn care service with a fleet of vehicles. If you want to protect your lawn care business, you're going to need commercial auto insurance.
Personal insurance policies often specifically exclude coverage any time a vehicle is being used for work purposes. That's any time you're on the job... even if you or one of your employees is just running to the store for a bag of mulch.
What Does Business Auto Insurance Cover?
Your commercial auto policy may have a similar structure to your personal auto policy, in that all the same coverages are available. At the very least, you'll want to purchase a liability policy for any company-owned vehicles. If you're a one-team operation, you'll want to cover that single van or truck.
Liability coverage is required by law in most states. If you don't have commercial auto insurance you're essentially driving without insurance. This policy pays for the damages you cause if you or one of your employees gets into a car accident.
You might also consider comprehensive coverage, which replaces the vehicle if it gets stolen or damaged by the weather or a deer or is vandalized. Collision coverage is a must, since it will help you repair your vehicle after an accident. Commercial uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will take care of you if the other driver is at fault, and doesn't have insurance.
Each of these coverages have far higher limits than your personal auto policy. This is a good thing, since any insurance policy will only pay out to its limits. A single accident could generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in liability coverage. You want a policy that's going to provide you with as much protection as you can get.
Don't forget specialized vehicles, like backhoes. This equipment will need to be covered under a personal insurance policy, too.
Don't Forget To Cover Employees Driving Their Own Vehicles
If your employees conduct any business (including mulch runs) in their own personal vehicles, you'll want to add one more policy: the hired and non-owners auto insurance policy. This covers liability on vehicles you don't own, but have some responsibility for.
Any time your employees are out working on your behalf they generate liability for you if they get into an accident. This is true whether they are contractors or full-time employees.
While "they're independent contractors" holds water in some states, many are taking a dim view of business owners who attempt to dodge liability by classifying people this way. If they work for you more than 30 hours a week, if you're their only client, and if you are managing and controlling their work when they get into an accident, then you should assume you're going to be held liable.
If your employees routinely drive to customer houses in their own vehicles they might need a commercial auto insurance policy as well. You can purchase a commercial auto insurance policy and add both employees and their vehicles to it while they're working for you, since the policyholder and a car's owner doesn't need to be the same person. This is a great way to ensure both you and your employees are 100% protected and ready to focus on creating beautiful lawns and landscapes for your customers.
Lawn Care Risks & Exposures
Property exposures may be limited to an office and a storage yard for vehicles or equipment.
Fire hazards can be high from the flammables used in the repair of vehicles or equipment, such as solvents and degreasers, and the chemicals in fertilizers and insecticides. These must all be well controlled, labeled, and separated with proper storage in the appropriate containers and storage facilities.
Premises liability exposures can be light at the lawn care providers's own premises if there is no public access. At job sites, hazards include injury or damage from stones or other debris thrown by power mowers, trimmers, and other equipment.
The application of lawn chemicals presents both a premises and completed operations hazard that could result in serious long-term injury, illness, or disease to customers and passersby. Overspray from operations could result in small but frequent property damage losses. Lawn care contractors who do not obtain and keep proper licensing and certification for chemical applications create a serious liability exposure to themselves.
Environmental impairment exposure is significant. The application of chemicals can result in damage to air, soil, or groundwater. The landscaper must comply with all federal, state, and municipal regulations regarding the use and disposal of chemicals and waste products. Employees who handle chemicals must have the appropriate licenses and certifications individually.
Workers compensation exposures are high due to the operation of machinery and equipment, work on uneven ground, and exposure to underground or above ground cables and lines. Use of power-cutting equipment can result in cuts and possible amputations. Back injuries, hernias, sprains, and strains can result from lifting. Chemical applications may cause lung problems along with allergic reactions and other more serious complications. Casual labor, seasonal workforce, and high turnover present a significant loss control challenge.
Inland marine exposure includes accounts receivable if the landscaper offers credit to customers, contractors' equipment, goods in transit, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. Equipment may include mowers, sprayers and the like. Goods in transit may be damaged by fire, collision or overturn.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty. Background checks, including criminal histories, should be obtained on each employee prior to hiring. Ordering, billing, and disbursement should be handled as separate duties with reconciliations occurring regularly. There should be appropriate procedures in place when employees accept payments off site.
Business auto exposures can be very limited if the service is maintenance only and does not supply plants. If plants and large trees are transported, the exposure increases due to the possibility of the load being involved in a collision or overturn. Vehicles may be custom designed with specialty equipment, such as lifts, cherry pickers, and tree planting or removal equipment.
All drivers must be well trained and have valid licenses for the type of vehicle being driven. MVRs must be run on a regular basis. Random drug and alcohol testing should be conducted. Vehicles must be well maintained with records kept in a central location.
Lawn Care Insurance
After the above basic coverage policies, you can then review additional protection. Consider other kinds of coverage that you might need. Coverage of aspects like loss of income, mechanical breakdown, and other kinds of hazardous coverage would be worth consideration if your specific business' needs warrant it.
Lawn care insurance will save you from financial headaches that might arise in the future. Besides, having an ideal insurance package will make your services more appealing to the potential clients. It provides peace of mind to clients as they're guaranteed of compensation in case you unwittingly cause loss or damage to their property.
Work with a licensed insurance professional to secure maximum, but affordable coverage. Secure policies that will collaborate to create the ultimate coverage package, suiting most or all of your needs as your budget will allow.
Description for 0782: Lawn and Garden Services
Division A: Agriculture, Forestry, And Fishing | Major Group 07: Agricultural Services | Industry Group 078: Landscape And Horticultural Services
0782 Lawn and Garden Services: Establishments primarily engaged in performing a variety of lawn and garden services. Establishments primarily engaged in the installation of artificial turf are classified in Construction, Industry 1799.
- Bermuda sprigging services
- Cemetery upkeep, independent
- Garden maintenance
- Garden planting
- Lawn care
- Lawn fertilizing services
- Lawn mowing services
- Lawn mulching services
- Lawn seeding services
- Lawn spraying services
- Lawn sprigging services
- Mowing highway center strips and edges
- Seeding highway strips
- Sod laying
- Turf installation, except artificial
Types Of Small Business Insurance - Requirements & Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. If you've got a business, you've got risks. Unexpected events and lawsuits can wipe out a business quickly, wasting all the time and money you've invested.
Commercial insurance steps in to help you manage these risks, avoiding a situation which requires you to pay exorbitant costs out-of-pocket.
Insurance is so important to proper business function that both federal governments and state governments require companies to carry certain types. Thus, being properly insured also helps you protect your company by protecting it from government fines and penalties.
Small Business Insurance Information
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage.
Types Of Small Business Insurance
Choosing the right type of coverage is absolutely vital. You've got plenty of options. Some you'll need. Some you won't. You should know what's available. Once you look over your options you'll need to conduct a thorough risk assessment. As you evaluate each type of insurance, ask yourself:
- What type of business am I running?
- What are common risks associated with this industry?
- Does this type of insurance cover a situation that could feasibly arise during the normal course of doing business?
- Does my state require me to carry this type of insurance?
- Does my lender or do any of my investors require me to carry this type of policy?
A licensed insurance agent or broker in your state can help you determine what kinds of coverages are prudent for your business types. If you find one licensed to sell multiple policies from multiple companies (independent agents) that person can often help you get the best insurance rates, too. Following is some information on some of the most common small business insurance policies:
|Business Insurance Policy Type||What Is Covered?|
|General Liability Insurance||What is covered under commercial general liability insurance? It steps in to pay claims when you lose a lawsuit with an injured customer, employee, or vendor. The injury could be physical, or it could be a financial loss based on advertising practices.|
|Product Liability Insurance||What is covered under product liability insurance? I pays an injured party's settlement or lawsuit claim arising from a defective product. These are usually caused by design defects, manufacturing defects, or a failure to provide adequate warning or instructions as to how to safely use the product.|
|Commercial Property Insurance||What is covered under business property insurance? General liability policies don't cover damages to your business property. That's what commercial property insurance is for. It protects all of the physical parts of your business: your building, your inventory, and your equipment, giving you the funds you need to replace them in the event of a disaster. If you work from home, you might consider a Home Based Business Insurance policy instead.|
|Business Owners Policy (BOP)||What is covered under a business owners policy (BOP)? This is a policy designed for small, low-risk businesses. It simplifies the basic insurance purchase process by combining general liability policies with business income and commercial property insurance.|
|Commercial Auto Insurance||What is covered under business auto insurance? This type of insurance covers automobiles being used for business purposes. This could include a fleet of business-only vehicles or a single company car. In some cases it might cover your car or your employee's car while they're being used for business. These policies have much higher limits, ensuring you can cover your costs if one of these vehicles gets into an accident.|
|Commercial Umbrella Policies||What is covered under commercial umbrella insurance? This type of policy is a sort of "gap" insurance. It covers your liability in the event that a court verdict or settlement exceeds your general liability policy limits.|
|Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)||What is covered under professional liability insurance? This type of business insurance is also known as malpractice oe E&O. It covers the damages that can arise from major mistakes, especially in high-stakes professions where mistakes can be devastating.|
|Surety Bond||What is covered under surety bonds? Bonding is a contract where one party, the SURETY (who assures the obligee that the principal can perform the task), guarantees the performance of certain obligations of a second party, the PRINCIPAL (the contractor or business who will perform the contractual obligation), to a third party, the OBLIGEE (the project owner who is the recipient of an obligation).|
Who Needs General Liability Insurance? - Virtually every business. A single lawsuit or settlement could bankrupt your business five times over. You might also need this policy to win business. Many companies and government agencies won't do business with your company until you can produce proof that you've obtained one of these policies.
Business Insurance Required by Law
If you have any employees most states will require you to carry worker's compensation and unemployment insurance. Some states require you to insure yourself even if you are the only employee working in the business.
Your insurance agent can help you check applicable state laws so you can bring your business into compliance.
Other Types Of Small Business Insurance
There are dozens of other, more specialized forms of small business insurance capable of covering specific problems and risks. These forms of insurance include:
- Business Interruption Insurance
- Commercial Flood Insurance
- Contractor's Insurance
- Cyber Liability
- Data Breach
- Directors and Officers
- Employment Practices Liability
- Environmental or Pollution Liability
- Management Liability
- Sexual Misconduct Liability
Whether you need any or all of these policies will depend on the results of your risk assessment. For example, you probably don't need an environmental or pollution policy if you're running an IT company out of a leased office, but you would need data breach and cyber liability policies to fully protect your business.
Additional Resources For Contractors & Home Improvement Insurance
Learn about small business contractor's insurance, including what it covers, how much it costs - and how commercial insurance can help protect your contracting business from lawsuits.
- Air Conditioning Systems Installation Repair
- Appliance Repair & Service
- Blacksmith & Metal Workers
- Builders Risk
- Building Cleaning & Maintenance Services
- Cabinet Installer
- Cable And Satellite TV Installer
- Chimney Sweep
- Contractor Liability
- Curtain Cleaners
- Deck Builders
- Door And Window Installers
- Dryer Vent Cleaning
- Drywall Contractor
- Electrical Contractors
- Environmental Remediation Contractors
- Fence Installation
- Fire Sprinkler Contractors
- Fire & Water Restoration Contractors
- Flooring Contractor
- Garage Door Installer And Repair
- Glass Contractor
- Glazier Insurance
- Gutter Installation And Repair
- House Cleaning
- HVAC Contractor
- Insulation Contractor
- Janitorial Cleaning Services
- Lawn Care
- Lawn Irrigation Sprinkler System Installation
- Paperhanging Contractors
- Plastering And Stucco Contractor
- Pressure Washing Contractors
- Propane And Fuel Dealers
- Rug, Upholstery & Carpet Cleaning
- Sandblasting Contractors
- Security Alarm
- Septic Tank Cleaning
- Siding Contractor
- Sign Installation & Repair
- Solar Panel Installers
- Snow Plow
- Stone And Tile Installer
- Surety Bonds
- Swimming Pool Contractor
- Swimming Pool Service And Maintenance
- Tree Surgeon
- Tree Trimming
- Tank Cleaners
- Upholstery Shop
- Waste Haulers & Garbage Collection
- Water Well Drilling
- Welding Contractor
- Wildlife & Pest Control
- Window Cleaning
A contractor that wants to begin or stay in business, liability coverage must be obtained for the premises or operations, off-site locations and products/completed operations exposures. These coverages may be included as a part of a businessowners policy (BOP) or purchased in a commercial general liability (CGL) policy. Owners and contractors protective liability and railroad protective liability coverages may also be required in certain cases in order for a contractor to obtain a particular job.
Physical damage coverage for tools, supplies and equipment, both on and off the contractor's premises, is a concern. Liability exposures at the premises of the contractor, and at the premises of the contractor's customer, must be properly addressed along with completed operations. Business insurance is very important as is workers compensation insurance protection for employees.
Contractors may work under a general contractor as a subcontractor in larger construction projects - like a new commercial site or residential subdivision. They can work on smaller projects directly with a home owner, usually specializing in renovations or remodels.
In business insurance speak, often called 'artisan contractors' or 'casual contractors', they are involved in many aspects of construction and contracting work – and include various trades and skills. Carpenters, painters, plumbers, electricians, roofers, tree trimmers, landscaping are just a few examples. They may do roofing, fencing, drywall, tile work and many other trades that involve skilled work with tools at the customer's premises.
An artisan contractor performs a single trade or job, and each has its own specialized liability needs with its own exposures to risk and accidents. Contractors liability insurance can offer coverage for bodily injury, property damage, advertising injury and medical payments.
Most artisan contractors should have commercial general liability at the very least, but many need broader coverages - like an umbrella to increase their limits of liability, inland marine policy to protect their tools, workers compensation if they have employees, and even commercial auto if they use vehicles for business purposes.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Contractors' Equipment and Tools, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Umbrella Liability, Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Business Income with Extra Expense, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Accounts Receivable, Builders Risk, Computers, Goods in Transit, Installation Floater, Valuable Papers and Records, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practicesand Stop Gap Liability.