How Much Does Insurance Cost for a Lawn Care Business?

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What should I be concerned about in terms of insurance coverage for my lawn care business?
Which types of insurance might I need?
Is there a scenario where I don’t need insurance?
How much does it cost?
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What should I be concerned about when it comes to insurance coverage for my lawn care business?

I own a lawn care business, but I haven’t insured it yet. What should I be concerned about when it comes to risks and coverage? I’m not sure that I need insurance, since I haven’t as of yet, but I want to be prepared should something happen. 

Lawn care businesses are a lot like other small businesses when it comes to insurance coverage. Think about your typical one-man business for things like painting, handy work, and, as it pertains to you, lawn care.

The risks are pretty similar, as are the concerns. Here are the factors you should keep in mind in terms of concerns for insurance coverage purposes:

  • Scope of work: These are factors like how many lawns you care for and the size of each job.
  • Risks involved: Are you using dangerous equipment? Do you have employees using dangerous equipment? How skilled are your employees with using the equipment? Are there heights involved? Height tends to be one of the most determinative factors when it comes to insurance coverage and potential risks. 
  • Potential liabilities: By this I mean who could sue you if something goes wrong. If you’re a one-man business and you’re caring for a limited number of lawns as part-time work, your potential liabilities are small. However, if you’re operating on a larger scale and have employees, your liability is far greater.

All of these factors represent risks that you should think about regarding insurance coverage. These factors also combine to affect the general costs of your lawn care business insurance, should you decide to purchase it. If you want to talk numbers, a independent insurance agent can help.

Which types of insurance do I need?

If I decide to purchase insurance coverage for my lawn care business, which types of insurance do I need? Am I actually required to purchase any particular type of insurance? I just want to be sure that what I’m paying for is worth the annual cost.

There’s an important distinction between what’s needed in terms of insurance coverage and what you may want to have for peace of mind. 

Let’s start with what’s legally required. You could be legally required to purchase particular types of insurance by two sources:

  • Government: This is insurance that’s required by law. If you operate in any state other than Texas and have employees, you’re legally obligated to purchase workers' compensation coverage. A lot of lawn care business owners hire casual labor, meaning that they don’t have “employees.” However, workers' compensation coverage is still a good idea in these scenarios (even if not technically “legally” required). If you offer employees certain qualified benefits (like disability insurance or life insurance), you may be required to purchase fiduciary insurance, too. 
  • Contract: Certain business contracts may require you to purchase particular types of insurance. This typically arises in a general contractor-subcontractor relationship. 

That being said, you may want a few particular types of insurance for your lawn care business. This might include:

  • General liability: This provides coverage for the stuff you own and the fact that people could sue you. Depending on the scope of your operations, the premium could be as little as $1,000 per year.
  • Property: If you own a lot of expensive equipment, you may want a property policy. 

Again, these are all areas you should discuss with your independent insurance agent. They will be able to offer insight after listening to your specific facts and circumstances.

Is there a scenario where I don't need insurance?

Is there a scenario where I don’t need to have insurance for my lawn care business? I understand that there’s peace of mind in paying for coverage, but I also don’t want to pay for something I don’t really need.

I completely understand this. The answer is yes: There are scenarios where you don’t necessarily need business insurance for your lawn care business. On the other hand, I would always recommend having some kind of coverage because the cost is fairly negligible and it offers peace of mind.

One of the only scenarios where I would feel comfortable supporting that you forgo insurance is if you have no employees and a potential accident or lawsuit would not leave you bankrupt. Again, think of the worst-case scenario when you’re thinking about this. By this I mean think of the worst accident that could happen on the job, and the scope of the damage from it. This is enough to convince most people that they should maintain some sort of insurance coverage. Those who don’t are typically industry veterans who have been around for 20 years or so without an accident (or a teenager mowing a few lawns a week for some cash). 

I always lean toward coverage because it means you don’t have to worry if the unexpected happens. You can weigh the pros and cons with the help of your independent agent.

How much does it cost?

If I purchase the types of insurance coverage you recommended here, how much will it cost to insure my lawn care business?

There’s no good answer to this question without considering the specifics of your business. However, I can provide a general range to get you started.

Generally speaking, the annual premium to insure a lawn care business without employees and with limited potential risks could be as low as $1,000 to $2,000 per year. If you have employees and are legally required to purchase workers' compensation coverage, costs go up. If you add on any other policies, costs will increase a bit more.

You can get some peace of mind from knowing that the risks are generally modest so your premium won’t shock you in any way. But again, I would highly recommend that you call your independent agent to get a specific quote for any number of insurers that works with.

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