If you are a landscaper, gardener or plant worker; it is important that you are properly insured. The garden services industry falls within the commercial business sector.
Commercial policies tend to be more expensive than household policies; they also provide greater coverage than home insurance. Home insurance may not cover damage done to your company property, especially if it occurs while on a client’s property. It is important that you know what coverage you need, who carries it and how much the premiums will cost before signing up for any policy whatsoever.
Who needs garden insurance?
Anyone who works in the garden service industry, from landscape architects to nursery workers, florists and landscapers. Garden insurance is an investment in your future and a necessity for those who carry liability insurance.
Those who hire landscaping professionals should ensure that all employees are covered by commercial liability insurance as a minimum. The top five employment issues that affect the garden services industry are: Lawn Mowing Accidents Accidents with heavy machinery Equipment Accidents Workplace Injury/Illness The most common types of injuries and illnesses found in or surrounding the workplace include: Stomach cramps, muscle problems, allergic reaction to plants, asthma and allergies, back pain and hearing loss.
What is coverage?
Gardeners and landscapers who have a liability policy should ensure that their insurance covers at least the following: Injury or illness to any client or family members directly working on their garden. The landscapers involved in the accident can also be held liable for injuries or illnesses that may occur. Involuntary unemployment of injured employees. This includes: Forced vacation, medical absence, disability and other benefits. Damage to your property or equipment while on site and during transportation to your work location. (Business interruption) Loss of income due to claim action brought by an injured client against you, involving any activities such as lawn mowing, gardening or transferring plants from one location to another.
What should you look for?
You need to insure your business assets, including tools, vehicles, equipment and inventory. If anything happens to the property of your customers or their friends and family, the garden services company can be held liable for any or all costs that arise from the accident or illness. Liability claims usually include multiple entities and are very difficult to settle – you never know who could sue you; it is always better to be cautious. You also need coverage for all injuries an employee sustains while on site with a customer. This includes injuries sustained by a worker while transiting between sites.
What are the important factors?
The cost of your policy is another important factor. When you compare policies, remember that when one company charges $9.99 per month for the same coverage, they will come out ahead. Make sure that your policy covers at least these things: Liability – includes injuries and illnesses caused by you or your employees while on site with a client in your business capacity. Property – protects any machinery, equipment or inventory used on a client’s property during the time you are working on their place. It also protects any tools, equipment and materials used to carry out work from clients’ houses to your work site. Professional – protects the professional reputation of your company, includes work on a client’s personal property. Professional liability insurance covers you from personal injury suits and claims of negligence, as well as damage to your business or equipment due to an accident. Bodily Injury – protects against any injuries sustained by you and/or employees when on site with a customer or in transit between sites.
What should you avoid?
Paying too much for coverage – some companies charge up to $20 per month for a policy identical to the one they can offer online for less than $13. It is essential that you buy the right coverage, without limitations or exclusions, at the right price, up front.
Landscapers, gardeners and plant workers need garden insurance to protect themselves and their businesses. It provides protection from the worst-case scenarios that can happen while on site with a customer. Having this kind of coverage will help you protect your business reputation, your investment and everything you have worked hard for. By investing in proper insurance coverage, good employees are less likely to sue or file claims against their employers. The cost of having the right insurance policy is well worth it when you consider the penalties for not doing so. Good luck and happy gardening!