Landscape and lawn care professionals are no strangers to hard work, and when it comes to protecting their business, they don't take chances. But even the most careful business owners know there are limits to their control. Sometimes, accidents and natural disasters can become a financial obstacle course despite your best-laid plans.
Business insurance for lawn care professionals offers protection for situations outside your realm of influence, but there are steps you can take to ensure the safety of your business and the wellbeing of your employees. Keep reading to learn a few of these risk management measures you can start implementing immediately.
Risk Management Tips for Lawn Care and Landscaping Professionals
As a lawn care business owner or landscaper, you know that with your labor-intensive work comes more exposure to risks. It only takes one property damage lawsuit brought by a disgruntled third party to financially drain your business assets. Given the risks your employees face each day, they could easily sustain a work-related injury, such as throwing out their backs while performing their work. Medical expenses alone can be a strain, but if your injured employee files a lawsuit claiming your business failed to provide a safe work environment, you'll be responsible for court costs and settlement expenses, too. Then there's your equipment to consider. While you travel from job site to job site, your lawn care essentials could be damaged if an auto accident happens.
To offset some of these risks and help establish a safer work environment for your employees, take a look at the following risk-management guide.
- Make sure employees are trained in safety protocol.
- Maintain your lawn care equipment.
- Carry Workers' Compensation coverage.
- Keep your business safe on the road.
- Know your policy.
Make sure employees are trained in safety protocol.
From identifying poisonous leaves and implementing first aid training to understanding proper lifting techniques, your employees should undergo training regularly to ensure their safety. Your training sessions may also include proper vision and hearing protection, debris management protocol, respiratory protection, and skin protection. These steps are especially important given the manual intensity of your employees' work. If they sustain serious bodily harm or repetitive motion injuries, they could sue your business for medical expenses and more.
Maintain your lawn care equipment.
You rely on your lawn care equipment to perform your job. To ensure it keeps working properly when you need it, be sure to regularly check your equipment and conduct the required maintenance to keep it in working condition. These measures can also prevent an unexpected and costly injury caused by malfunctions. In the long run, maintenance can save your business the stress and time it would take to find replacement equipment at the last minute and help make your work environment safer.
Carry Workers' Compensation coverage.
In the lawn care business, you and your employees are probably already familiar with the physical toll of the job. From facing the elements to operating commercial equipment, your employees are susceptible to numerous work-related injuries and physical strain. In addition to requiring your employees wear the appropriate protective gear (e.g. work boots, impact-resistant safety glasses, ear plugs, and dust masks), you'll want to carry adequate insurance coverage.
It only takes one accident for an employee to sue your lawn care business, which is why Workers' Compensation Insurance is an invaluable asset to your risk management plan. Many states require that businesses with employees carry this type of coverage to protect employees who sustain work-related illnesses or injuries. But the coverage benefits your business, too, by providing the funds to defend your business in court if an employee sues for their on-the-job injuries. It also covers medical expenses related to treating the injury or illness. Ask your insureon agent to help you determine your state's laws concerning Workers' Comp.
Keep your business safe on the road.
Lawn care professionals conduct their work on other people's premises, which involves frequent travel to and from different job sites. In addition to enforcing a strict ban on cell phone use in the car, you also need to make sure your employees carry their own Auto Liability Insurance, especially if they drive personal vehicles to conduct company business. It's also a wise move to require regular auto inspections to make sure their vehicles are in good working condition and meet your state's safety requirements. If your company has its own vehicles, your business will need to carry Commercial Auto Insurance.
You might also consider purchasing Inland Marine Insurance, which protects your valuable lawn care equipment while it's on the move. This coverage can protect your trailers, mowers, and even smaller. Additionally, the coverage will protect your equipment against loss, theft, or damage. It will kick in to replace your assets should have an auto accident that leaves your tools damaged, and can also cover lost or damaged equipment that was in storage.
Know your policy.
Policies differ from carrier to carrier, meaning limits, exclusions, and deductibles can vary drastically. That's why it's in your best interest to thoroughly read your business insurance policies and know what they cover and what they don't. When the time comes to file a claim, you don't want to be surprised to find your policy doesn't provide coverage for such an incident. If you think your current policy limits aren't adequate to protect your business, you may consider Umbrella Liability / Excess Liability coverage. This low-cost policy can increase the limits of multiple liability policies for a single premium. Your insureon agent will be happy to help you determine the limits that make sense for your business.
Business Protection for Lawn Care and Landscaping Professionals
Even the most thorough safety measures may not be enough to prevent accidents and lawsuits. To give yourself the financial security you need to run your business, be sure you have the appropriate business insurance policies in force. If you're ready to begin coverage, simply complete insureon's quick application. Depending on your needs, we may be able to take you from quote to bind in 24 hours!