Self employed gardeners in the United States are expected to acquire and have proper and adequate Landscaping insurance, or lawn care insurance. Landscaping insurance is a group of policies that protect your business’s assets.

Note that the most common lawn care business insurance policy is general liability, which takes care of nonemployees’ injuries and property damage. Landscapers’ general liability insurance starts around $500 per year. Howbeit, most landscapers need additional policies, and that increases the overall costs.

Have it in mind that the number policies you need and the total cost of your lawn care insurance will depend on a lot of factors, including your business size and location, and the services you offer.

Most importantly, remember that lawn care and landscaping insurance is not a specific type of insurance policy. Instead, it’s comprised of so many business insurance policies, each of which covers a specific risk lawn care companies typically face.

According to experts, the most common policies for landscapers are general liability, commercial property, business auto, and workers’ compensation.

This sort of insurance is normally designed for businesses that maintain commercial or residential lawns or install shrubs, plants, trees, and grass.

All states in the United States require some sort of license or certification for lawn care and landscaping businesses. In some states, most gardeners are expected to get licensed while others only mandate licensure for specific operations—most commonly for using pesticides. About 20 states want to see proof of insurance before issuing a license.

However, as a Self employed gardener in the United States, you have many of the same concerns in regards to liability that other businesses do. Safeguarding your business from risks is part of being a smart business owner, since even landscapers can run into problems and find themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit or claim.

Note that by choosing landscaping insurance, you can provide your gardening business with a safety net that keeps your business up and running, even if you face claims arising from property damage, injuries, or accidents.

Necessary Insurance Policies for Self Employed Gardeners in the United States

Note that the most common business insurance policies gardeners carry are: general liability, commercial property, commercial auto, and workers’ compensation. There are other specialty coverage’s available based on their specific operations.

  1. Commercial General Liability

Just like we already know, this liability covers bodily injury or property damage to third parties like the people or entities other than your employees or your business. Third-party injury and property damage seem to be the greatest risk exposures in the lawn care business with claims and lawsuits that can exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars. Just imagine hitting a gas line when digging a hole, leading to an explosion and fire that engulfs a million-dollar home. Without general liability insurance, a lawsuit could bankrupt you and your business.

  1. Commercial Property Insurance

For a Self Employed Gardener, this property insurance covers assets like your building, equipment, tools, or nursery inventory of plants, trees, and shrubbery. The specific coverage depends on the policy, but most pays for losses from events like: Fire, Theft, Vandalism, Hail, Windstorm etc. Another crucial thing to know about commercial property insurance is that it usually only covers equipment at the address listed on the policy. If someone steals a lawnmower out of the back of the truck, your property insurer most likely won’t pay. For that, you need inland marine insurance.

  1. Business Owners Policies

Self employed gardeners with revenue of less than $5 million often purchase business owners’ policies, sometimes referred to by the acronym BOP. A BOP policy is structured for landscaper businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and it usually includes several types of coverage under one umbrella. Business owners retain the ability to purchase added coverage if desired.

Normally, the basic coverage provided under a landscaping insurance BOP policy include property damage insurance to cover office space, store space, garages, warehouses, and other buildings owned or leased by the business. Also note that the addition of a rider for equipment and tools may be necessary. Especially since gardeners often use expensive specialized equipment, standard coverage for equipment may not be sufficient. Owners should purchase as much insurance as they need to cover the cost of replacing expensive mowers and other landscaping essentials. Equipment breakdown coverage usually comes with a standard BOP policy. This protection covers equipment failure due to mechanical malfunctions, power surges, and operator mistakes.

  1. Commercial Vehicle Insurance

Commercial vehicle insurance normally pays for the other party’s injuries or property damage if you or your employee causes an accident while driving for work. Nonetheless, that is just liability coverage, and it’s the minimum required in most states. Self employed gardeners can opt for coverage that pays for damage to their vehicles, roadside assistance, and medical bills for them and their passengers.

  1. Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance takes care of medical bills and wage replacement for employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. Note that this coverage is mandatory for many landscaping businesses because of the risks involved, plus most states require workers’ comp coverage if you have any employees. Also note that your workers may face several work hazards, such as sharp tools, heavy equipment, operating machinery and vehicles, and even animal bites, which make workers’ comp coverage critical for your small business.

  1. Commercial Umbrella Insurance

Commercial umbrella insurance is known to provide coverage above the liability limits of other primary insurance policies. Lawsuits or significant injuries can lead to very expensive legal and medical bills. If you have a general liability limit of $2 million, but your legal fees are $3 million, umbrella insurance can pay the $1 million not covered under general liability. It also adds liability coverage to general liability, commercial auto, and workers’ compensation policies. It does not add coverage for professional liability or personal business property coverage.

  1. Inland Marine Insurance

Inland marine insurance protects your equipment, tools, and supplies as you move them from one job to another or while delivering your landscaping products, such as plants and trees, to a client. This policy can also cover any equipment that you store away from your primary location like a client’s shed or a garage. Because transporting equipment is common in the industry, most insurers include at least some inland marine coverage on their property policies.

How much does it Cost to Get the Best Insurance Policies for a Self Employed Gardener

Landscaping insurance costs for self employed gardeners can vary widely depending on the total policies chosen, the coverage options selected, and your primary operations. A sole proprietor might have an annual cost of $500 while a bigger company offering stump removal might have costs of $2,000. However, most companies can expect to pay $400 to $10,000 in premiums per year for necessary coverage.

General Liability

  • Annual Premium: $500 to $1,000
  • Coverage Limit: $1 million

Business Property

  • Annual Premium: $500 to $1,000
  • Coverage Limit: $20,000

Inland Marine

  • Annual Premium: $100 to $550
  • Coverage Limit: $1 million

Commercial Vehicle

  • Annual Premium: $2,000 to $4,500
  • Coverage Limit: $250,000

Workers’ Compensation

  • Annual Premium: $3,000 to $5,000
  • Coverage Limit: $100,000

Commercial Umbrella

  • Annual Premium: $300 to $800
  • Coverage Limit: $1 million

Conclusion

Every self employed gardener, whether it’s a sole proprietor lawn service or a full-service landscaping business, is expected to have at least some small business insurance coverage. Even if you don’t have a building or valuable business assets to protect, you work with the general public, which opens up many potential risk exposures, especially employee bodily injury and property damage. Acquiring adequate insurance for your landscaping business is a relatively inexpensive way to prevent a potentially devastating financial loss.

Ajaero Tony Martins