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Are my subcontractors covered by my landscaping insurance?

Q: Are my subcontractors covered by my landscaping insurance?

A: The short answer is no.

The long answer is there are some requirements when it comes to using subcontractors and keeping your insurance coverage.

When you apply for landscaping insurance coverage, insurance carriers ask whether your business uses subcontractors, what services they provide, and how much you pay them. To maintain a General Liability Insurance policy from most providers, you may need to have certain requirements in place when using subcontractors, such as…

  • Subcontractors must carry their own General Liability policy with a minimum limit of $1 million.
  • Subcontractors must name your business as an "additional insured" to their policies. (This allows your business to partially use their coverage if you're sued over their work.)
  • Subcontractors must sign a hold harmless agreement in favor of your business. (This prevents the subcontractor from holding you liable for damages.)
  • You must have a written contract between you and your subcontractors.

Another thing to keep in mind is that subcontractors are classified by the government depending on how autonomously they conduct their work. If workers are not subcontractors but are actual employees, they likely need to be covered by your General Liability policy. You may also need to carry Workers' Compensation Insurance in case they suffer work injuries.

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