Insurance for the Landscaping Professional
First the Lion, Then The Lamb
As the snow falls outside your window, it is hard to believe spring is right around the corner, but in three weeks, spring will be here. We all know how quickly time flies. Before we know it, March has come in like a lion, as the old proverb suggests, and gone out like a lamb. We will soon start packing away the puffy jackets and ski hats and pull out our windbreakers and short-sleeved shirts. The shovels will get hung back on the hook in the garage as we step around the lawnmower covered in dust.
With spring comes flowers and the battalion of bright, green blades, their tips emerging through the rich pudding of dark earth as they celebrate the annual arrival of the vernal equinox. Professional landscapers worldwide take note, filling their trucks with fuel, oiling the engines of their machinery, and gathering together their tools and gloves, readying themselves for the constant ringing of their office phones to commence.
There are more than half a million landscaping service businesses in the U.S. alone, and revenue is expected to hit $99.7 billion in 2021. IBISWorld says, “The Landscaping Services industry in the US is the 3rd ranked Administration, Business Support and Waste Management Services industry by market size, making it the 107th largest in the US.,” also noting that the market size of this industry has “increased faster than the overall economy.” In other words, there is an excellent opportunity to be found working in, and with, the outdoors. The additional bonus of this industry is it is easy to relocate should you need to change locations, even across state lines.
So what kind of insurance do these outdoor professionals carry to protect their businesses and themselves?
All The Different Types of Insurance Professional Landscapers Need
There is no specific insurance policy coverage only applicable to landscaping businesses. Instead, a landscaping company’s insurance coverage is a collection of policies bundled together to meet all of their needs. The most common policies for landscapers are:
• General liability
• Commercial property
• Business owner’s
• Workers’ compensation
General liability insurance is the first insurance policy for responsible landscaping businesses to carry and the most common across the industry. It pays for nonemployees’ injuries, such as property owners or passersby, and any damage to property not owned by the business.
Commercial property insurance protects the insured from damage to their business-owned property, including any buildings and all of the pertaining contents associated with them.
A business owner’s insurance policy is often nothing more than combining the two insurance policies above—a general commercial liability, coupled with commercial property insurance, into a single policy. Some business owner’s policies might also include business interruption coverage. This pays for continuing expenses and lost profits if a covered incident occurs and causes the business to cease operations for a period of time.
Commercial auto insurance can offer both liability coverage and collision coverage for business vehicles and their drivers. The liability coverage pays for the other party’s injuries or property damage if an accident is caused by you or an employee of the business while driving on the job. Collision coverage pays for repairs or medical costs that you incur for yourself or your vehicle in the event of an accident.
Workman’s compensation pays for an employee’s medical bills and lost wages if they suffer an injury, or illness, due to the job. Some policies might also include coverage for legal fees should an employee claim their injuries result from your negligence as the business owner.
An essential consideration for landscape businesses to consider is adding inland marine insurance to their bundle of policies. Commercial property insurance usually only covers equipment at the primary address listed on the policy. As soon as it is “in transit,” it may no longer be covered by your policy. Inland marine insurance covers your equipment from damage and theft when it leaves the stated location of the landscaping business, where the equipment resides and travels to job sites. Business owners need to read and understand what exactly their commercial property insurance covers and what it does not, and make sure they are protected at all times.
Lastly, when it comes to insurance for landscaping businesses, another worth their attention is commercial umbrella insurance. Suppose an event an accident triggers legal and/or financial ramifications exceeding the coverage provided by your general liability policy. In that case, an umbrella policy will cover the rest of the cost that spills over your original policy. This can be the difference between surviving a bad situation or the landscaping business succumbing to ruin.
When you are ready to commit to your commercial insurance needs, be sure to check out Versured to get the best deals on your policies and their coverage.
Advice for the Consumer
You have just moved to a new state. As you unpack the boxes and organize your new home, you look outside your window and see a beautiful lawn. Except, the grass is
somewhat yellow, and the flower beds are relatively barren. You need a lawn service to spruce up your little (or big) piece of the outdoors. Who do you call?
You don’t know anyone in your new town yet, so how do you choose? You can ask the neighbor you have not met yet, or you can conduct a Google search checking Yelp for reviews. Even then, do you trust your neighbor’s opinion, and how do you narrow down Yelp reviews to the one who wins your business?
Good reviews certainly bolster your confidence in a company’s ability to deliver a great service. Still, there’s an even better way to make a good choice about a company you know nothing about: surety bonds.
Often, when businesses advertise their services, they will include proof of licensure and bondage within the state in which they conduct business. If they don’t, it is your right as a potential customer to request proof or request they obtain a bond for any contract you sign.
A business may decline your stipulation and the cost to them that comes with it, but at that point, it is also your right to choose a different landscaping business that is bonded or agrees to your request. As a new community member, choosing a bonded company is an efficient way to ease your mind.
Surety bonds act as a guarantee of work promised and provided. In other words, if you, the customer, pays to have your boxwood hedges trimmed, and the company you hired doesn’t do it, or the quality of the work is unacceptable, a surety bond will ensure you are protected. The surety bond, secured by the business, will pay you any financial damages on behalf of the landscaping company’s failure to provide the agreed-upon, sufficient services, as specified in the contract between both parties.
The Grass Is Greener
Everyone in a transaction wants to be protected from loss. Insurance policies that cover all of your needs are the best bet for landscaping companies to safeguard the success and sustainability of their businesses. For consumers, surety bonds are an additional tool to protect their interests as well.
With insurance assurance under your belt, now is the time to prune the bushes, plant the flowers, and trim that beautiful lawn of bright green. Your landscaping service will add those final touches to the job, transforming your yard into an outdoor cornucopia of wonder and delight. That is the perfect time to invite your new neighbors over and host a barbeque, enjoying all this new spring season has to offer while making new friends.
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