Insurance Coverage for Landscaping Contractors

Posted by Matt Simon on May 12, 2016

Given how harsh winters can be in Ohio, and many years, just how long they can last, you need to be sure that when Spring finally arrives, you're ready to work.

When Spring fever hits, your clients will be relying on you to get their business landscaping looking professional, or their homes trimmed & pruned so they're the best on the block.

You can't afford to be slowed down for a single day, but without the right insurance coverage for your business, that's exactly what could happen.

Chances are, you rely very heavily on your tools & equipment to help meet all the needs and desires of your clients. 

And because your tools and equipment are so essential to your business, which really translates to your reputation, it’s important to make sure that you have the right protection before a loss happens that could force you to suspend or lose work.

Like any other business, landscapers need a variety of insurance coverages to ensure their operation is protected.

In addition, rules and coverages can vary from state to state, so understanding Ohio Landscaping Insurance is essential.

Here are the essentials you need to consider:

Commercial General Liability Insurance

If you run a landscaping business, then a Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance policy is an absolute must to protect you and your business should a lawsuit occur.

A typical CGL policy provides coverage for claims of bodily injury or other physical injury, personal injury (libel or slander), advertising injury and property damage resulting from your operations.

For example, it’s not uncommon for mowers to fling rocks. These rocks often hit windows causing thousands of dollars in damage. Without a CGL policy, your landscaping business would be paying for the damages out of pocket.

Might not seem like a big deal, but consider this real-world example where a mower inadvertently ran over gravel shooting thousands of rocks directly into the large parking lot of their client.  Of course, it was during business hours so numerous vehicles were damaged as a result.

As a safeguard against liability, CGL enables you to continue your normal operations while dealing with real or fraudulent claims of negligence or wrongdoing. CGL policies also provide coverage for the cost to defend and settle claims.

Imagine one of your employees is accused of hitting a sprinkler line while installing plants at a client’s property.  It goes undetected for months causing major damage to the landscaping, and a massive water bill.

Was your employee at fault?

Could be difficult to determine, but as long as you have CGL coverage, your insurance company would investigate and handle the claim so you can focus on your business.  Without coverage, you’re on your own to pay for the legal investigation, and any judgment that could be rendered against you.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial Auto Insurance is another important policy that all Ohio landscaping businesses must consider because you’re relying on vehicles to get you from one client to another.  Doesn’t matter if you have one truck, or a fleet of 100, you still need Commercial Auto Insurance.

The trucks or trailers that you’re using to haul your equipment should be insured. A Commercial Auto Policy can be used to insure vehicles for:

  1. Liability – this would protect the business owner in the event of an at-fault accident where the owner, or any employees, caused injuries to others while driving a company vehicle
  2. Physical damage to the vehicles owned by the business if they’re involved in an accident, stolen or vandalized
  3. Or both Liability and Physical Damage

For example, one of your employees could be hauling a trailer with several pieces of heavy equipment, and they’re involved in a severe collision with another driver.

Your employee is at fault, there’s extensive damage to both vehicles, and there will be medical expenses for both drivers.

Your Commercial Auto policy could cover the property damage, the medical expenses and any potential legal costs involved.

Contractor’s Equipment Insurance

In addition to the vehicles that you’re using to haul equipment, you’ll also need to insure your equipment.

The standard Commercial Property Insurance policy provides coverage for your equipment, but it’s only covered while it's on your premises.

For a landscaping business that routinely has most of its equipment away from its office premises, this creates a problem.

In order to protect these types of items that are regularly off your premises, you need an Inland Marine policy (also known as a Contractor's Equipment policy or floater).   

For example, if you were to leave a large mower at your client’s premises for the night, and you returned in the morning to find it had been stolen, an Inland Marine policy would cover the cost to replace your mower (assuming it was insured) even though it didn’t occur on your business premises.

A Commercial Property policy would not provide coverage because the theft occurred away from your office location.

So who needs landscaping insurance?

  • Landscapers
  • Landscape designers
  • Landscape architects
  • Garden designers
  • Artisans
  • Arborists
  • Lawn irrigation contractors

Finding the best insurance coverage for landscaping businesses in Ohio, and figuring out the types of coverage needed to protect your business, can be confusing, time consuming and difficult.

We can help.

We’ve been working with landscaping contractors since 1920.  We know the industry, we understand your needs, and work with multiple insurance companies so we can deliver the insurance solution that’s perfect for your business, and your budget.

When you have confidence in your business insurance, you have greater peace of mind knowing that you can keep working to generate revenue, even when disaster strikes. 

To get started on your customized solution, contact one of our Licensed Advisors, or Request a Proposal and we’ll get to work right away.

Category: Business Insurance (3), General Liability Insurance (3), Landscaping Insurance (3)