Lawn care and landscaping professionals thrive in an outdoor environment, but this kind of work also comes with unique risks. From equipment malfunctions to bee stings and exposure to poison ivy, even the best-prepared lawn care workers can be subject to accidents and unexpected injuries.
And if an unexpected turn of events on the job leaves your lawn care employee injured or sick, your business could be held responsible for medical expenses incurred or even face a lawsuit alleging you failed to provide a safe work environment. That's why Workers' Compensation Insurance is essential to any business's risk management plan. Not to mention, most states mandate that businesses with employees carry this coverage, which compensates for the cost of an employee's medical fees and foregone wages in the event of a workplace ailment.
Read on to learn how Workers' Compensation protects your lawn care or landscaping business and your employees.
Workers' Compensation Insurance: Protecting Lawn Care and Landscaping Professionals
The hazards of operating commercial machinery, exposure to the elements, and the toll of repetitive motion injuries are all risks lawn care employees face on a daily basis. Though safety training and protective equipment can help manage some of these risks, the simple truth is that accidents happen all the time—and sometimes, those accidents carry a hefty price tag for small business owners, especially if they don't have the proper insurance coverage in place.
For the risks you can't plan for, Workers' Compensation Insurance provides a safety net that protects your lawn care business in the event of a costly lawsuit brought by an injured or ill employee. With an adequate policy, your business will have the necessary funds to cover medical expenses, court costs, and settlements should unexpected accidents and lawsuits occur.
Currently, most states require that businesses with W2 employees must carry Workers' Compensation, but the laws vary from state to state. If you're unsure what your state requires, contact one of insureon's lawn care business insurance experts. We'll help you sort out the amount and type of coverage that fulfills your state's laws.
How Lawn Care Professionals Benefit from Workers' Compensation Insurance
Also known as "Workman's Comp" or "Workers' Liability Insurance," Workers' Compensation coverage can save a small business from bankruptcy due to the high cost of medical attention and settlement expenses. If one of your employees is injured while performing his or her work, your policy will kick in to cover…
- Medical expenses relating to the employees' on-the-job injuries and work-related illnesses.
- Wages your employee missed while in recovery.
- Legal fees, including settlements or judgments, attorney's fees, and more if your employee sues your business for their work-related injury or illness.
Your Workers' Compensation policy typically includes Employers' Liability Insurance, a coverage that provides for defense costs if your injured or ill employee sues your company. Between attorney's fees, settlement expenses, and the time lost from work to attend court, your business could suffer financially without adequate insurance, even if your business is ultimately not found liable for your employee's ailment.
Workers' Compensation Insurance for Lawn Care Professionals: Key Details
As you shop around for a Workers' Comp policy for your business, keep the following details in mind.
Know Your State's Workers' Comp Laws.
As a rule, if your business has employees, your state likely requires that you have some sort of Workman's Comp policy in place. Because lawn care and landscaping is a labor-intensive industry, this coverage is a savvy safeguard, both for your business and your employees. It could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars if something should happen to your employees while they mow lawns or scale trees to cut back branches. When in doubt about how your business can meet state requirements, you can always contact one of our insurance experts to learn more.
Consider Excluding Yourself from Coverage.
If you are the sole proprietor of your landscaping business, your state may allow you to exempt yourself from Workers' Compensation coverage. Though this can save you money on your premium, you may want to weigh this option carefully. After all, you may benefit from the added protection and income security the policy offers if you fall ill or injured due to your work. Our insurance agents are happy to help you determine what your state requires and which option makes sense for your business.
Lawn Care and Landscaping Business Risk Management Tips
In addition to securing a Workers' Comp policy, there are other ways you can protect your employees from costly accidents. Implement these basic risk reduction strategies to create a safer work environment for you and your employees.
- Make sure employees are trained in safety protocol. This may include machine operation, safe lifting techniques, vision and hearing protection, respiratory protection, and first aid training. You may want to conduct regular safety sessions to ensure your employees know how to safely operate equipment and lift heavy items in order to stave off injuries.
- Ensure lawn care employees wear appropriate protective gear. Personal protective equipment may include work boots, long pants, impact-resistant safety glasses, earplugs or ear muffs to minimize noise exposure, and a dust mask when cutting branches.
- Maintain equipment to avoid malfunction and injuries. It's imperative to keep your equipment in proper working condition to promote a safe work environment. In the long run, proper maintenance can save time and money.
Ready to protect your business and your employees with Workers' Comp Insurance? Complete our quick online application. Depending on your business and the state where you operate, you may be able to begin coverage in less than 24 hours from your initial application!