What does it take to properly insure a tree trimming or landscaping companies? If you’re a highly physical business like these, then properly insuring your business means more than just getting general liability, a few guys, and a truck. Protecting your business financially means, protecting you, your employees, your vehicles and more.
Statistics from 2011 show that landscaping pros like yourself, saw a 25% increase in work fatalities. How does that affect you? That means that your landscaping or tree trimming employees, vehicles, and along with their work are your responsibility. Doesn’t that make sense? Consider the following:
Scenario 1: Your employee working on a sprinkler system spends a number of hours working on a large yard. In the course of the work day, he bends over, slips on into a trench and breaks a leg. Who is responsible for his injuries?
Answer: While most people would say, that since he’s a 1099 employee, his injuries are his own. However that couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth is that your company is liability for the employees injury and illness due to work related injuries. In fact, if you have more than 5 employees, you have to report illness or injuries to the state of Texas. Aside from that, by not carrying workers compensation, you open yourself to lawsuits from your employees.
Did you know that you had report work related illnesses or injuries that result in more than 3 missed work days? Di you realize that even family employees can file lawsuits against your business for work related injuries? Most people don’t consider these scenarios. How about the next scenario.
Scenario 2: In your landscaping business, you purchase two pickup trucks and have a foreman to drive your vehicles. Because you already have personal auto insurance, you decide to add those to your personal policy with a business usage rating. After adding the pickup truck, your crew leader has an accident in the pickup truck. Will your personal auto insurance policy provide protection for an employee?
Answer: No. If your personal insurance company finds out that your employee drives your vehicle in business, they could and probably would deny any claims. That means, your company would have to pay for any damages caused by the employee’s car accident. What’s the solution to the this problem? In this case the, your company should have a commercial auto policy for the vehicles used in your landscaping business. That way you have the option of coverage any vehicle whether you it’s hired, owned, non-owned or leased. Also with the business auto policy you can add special coverage any driver you give permission to drive.
How about scenario 2, what are your thoughts? It’s a fact that most personal lines insurance companies will insure your personal owned vehicle for business use. However, adding a business use rating normally does not extend to employees. While they will cover YOU as the vehicle’s owner in your business, your employees are another story. They could deny any claim resulting in an accident caused by or involving your employees. That could mean, personal injury protection or bodily injury due to work related injuries or accidents caused by your employees while driving your car. What about the final scenario.
Scenario 3: Imagine while mowing yards, one of your mowers strikes a rock and sends it hurling towards a nearby kid. The child is hurt in the process and needs stitches. How do you provide protection for your business against this type of occurrence without having to pull out the checkbook and pay for the child’s injuries?
Answer: You probably realize that commercial auto, and workers compensation would not provide this type of protection. In this case, your general liability policy could provide protection against bodily injury, property damage, and even medical payments in the course of working in your business.
As you can see, correctly insuring your business has many layers. Whether you’re protecting yourself, your business, or your employees takes different policy types. Whether you get all your policies inside a business owners policy, or you purchase individual policies, protecting your business is paramount. Since we live in the day and age where you can be sued for anything and everything, why not protect yourself. You’ve worked hard to get where you are and protecting your landscaping or tree trimming business can go a long way if you get the right insurance coverage.