Your love for outdoor spaces and your green thumb could be the driving forces behind your landscaping business. However, maintaining gardens and trimming trees can involve significant risks. Just as your new saplings thrive under your protection and support, the right insurance coverages will offer similar assistance to your business. Therefore, you must carry insurance protection against liability and property damage claims. A single lawsuit or a large claim can financially ruin your landscaping business.
According to recent studies, the U.S. is home to over 600,000 landscaping businesses that employ over a million workers. Like any other industry, businesses in the landscape industry face multiple risks. These include the risks that most businesses face, like, business interruption and other strategic, financial, and liability risks.
Landscape Business Risks
Running a landscaping business comes with many risks. You may damage your client’s property, from decks and patios to pathways, walls, and fences. There is also the risk of damaging decorative lighting, water features, or irrigation supplies. Your reliance on machinery and sharp tools also adds another aspect of risk. If your services include mowing, pruning, or tree surgery, you also have to shoulder the cost of replacing and repairing garden features and plants.
Potential Liability Claims
So what perils are likely to lead to liability claims or lawsuits against your business?
- Vandalism, fire, or theft can lead to loss or damage of specialized and costly tools and equipment.
- Business interruption resulting from equipment breakdown can lead to reputational and financial losses.
- Auto accidents can also be another source of liability risks. You or your workers may cause or suffer accidents while driving business-owned vehicles or personal cars for business purposes.
- Injuries to third parties and employees at your job site.
- The cost of replacing faulty products like seedling and sod, if they don’t sprout.
- You may have to lease specialized vehicles or equipment for some projects. If they are stolen, vandalized, or damaged, your business may be held responsible.
- Using dangerous products such as harmful herbicides and pesticides can lead to contamination.
- Professional negligence, such as design advice that results in damage to existing plants, trees, and structures. Usually, flooding in basements and damage to utility infrastructure can lead to lawsuits and liability claims.
- Advertising that inadvertently causes damage to other people’s reputations. For instance, you’re running an ad campaign that points to your excellent reviews. If one of your reviewers calls out your competitor, the competitor might sue you for defamation.
General Liability Insurance
Contractors’ liability insurance provides liability and property damage coverage for landscape businesses. However, when purchasing a policy, you should ensure it is customized to suit your business’s precise needs. Contractors’ liability insurance policies typically cover the claims your business is liable for as a result of damage to your client’s property. Keep in mind that different contractors face different risks. For instance, you likely don’t face the same risks as a roofer and so shouldn’t have similar coverage or pay the same rates for coverage.
Landscaping businesses face certain inherent property damage and liability risks. Your employees may accidentally damage the client’s sprinkler or the neighbor’s fence. For insurance that will adequately protect you, even against the most costly landscaping business property damage claim, contact us at Artisan Insurance Solutions. Our experts will help you find a cost-effective landscape contractors insurance policy that suits your needs.