Springtime is when the flowers are in bloom and new grass begins to grow. It’s the perfect time to rev up the lawnmower and get back into the swing of summer landscaping duties. If you’re a professional New Jersey landscaper, take stock of your insurance situation before you start filling in your schedule with mowing and lawn care appointments. Are you compliant with what your state and municipality require? Are you a newcomer to the local landscaping game and need to solidify your plans before you begin printing up postcards? Read on to learn more New Jersey landscaping busines insurance plans that protect you and your company from unforeseen events or incidents.
Why do landscapers need insurance?
Landscapers run a unique business. It’s neither located in one physical location nor online, so it doesn’t fall into the typical business categories. Because a landscaping business is mobile and the work is performed entirely on someone else’s property, there are some special challenges that landscapers face.
First, any incidents or accidents that occur on the job or on the road are entirely your responsibility as the owner of a landscape business. When these incidents involve other people’s property and/or cause personal injury, your business is on the hook to cover all the related costs.
This can also go the other way. When an uninsured company performs work on someone’s yard and causes damage, it can negatively impact a homeowner’s personal insurance. If your customers feel that they would have to pay in the event of an accident, they are likely to share negative events with others, which could have a detrimental impact on your company’s reputation.
When you are on a budget, it can be tempting to try to break codes, work without a license, and gamble with your assets. Usually, these risks mean your company will be out of business soon. Savvy landscaping business owners comply with rules put forth by licensure boards and to have a successful business with protected assets. This means it is definitely wise to invest in comprehensive and affordable insurance products for your company.
What insurance products does my landscaping business need?
Because the challenges that a landscaping business faces are unique and somewhat complex, you need to purchase a few different types of insurance policies to adequately cover yourself and your company.
General liability insurance
General liability insurance is essential for almost any business, but this type of policy is particularly necessary for landscapers and lawn care professionals. General liability insurance protects you in the event that one of your employees accidentally crashes some equipment into a client’s fence and breaks it, or an error causes flying lawn debris to injure someone in the vicinity.
Business protection is essential
These events and others could lead to a lawsuit that could strip your business of all of the investment that you put into your assets. However, with a general liability policy, you don’t have to pay the expenses of legal fees, repairs and any damages that a court may award to affected parties.
You owe a responsibility to your employees as much as you do to your customers. Because the nature of landscaping does expose your employees to more on-the-job risks than does, say, a desk job, you should invest in a workers’ compensation policy that protects you in the event of an employee injury.
Not only will workers’ comp cover you legally if an employee gets injured while working for you, but it also pays out to the employee to help him or her cover missed time while the employee heals. Additionally, most states require employers with employees to carry worker’s comp policies.
There are some further policies that you need to consider for your landscaping business. The first is inland marine insurance, which covers your equipment and fleet from accident or theft during transport. Even if you have nothing to do with marine activities (you probably won’t), you should have this type of policy.
You will also need a commercial auto policy, as your personal one does not cover the trailers and transit of your business equipment. Lastly, you need to consider an umbrella policy that fills in coverage gaps for any aspect of your business in the event of an accident or lawsuit.
In addition to the insurance coverage that your landscaping business requires, you need to bond your company to get the licenses. Bonds are an insurance product that ensure you are able to pay a predetermined amount that your bond certifies in the event that someone require the bond payout. Your home state predetermines this bondable amount.
Before spring is in full swing, contact a New Jersey business insurance professional to find out more about getting the comprehensive coverage you need to protect your landscaping enterprise throughout the busiest seasons of the year.
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