Frequently Asked Questions About
Commercial General Liability Insurance
How much does small business insurance cost?
Costs can vary widely based on industry and are also determined by zip code and often payroll and/or gross sales. Request a free quote to get an exact number. (read more)
What kind of business insurance do I need?
Most business owners need General Liability Insurance at the very least. If you have any non-owner employees, you will need workers compensation insurance too.
What is a Certificate of Insurance?
A Certificate of Insurance is proof of coverage. It lists the type and amount of liability coverage you have and other policy information when a third party requests it. (read more)
Is business insurance tax deductible?
Yes. you can deduct the cost of commercial insurance premiums. The IRS considers insurance a cost of doing business as long it benefits the business & serves a business purpose.
Tree Surgeon Insurance
Tree Surgeon Insurance. Tree surgeons care for trees by diagnosing diseases and pest infestations, spraying with fungicides or pesticides, filling cavities to prevent further decay, providing structural support to branches, and pruning or removing diseased or unwanted trees or parts of trees, or grinding tree stumps.
They may plant new trees or transplant existing trees. They may climb trees using harnesses, ropes or spikes, or work from a scaffold or cherry picker. Tree surgeons may be involved in emergency work removing and disposing of trees after storms or other disasters.
As a tree surgeon, you provide an invaluable service to your clients. Pruning branches and treating damaged trees not only prolongs their life, but it also improves the safety of those who come into contact with the trees; not to mention the fact that it beautifies the property. You might also remove diseased, decaying, or dead trees.
No matter what type of services you offer, it's important that you carry the right type of tree surgeon insurance coverage. Why is insurance so important and what type of policies should you carry? Below, you'll find the answers to these questions and more so that you can ensure your business - and your clients - are well protected.
Tree surgeon insurance protects your arborist business from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Insurance Is So Important For Tree Surgeons
Your line of business involves the use of heavy equipment and powerful machinery. You probably work with chemicals, too. Plus, you and your crew are climbing up tall structures, and it's likely that those structures are often unstable. You also have to contend with high winds, sudden rain storms, and you're working on other people's property.
Despite the fact that you make every effort to ensure that you and your team are following protocols and using the safest procedures possible, accidents can happen. An employee can fall off of a ladder, a limb can fall onto a house and damage the roof, or a piece of equipment could backfire, for example.
When accidents do occur, you'll be glad that you have insurance to protect you. With the right insurance coverage, the cost of any covered liabilities, such as damages, injuries, and even litigation, will be taken care of. Without insurance, you would have to pay for the costs that are associated with any damages out of your own pocket, which could be financially devastating.
To avoid the risk of going bankrupt and losing everything, tree surgeon insurance is one of the best investments you can make for your arborist business.
What Types Of Insurance Should Tree Surgeons Carry?
There are several types of tree surgeon insurance coverage that should be considered. While the specific policies will vary and are based on the specific needs of your business, the following coverages are most recommended:
- Commercial General Liability - The most basic of all coverage options and the one that all business owners simply must carry is commercial general liability insurance. This type of coverage protects your tree surgeon business from third-party liabilities, including injuries and property damage, as well as any legal claims that come along with such damages. For example, if a client's property is accidentally damaged while you're removing a tree and he or she files a lawsuits against your company, your insurance provider would help to cover the cost of any necessary repairs, litigation, and settlements.
- Commercial Equipment - You've invested a lot of money into the equipment that you use to tend to and remove the trees you care for. If any of your equipment is damaged, lost, or stolen, repairing or replacing it can set you back significantly. With commercial equipment insurance, the expense of repairing or replacing your equipment won't have to come out of your own pocket; instead, your insurance provider would help to cover the cost, which can save you some serious money.
- Workers' Compensation - Whether you employ a crew of 50 or 5 people, you're going to need workers' compensation insurance. This type of coverage pays for any on-the-job injuries or illnesses that your employees may sustain. It can also cover wages that employees lose while they are out of work, training for a new line of work if they are unable to return to their previous position, and legal defense fees, should an employee take any legal action. For instance, if any employee was injured by a saw that you failed to maintain and he or she files a lawsuit against you, your workers' comp insurance would pay for any related medical care, lost wages, and legal fees.
These are just some of the different tree surgeon insurance policies that arborists should have. There are other if your specific job or operations call for it.
Arborist's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures can be light at the tree surgeon's own premises if there is no public access. If there is a nursery, the exposure increases as customers may slip or fall on wet flooring or dirt or trip over equipment. Plants and equipment stored in the open can present an attractive nuisance. At job sites, falling tools, branches, or debris may injure persons, damage vehicles or other property, or fall onto power or communication lines.
Use of chain saws on trunks or limbs and the use of chippers for disposal may result in flying debris that can cause serious bodily injury. Root removal may cause underground damage to water, sewer, gas, electrical, or communication lines. The areas of operation should be restricted by barriers and proper signage to protect the public from slips and falls from equipment and supplies impeding access.
The application of chemical fertilizers or pesticides presents both a premises and completed operations hazard that could result in serious long-term injury, illness, or disease to customers, passersby, and workers. Chemical overspray may also result in damage to vehicles or other property. Contractors who do not obtain and keep proper licensing and certification for chemical applications create a serious liability exposure.
Environmental impairment exposure is significant. The application of chemicals can result in damage to air, soil, or groundwater. The tree surgeon 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 at heights, 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, and sprains and strains can result from lifting. Work done on ladders, scaffolds or cherry pickers can result in severe injury or death from falling or being struck by falling objects.
Careful controls are necessary, as is good maintenance of equipment such as lifts, ladders, and safety equipment. Chemical applications may cause lung problems along with allergic reactions and other more serious complications.
Property exposures may be limited to an office with a storage yard for vehicles and equipment. They may include the use or sale of live and growing plants, shrubs, bushes, trees, or flowers. These may grow in a structure such as a greenhouse or outside in a yard. Both the structure and the growing stock are susceptible to damage by fire, wind, hail, and vandalism. The stock is also vulnerable to loss by frost and animals or insects. Specialty coverages designed specifically for growing stock to cover the loss from natural elements may be needed.
Older greenhouses may be subject to frequent glass breakage, since they are typically made with the lowest grade of plate glass. Newer greenhouses are simply frames with plastic coverings which need frequent replacement as they tend to yellow or cloud in the weather and block out sunlight needed by plants. There may be backup systems or generators employed to prevent freezing or other temperature losses.
Fire hazards can be high from the flammables used in the repair operations 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.
Crime exposures are from employee dishonesty. Background checks, including criminal history, 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.
Inland marine exposures include accounts receivable if the tree surgeon offers credit to customers, contractors' equipment and tools, goods in transit, and valuable papers and records for customers' and suppliers' information. Equipment may include hand tools such as pruning shears and chain saws, scaffolding and ladders, cherry pickers, or back hoes used for digging. Items can fall from heights or be stolen by third parties or employees.
Chippers and hoggers used to grind up trees into chips may be damaged by metal objects embedded in the wood or break down during use. Goods in transit may be damaged by fire, collision or overturn. While the transport of fully grown trees for planting is rare, the stock may be of high value. Vehicles containing tree stock should be attended at all times.
Business auto exposures may 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.
Drivers should be aware of and be able to perform cleanup procedures in the event of a collision or vehicle overturn. 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.
Tree Surgeon Insurance
To find out if there are any other additional policies you should purchase and how much coverage you should have, speak with a reputable agent that specializes in tree surgeon insurance insurance.
Small Business Economic Data & Insurance Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. Maybe you want to contribute to the economic growth of your community. Whatever the reason is, if you're thinking about starting a small business, it's important to understand pertinent information relating to small businesses in the United States; namely economic information and insurance regulations. After all, if you want your small business to succeed, you have to understand the economic trends organizations of a similar size in your area.
Likewise, you want to ensure that your small business is well protected with the right business insurance and that you are in compliance with the rules and regulations that pertain to commercial insurance in your region.
Read up on economic statistics and insurance information that relates to small business owners in the United States.
Small Business Economic Data In The United States
Here's a look at some information that was compiled by the Small Business Association (SBA) regarding the economic data that pertains to small businesses in the United States:
- In 2015, small businesses in the United States employed an estimated 58.9 million American workers, or 47.5 percent of the nation's private workforce.
- Largest shares = fewer than 100 employees. The small businesses that employed 100 people or less had the largest share of employment amount small businesses.
- Employment increased by nearly 2 percent. In 2018, employment amongst small businesses increased by 1.8 percent, which is an increase of 1 percent from the prior year.
- Increase in proprietors. In 2016, the number of small business proprietors increased by 2.3 percent.
- In 2015, small businesses were responsible for creating 1.9 million net jobs. Organizations that employed 20 people or less had the largest gains, as they added an estimated 1.1 million net jobs.
- There were 5.7 million loans that were value less than $100,000 issued by lenders in the United States in 2016. These loans were issued under the Community Reinvestment Act.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the incorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $50,347 in 2016.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the unincorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $23,060 in 2016.
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. The SBA recommends the following insurance plans for small business owners:
- Commercial Property Insurance: In the case of an unplanned disaster - fire, flood, vandalism, theft, etc. - this type of coverage will help you avoid paying for the damage out of your own pocket. Even if you rent the property, you should still carry commercial property insurance.
- Commercial Liability Insurance: In the event that a legal situation arises - a negligence lawsuit, for example - commercial liability coverage will provide financial protection. It will cover the cost of legal defense fees, court fees, and even moneys that may be awarded.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: If you operate a vehicle for any activities that are related to your business - transporting and/or delivering goods, or meeting with clients - commercial auto insurance is legally required for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses.
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
- Blacksmith & Metal Workers
- Builders Risk
- Cable And Satellite TV Installer
- Chimney Sweep
- Contractor Liability
- 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
- House Cleaning
- HVAC Contractor
- Insulation Contractor
- Janitorial Cleaning Services
- Lawn Care
- 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
- Solar Panel Installers
- Snow Plow
- Stone And Tile Installer
- Swimming Pool Contractor
- Tree Surgeon
- Tree Trimming
- 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.
Quotes from leading small business insurance carriers including: ACE, AmTrust, Chubb, Cincinnati, CNA, Colony, Employers, Evanston, Fireman's, Foremost, Guard, Hanover, Hiscox, Liberty Mutual, LLoyd's of London, Markel, MSA, Nationwide, Penn America, Philadelphia, Prime, Progressive, Scottsdale, The Hartford, Travelers, USLI, Utica First, Western World, Zurich & others.