Being a landscaper is rewarding work, as you get to work outdoors with your hands and see a beautifully finished landscape once a project is complete. It can also be dangerous. Here’s a look at the many potential dangers landscape contractors are exposed to on a daily basis and how they can insure against these risks.
Landscape contractors regularly work with equipment that can cause serious injury or even death. If a trimmer or weed whacker comes into contact with a landscaper while in operation, they could have a serious laceration that at least requires stitches. If a landscaper somehow gets their hand in a mower while it’s running (e.g. trying to unclog a mower’s shoot without first turning it off), they may lose an appendage.
Workers compensation insurance is specifically designed to help protect against work-related injuries like these. If a landscaper is injured by equipment while working, there’s a good chance workers comp would cover their medical bills and lost wages.
When working outside, landscape contractors are at risk of being bitten by a tick. While proper footwear and clothing reduce the chance of getting a tick bite, these preventative measures won’t eliminate the possibility of a bite. Should a landscaper be bitten, they may come down with Lyme disease or any number of other major afflictions.
Workers compensation coverage generally also covers tick bites that occur while a landscaper is working. If a landscaper is bitten, workers comp will likely cover any required treatment — which can be expensive for serious and sometimes chronic conditions like Lyme disease.
In landscaping, the risk of displeasing customers goes further than simply having a customer upset that their grass was mowed too short or long. Like any business, landscape contractors have their share of upset customers that must be appeased with additional services, discounts and refunds. They also sometimes have customers who are upset because their property has been seriously damaged.
If a landscaper spills chemicals or misapplies a treatment, they may cause serious harm to a customer’s’ property. Using the wrong concentration or product can kill plants, which are expensive to replace and take time to grow back. Moreover, destroying plants frequently lowers a property’s value. Should they damage a customer’s landscaping, landscapers may be held responsible for any financial losses the customer incurs.
Liability coverages help protect landscapers from risks like these. Liability coverage generally won’t assist with the customer who wants a slight refund because their lawn wasn’t cut when it was raining. It can, however, help compensate the customer who’s landscaping was destroyed by a mistake.
Landscape contractors spend a significant amount of time in trucks and vans driving between customers’ locations. Anytime someone’s driving a vehicle, there’s a possibility they’ll be in a car accident. An accident may injure a landscaper, damage the vehicle they’re driving and leave them financially responsible for injuries and property damage others sustain (if they caused the accident).
Commercial auto insurance offers coverage for car accidents landscapers are in while driving covered vehicles for work. As is the case with personal auto insurance, there are many commercial auto coverages landscapers can use to protect themselves from many potential car accident-related risks. (Commercial auto insurance is also required in many states if a business owns vehicles that are driven on public roads.)
Landscaping can be dangerous, but there are ways for landscapers to protect themselves with insurance:
If you’re a landscape contractor, make sure your business is properly protected. Let us at Zuma Insurance help you get the insurance coverages your business needs.