5 Most Frequent Landscaping Business Insurance Claims

Aerial of landscaper laying down grass next to a cobblestone walkway and a garden with bushes and an irrigation systemWith spring upon us, landscaping projects are picking up steam. The warmer weather is a reminder to homeowners to keep their flowers watered, grass mowed, and hedges trimmed. For those lacking the time, energy, or aptitude for lawn care, landscaping companies are there to pick up the slack. While landscaping may not seem like a particularly dangerous job, there are mishaps and uncontrollable risks that require these companies to have comprehensive insurance policies. To truly understand the daily risks they face, let’s review some of the frequent landscaping business insurance claims.

1.     Property Damage from Debris Thrown by Landscaping Equipment

Despite taking precautions, mowers and trimmers risk flinging about objects at high speeds. If a stray pebble lays in a yard obscured by the grass, it’s not uncommon for it to ricochet off the blade of a passing mower. However, if that pebble dents someone’s car, cracks a window, or even harms a bystander, the landscaping business is responsible for the damages. Fortunately, there are property and liability policies that can cover any damages that occur.

2.     Flood Damage Caused by a Sprinkler

Two common ways a landscaper can mistakenly cause property-damaging floods are:

  • Damaging a Sprinkler Head: If the head of a sprinkler is standing too high above the ground, you can potentially damage it by running it over with a lawnmower. Before mowing, mark the sprinkler valves with a flag to avoid damage.
  • Damaged Water Line: If you need to dig a hole, chances are – if you’re not careful – you can strike a water line. Expert landscapers will be able to estimate the trajectory of water lines according to sprinkler valve placement.

Since this problem sometimes isn’t immediately apparent, a landscaping business needs to have the proper insurance to pay for any damage occurring from flooding.

3.     Damages from Trimming and Pruning Trees

This is perhaps the most dangerous aspect of a landscaper’s job. When trimming large branches from a tree, it may swing at an awkward angle or take an odd bounce off the ground and damage a nearby car or building. In extreme circumstances, the tree limb can damage a power line, requiring a utility company to perform expensive repairs. To avoid damages, you should take all precautions at your disposal, such as moving nearby cars and accounting for wind speed.

4.     Landscaping Equipment Theft

All businesses are at risk for burglary, and landscaping is no exception. Landscaping tools and equipment are typical top-of-the-line and very expensive, so they’re a popular target for criminals. It’s important for you to understand a general liability policy often doesn’t cover theft, so expanded tools and equipment insurance or specialized commercial crime coverage may be required. Otherwise, to prevent theft, you need to lock away your equipment when not in use.

5.     Landscaping Staff Injury Claims

While landscaping doesn’t seem dangerous, injuries can result from a multitude of sources. Common injuries on the job include lacerations from chainsaw blades, falls from ladders or trees, and heat-related injuries. Some methods to protect your workers include:

  • Thoroughly train staff on tool and equipment usage.
  • Always ensure staff is wearing the appropriate safety gear.
  • Encourage your staff to take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.

If a team member becomes sick or injured on the job, workers’ compensation will help cover the costs of their medical expenses and lost wages.

These frequent landscaping business insurance claims are a reminder that even industries that presumably have a somewhat safe working environment require thorough business insurance policies. Additionally, many landscaping businesses operate in the winter by offering snowplow services, which also requires tailor-made coverage. At TJ Woods Insurance, our agents are equipped with the knowledge to pair landscaping business with essential policies, like business owners insurance. If you’re a business that requires insurance to cover you from all angles, contact us today.