Creating beautiful outdoor areas can be rewarding work, but running a landscaping business also brings its challenges. Besides obvious concerns like the weather, landscape contractors need to consider their risk exposures. While some of these are similar to those encountered by other contractors, landscaping also has its own set of unique risk exposures. Let’s take a look:
Property: Landscaping is very dependent on power equipment, and the sheer cost of both hand and power tools brings the exposure of loss due to theft or vandalism. Gas-powered equipment is also prone to fire, especially as it’s often stored in confined spaces. A loss here means more than the cost of replacing the equipment, but also expensive down time.
Breakdowns: All that power equipment is also prone to breakdowns, which always seem to happen at the most inopportune moment. And again, that down time can be costly not only in terms of work not getting done, but in damage to your reputation.
Vehicles: Landscaping as an industry is very dependent on vehicles, from cars or pickup trucks all the way up to dump trucks used to transport materials and/or personnel to jobsites. As with any other business, company vehicles on the road are a source of exposure. Note also that standard commercial auto policies often do not cover the use of personal vehicles for work purposes.
Injury: Any power equipment, and especially items like chainsaws and power trimmers sometimes used by landscape personnel, carries injury risk. Even without power tools, the nature of the work itself lends itself to a variety of risks from musculoskeletal injuries to heat exhaustion. Landscapers should have a comprehensive safety plan to minimize these exposures.
Liability: Beyond the obvious risks inherent in operating trucks and other equipment on customers’ property, landscaping carries some unique exposures around environmental liability. Certain pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers are potential pollutants, and the cleanup can be very costly, as can the damage to a company’s reputation.
Talk to your insurance advisor about the risks unique to landscapers and how to mitigate those risks.
Questions about commercial coverage for your landscaping company? Contact Consolidated Insurance.