Landscaping Contractors: Definitions and Types of Contractor Insurance Required

by Ed Sneneh, Chicago Insurance Agent


Landscaping contractors are those that are involved in a variety of decorative activities that intends to modify the visible features of land, or the maintenance of decorative plants, trees, and soil around residential and commercial areas. Landscaping  could include work on the gardens, shapes of natural elements, objects, or abstract elements such as lights.

Landscaping contracts can be classified in another way, commercial or residential landscapers. They work with lawn and tree care where application of pesticide, herbicide, and fertilizers as well as cutting branches and removing as well as trimming of trees and shrubs are some of their normal activities.

Contractors who work with the installation and repair of irrigation systems, sodding, working with artificial turf, as well as the restoration of certain habitat are all types of activities that landscaping companies do.

Coverage Needed

Landscapers Commercial General Liability: Like all subcontractors, landscapers need general liability to cover them at customers locations. A  landscaping artisan contractor insurance is needed to cover their negligent acts while performing their work. Coverages range from $300,000 to $1,000,000 each occurrence for product/ completed operations as well as  personal and advertising injury, with double the amount for the general aggregate. Of a particular interest is the fact that some insurance companies may have certain exclusions for damages resulting from the applications of pesticide, herbicide, and fertilizers. Other companies may exclude any damages resulting from faulty design of landscaping. The main determinants of the rate for the commercial liability of artisan commercial policy are annual payroll, annual receipts and nature of activities performed.

Artisan Contractor Commercial Auto: All contractors need this coverage for their vehicles that are used in the course of the business. Some smaller contractors wrongly insure their vehicles under Personal Auto Policies (PAP), resulting in a great risk as a PAP does not cover the contractor if the vehicle is used for business purposes. Garaging ZIP , ages and driving records of  the drivers play important roles in determining the price of the coverage.

Landscapers Workers Compensations: Workers compensation is the law. For landscapers who hire others and pay wages a workers compensation policy is mandatory. If the landscaper has many employees that do more than one type of activities (clerical, drivers, etc.) classifying these people at the time of obtaining insurance may reduce the premium drastically. Owners and officers may exclude themselves from workers compensation.

Contractors Equipment and Inland Marine Coverages:  Landscapers may need to insure the miscellaneous tools and certain equipment they use. Also they may need to get an installation floater coverage (covers contractor's raw materials while in transit or while kept at a customer location). Also, coverage for rental equipment may be needed if there is potential losses from theft on rented tools.

Umbrella or Excess Liability: Some larger size landscapers may need additional liability insurance for better protection or to meet legal obligations.

Contractors Property Insurance: may be needed if the contractor owns a building or certain scheduled  tools and equipment such as computers. The rates are based on amounts, description of property and area. Getting insurance for a landscaping contractors does not have to be a challenging task. Paying attention to exclusions of the policy is a must.
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