If you are a landscape business owner, then you know that there are many risks associated with the industry. From accidents on the job to property damage - there’s a whole host of things that could go wrong.
That's why it is important to have the right insurance in place to protect your business.
Landscaping and gardening are physical work that of course often require the use of power tools, ladders, and other equipment. This work can be dangerous and accidents do happen. If an employee is overexposed to pesticides, or a tree trimmer is hit by a falling branch, it could lead to costly medical bills.
Landscape workers’ comp insurance covers medical expenses from work-related injuries or illnesses and can help pay for wages while the employee is recovering.
It also usually includes employers liability insurance which protects landscaping businesses if an employee sues the business owner due to a work-related injury. Even when a lawsuit is unfounded, you could end up paying a lot of legal fees if you are uninsured.
If you are the owner of a landscaping business or a sole proprietor, you might decide to buy this coverage for yourself, as it provides financial protection against work injury claims that health insurance could deny.
Now that you know why landscape workers’ comp insurance is important, how much does it cost?
The cost of landscape workers’ comp insurance will vary depending on the size of your business, the type of work your employees do, and your company’s claims history.
For example, if you have a small landscape business with only a few employees, you might pay $500 per year for coverage. However, if you have a large landscape business with many employees doing high-risk work, you could pay $50,000 or more. It can vary greatly.
Here’s the equation that’s used to calculate your landscaping premium:
Here’s how it works:
Every industry is assigned a specific class code, usually a 4-digit number, that underwriters use to categorize your business type. For example, the class code for landscapers is usually 0042. Once you know your industry’s class code, you can check up your state’s rate for that code.
Watch this video to learn more about calculating your workers’ comp rate.
If you're looking for landscape workers’ comp insurance, be sure to speak with a dedicated insurance specialist like the experts here at Kickstand before committing to a plan.
After you’ve had workers’ comp insurance for a few years, your claims history will start to impact your rate. This is especially important to note if you’re in the landscaping business. From handling heavy machinery and sharp tools to dealing with various chemicals, the nature of the job is inherently risky.
Here are some practical steps you can take to reduce accidents and claims and keep your rate down:
If you're in the landscaping business, you might have heard about 'pay-as-you-go' workers' comp insurance. This option can be a great fit, particularly for seasonal businesses like yours.
Why? Because when your income varies throughout the year, it makes sense to adjust your expenses accordingly.
Here's how pay-as-you-go works: after you run your monthly payroll, you report it to your insurance company. The insurance company will then calculate your premium based on the actual payroll numbers from the previous month.
This way, you pay for insurance based on what you're actually earning, not on estimates or projections.
If staying on top of monthly bills sometimes slips your mind, this policy might not be your best bet. It's best suited for those businesses that are extremely organized and will remember to take care of it every month.
Some states do require landscape businesses to have workers’ compensation insurance, while others do not.
For example, Connecticut requires workers’ comp insurance for all employees, even part-time workers. In contrast, North Carolina only requires landscape workers’ comp insurance if a company has three employees or more.
Check your local state laws to see if landscape workers' compensation insurance is required in your area.
Purchasing landscape workers’ comp insurance is a wise decision for any business, but especially for those in the landscaping and gardening industry. Your employees are your most valuable asset, and protecting them should be a top priority.
Kickstand Insurance offers quick, painless, and simple workers’ comp insurance quotes for landscaping and gardening businesses. Simply fill out our easy online form and we'll get you a landscape workers’ comp insurance quote within minutes.
You can also purchase landscape workers’ comp insurance if you are an independent contractor, sole proprietor, or partner. This type of policy protects you in the event of an injury while on the job.
Note: The information provided in this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional legal or insurance advice. Laws and regulations regarding workers' compensation insurance are complex and vary by state and by specific circumstances. Therefore, readers are encouraged to consult with a qualified legal or insurance professional to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem they might have.
Mordechai Kamenetsky, co-founder and lead agent of Kickstand, is recognized as an expert in workers' compensation. He is passionate about helping small businesses manage risks and lower their workers' comp costs. In his articles, he educates readers and clients on the intricacies of workers' comp insurance.