Landscaping Insurance: Is Your Coverage as Clean Cut as Your Work?

Written by April Weismann on 04/17/2015 04:00 AM in New Hampshire Insurance,. Business Insurance.

NH Landscaper Insurance

Types of Insurance Needed for the NH Landscaper

As a landscaping professional, you have invested a lot of time, sweat, energy, and money to build your business. That's why it’s important to have an insurance program that protects you from the financial disasters that cannot just set you back, but potentially put you out of business.

Your landscaping clients require specialized services, so you have invested a lot of money in your equipment, tools, and chemicals. You may also need a business location to run your operation and store your equipment, even if it is at your house. (Your home insurance will not cover any commercial liability or equipment used in a business) 

A comprehensive landscaper insurance program should protect your tools and equipment so you can keep working. You should also consider investing in liability coverage in case of any accusations of causing property damage or injury to another.

NH Landscaping Insurance Basics:

Inland Marine Coverage 

Your landscaping clients require a range of services – from lawn mowing to delicate detailing. You buy the right tools to do the job right, and if your equipment is damaged or destroyed, you're not only out of a job, but you may very well be out of business. Since your equipment goes where you go, you need Inland Marine insurance. It is a type of insurance that covers your equipment wherever your job takes you.

Tools and small items - Inland Marine policies provide insurance with individually specified limits for a schedule of shears, hedge trimmers, edgers, and other small landscaping items. Small tools and equipment may also be covered under a lump sum limit, called a blanket. 

Large items - You may cover your mowers, portable mulchers, and other larger items on a schedule with a stated value per item. This is beneficial as you are establishing an agreed value on each item before a loss and not after.

Equipment floaters - If you need coverage for cranes, lifts, and other large pieces of mobile equipment, you can schedule them on individual policies.

What about snowplows?  As it is rare to have a landscaper not plow in the winter, it is important to know that detachable equipment such as snowplows, caps and winches may not be covered by an auto policy, even if it is a commercial auto policy.  These items will most likely need to be insured on an inland marine policy.  Talk with your insurance professional for more information and ensure you don't have a gap in coverage.

Liability Coverage

Even if you take care to work safely, your landscaping operations may cause injury or damage to others or their property. Your workman might accidentally cut down the wrong tree or inadvertently break a window on a job. A mower blade could toss a stick, rock or other object and injure a homeowner. As a result of such an incident, you may be held legally responsible for damages, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering as well as other expenses.

Your landscaping insurance policy not only covers your tools and equipment, but can also investigate, defend and pay damages for damage or injury for which your landscaping business has been found liable. This is critical as the cost of defense alone can bankrupt a business, not to mention a settlement for damages.

Additional coverages:

If you work with chemicals, you may need specialized coverage for the unique hazards they present. 

When you have medical payments coverage, your insurance company pays medical bills even if you are not at fault. That may be enough to prevent further legal action against you and your business.

Business Owners Policy:

A single fire, hurricane, or other disaster can cause a financial hardship that’s difficult for any small business to overcome. It can damage or destroy your business premises as well as the office furniture, computers and equipment you need to run your operation. Even a minor disaster that temporarily shuts you down can be a huge problem if it happens during peak season when a majority of your income is made.

A package policy, such as a Business Owners Policy (BOP), combines the property and liability coverages you need in a single comprehensive policy. As a landscaper, your BOP can be tailored to meet your specific needs for business property, business personal property, and liability coverages. 

It's important to have insurance that protects you and keeps your business going strong. Contact HPM Insurance for more information on setting up the right insurance program for your landscaping business.

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