Landscaping companies in Massachusetts face a variety of potential risks. Insuring against these risks frequently requires a combination of different insurance coverages. If you own a landscaping company in the state, here are six landscaping insurance coverages you’ll likely want in your company’s lawn care insurance policy.What Coverages Should Be Included in My Massachusetts Landscaping Company’s Landscaping Insurance Policy?
Premises Liability Coverage
A widely used protection, premises liability coverage generally helps protect businesses from liability lawsuits that are brought about by accidents that occur on property businesses own. For example, this coverage might cover a suit filed by a vendor who tripped on company property and was injured during the fall. (This coverage typically only covers injuries sustained by third parties -- and not employees.)
While most businesses that have commercial property should carry this coverage, the coverage is particularly important to include in landscaping insurance policies. Landscaping companies can be especially at risk for these types of lawsuits because many accidents can occur on their property:
Walkways can become icy and slippery in winter, even if they’re shoveled regularly
Liquids used on lawns can spill, creating slippery areas on the floor
Awkward pieces of equipment can be tripping hazards
Workers Compensation Coverage
Workers compensation coverage normally covers injuries that employees sustain while working, regardless of whether they’re on company property or at a customer’s site. In Massachusetts, most businesses that have employees are legally required to carry workers compensation coverage.
Premises and Completed Operations Coverage
A lesser known coverage, premises and completed operations coverage may help protect your company if chemicals are misapplied and damage a client’s landscaping. Most of the time this coverage includes protection for herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers. Some lawn care policies have coverage that extends to spills, as well as application errors.
Commercial Auto Coverage
Unless you run a landscaping business by walking around town with a lawn mower, your company will almost certainly need commercial auto insurance. Massachusetts law requires people and businesses to insure vehicles that they operate on public roads, which means your business will probably need insurance for any company vans or trucks it has.
Inland Marine Coverage
Inland marine insurance is used to insure a wide variety of items while they’re being transported.
For landscaping companies, this coverage can often be used to insure mowers, trimmers and weed whackers while they’re being moved between customers’ sites. These items frequently aren’t covered by commercial property coverage while they’re off a company’s property, and most commercial auto coverages provide minimal protection (at most) for towed equipment.
With some commercial mowers costing tens of thousands of dollars, few businesses can afford to leave them uninsured at all -- certainly not when they’re on a trailer and at risk of being stolen or damaged in an auto accident.
Equipment Breakdown Coverage
Equipment breakdown coverage is a different type of insurance coverage. Rather than providing liability protection or safeguarding property from certain perils, this coverage can help your business prepare for unexpected equipment malfunctions.
Should a mower or trimmer suddenly stop working, equipment breakdown coverage might help pay to get the mower or trimmer fixed. The coverage may even pay emergency service fees, so you can get back to work as quickly as possible.
Get the Landscaping Insurance Coverage Your Massachusetts Business Needs
All of these six coverages can help protect your Massachusetts landscaping business in important ways, and these may not be the only coverages your business needs in its lawn care insurance policy. For help finding all of the coverages your business needs, talk with an independent agent who specializes in landscaping insurance.