There are a number of plant nurseries in the United States. Some are smaller and cater to the general public, while others are quite large and cater to commercial gardeners and agricultural businesses. Regardless of its size, if you own a nursery or garden center, you will want to be sure to protect your investment with a suitable commercial insurance package. An independent agent can help you build a garden center insurance policy that can protect your business from its many potential hazards.
2014 Plant and Flower Growers Industry Facts From IBISWorld
- There are more than 35,000 plant and flower growing businesses operating in the United States.
- These businesses employ more than 211,000 people.
- The plant and flower growing industry generates about $13 billion in revenue each year.
Cover Your Plant Nursery With Sufficient Property Insurance
You will want to ensure that your garden center insurance portfolio provides you with compensation for loss or damage to your business property. Some coverage options that you may want to ask your agent about include the following:
- Building coverage: This insurance provides coverage for damage to your building’s structure. If you have greenhouses on your property, you may need to purchase specialized coverage, particularly if the greenhouses are made with glass panels. The structures on your business property are absolutely something you should discuss with your insurance agent when building your policy portfolio.
- Contents coverage: This is intended to cover your business property, including plants, tools, computer systems, sprinkler systems and lights if they are damaged by a covered event.
- Coverage for plants and materials stored outside: Typical commercial insurance policies offer very limited coverage for business property that is stored outdoors. However, because plant nurseries are unique in that the bulk of their inventory is kept outdoors, some insurance companies have created specialized insurance packages to cover businesses in this industry. These packages enable you to acquire more coverage for your outdoor plants than you might have otherwise been able to get with a traditional commercial plan.
- Peak season endorsement: Plants are seasonal. There may therefore be certain times of the year when your inventory is valued more highly than at other times of the year. To ensure that you are not over or underinsured, as would be the case if you maintained the same coverage limits year-round, you can purchase peak season endorsements that will enable you to raise your coverage limits at specified times of year.
- Flood insurance: Floodwaters have the potential to kill your plants and damage tools and structures on your business property. Unfortunately, flood damage is not covered by commercial insurance policies. If your garden center is at risk for flood damage, you are advised to supplement your coverage with a commercial flood insurance policy through the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program).
Your Garden Center Needs the Proper Liability Insurance
A liability lawsuit can create a large financial strain for your plant nursery. Liability insurance provides coverage for court costs, legal defense fees and financial damages if you are sued. You will want to be certain that you have the right liability insurance to provide coverage for the various exposures your garden center faces. Coverage options include the following:
- Premises liability insurance: This protects your garden center if a third party is injured or suffers property damage while on your business property.
- Off-premises liability insurance: This protects your business if an employee causes property damage or bodily injury to another while doing a work-related activity away from your garden center.
- Commercial auto liability insurance: If your business has any company-owned vehicles, you are required by law to carry commercial auto insurance on them. In the event that you also use a dump truck or trucks for delivering mulch or fertilizer or for other business needs, you will need specialized coverage, as these vehicles pose more of a liability threat.
- Hired or non-owned vehicle insurance: If you rent vehicles or your employees use personally owned vehicles to make deliveries or run work-related errands, your business is at risk for liability charges if any of those vehicles is involved in an accident while on the clock. This insurance provides coverage in such an instance.
- Employment practices liability insurance: This insurance, also referred to EPLI, protects your business if an employee sues for an illegal business practice such as wrongful termination, discrimination or sexual harassment.
- Cyber liability insurance: If you keep customer records including credit card information on a computer system, you are vulnerable to suffering a security breach. If hackers access this information, you can be held liable by both customers and banks. This insurance type provides coverage in this instance.
What Other Plant Nursery Insurance Coverage Should You Consider?
In addition to the property and liability coverage options mentioned above, there are other insurance coverage types that you may want to discuss with your independent agent. These include the following:
- Business income insurance: If a covered disaster forces you to close your garden center while repairs are made, this insurance provides your business with a continuation of income so that you can continue to pay employee salaries and monthly expenses until you are able to once again resume normal business operations.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: You are responsible for injuries suffered by employees while on the job. Workers' compensation, which is required in most states, provides this coverage while also preventing employees from suing your business for negligence in regards to the injury.
- Life and health insurance: Chances are your garden center is a small business with under 50 full-time employees, so you will not be required by law to provide your staff with subsidized health insurance. However, if you want to include health and life insurance as part of an employee benefits package, an independent agent can help you find suitable policies to meet your needs.
There are more insurance options available, some of which may benefit your nursery. Speak with your independent insurance agent for help reviewing your various coverage options so that you can build an insurance portfolio that does not contain coverage gaps.
Get Help Building a Strong Florist Shop Insurance Policy
Shopping for garden center insurance can be a complex process, particularly if you are purchasing business insurance for the first time. This is why working with an independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network is to your advantage. These knowledgeable agents are available to help you determine your various risks and can then shop around for competitively priced coverage designed to provide coverage against those exposures. Find a Trusted Choice agent near you to learn more about building a plant nursery insurance portfolio designed specifically for your business.