Insurance is an expected business expense, but landscapers face unique risks. They work on and around the property of others. Plus, many of their activities increase risk of bodily injury.
As a result, landscapers may need more than one type of insurance to protect them well. Some are absolute necessities, while others may only be appropriate to certain businesses.
Always discuss your needs with an independent insurance agency likes ours. We call tailor your coverage to your landscaping business’ specific risks.
General Liability Coverage
Since your work occurs on someone else’s property, general liability coverage is absolutely vital. Some clients will require this coverage before they agree to work with you.
As an example, if you should trim a tree and the branch falls on customer’s roof, this insurance coverage could help pay for any costs. However, harm can also result from things you or employees fail to do in your business operations.
Most policies also offer protection against personal and advertising injury. If you find yourself in a lawsuit for libel, slander, copyright infringement, or other related issues, your policy would buffer you from these costs.
General liability coverage also provides limited coverage for medical payments, if the person isn’t an employee. The benefit of medical payments coverage is that it can be used to settle small claims quickly, without litigation. The accident must either occur on your premises or as a result of your business operations.
Commercial Auto Insurance
If you’re using your personal auto insurance to protect your vehicle while you’re conducting business, you’re risking a lot. Standard auto insurance policies usually exclude business coverage.
A commercial auto insurance policy is designed to address business-related risks. These policies offer many of the same basic and optional coverages you’d find in a standard auto policy, but for business.
Basic coverages include bodily injury and property damage liability, as well as chosen protections such as medical payments, uninsured motorist coverage, comprehensive, and collision.
Business Owners Policy (BOP)
This is often the most sensible solution for landscapers. It provides general liability coverage and protections for buildings and contents owned by your company, under one policy.
Policies vary greatly between providers. However, they often include business interruption insurance too. This provides compensation for your loss of income if it results from a covered peril that disrupts your business operation. Common perils usually include fire, explosion, wind damage, vandalism, and smoke damage. It can also include expenses for operating out of a temporary location.
If you’re interested in a BOP, give us a call. We can tailor a BOP to your specific needs to minimize your costs.
Pollution Liability Coverage
Under Rhode Island law, those commercially applying pesticides must demonstrate financial responsibility. This includes sufficient pollution liability coverage to address completed operations and chemical or pollution contamination.
An example, a contamination event could be spraying a property while the homeowners’ windows are open, using improper chemicals, or leaving toxic containers on the property.
If you’re a sole proprietor or partner in a landscaping company, you’re exempt from the Workers’ Compensation insurance program. However, companies with one or more employees must obtain coverage.
The State of Rhode Island defines an employee as a person who only works for one business and is directed and controlled by that business. Otherwise, they may be an independent contractor, but they must file a Notice of Designation.
Any business can check whether an individual is designated as an independent contractor on the Department of Labor and Training’s website. If your worker isn’t an independent contractor, talk to us. You need coverage. You’ve worked hard to grow your landscaping business – let us help you protect it properly. Give us a call, today!