Why Your Lawn Care Business Needs Business Insurance 1

Ever wondered whether you really need to get business insurance for your company?  We don’t!  If you don’t have business insurance now, it should be your #1 priority to get before the new year!

Real-life Stories From “Lawn Maintenance and the Beautiful Business”: 

Progressive Insurance has a short list of basic insurance types you should carry.

What types of insurance should a lawn care company carry?

  • General Liability: This is the most common form of landscaping liability insurance. It covers instances of bodily injury, property damage and other liabilities for which your business is responsible. Certain clients might consider this coverage a prerequisite to working for them.
  • Commercial Auto: If you use your vehicle to transport work supplies such as mowers, fertilizer, and tools, you’ll likely need a commercial auto policy. Standard auto policies typically have coverage limitations or restrictions for vehicles used for work.
  • Business Owners Policy (BOP): Combines General Liability and coverage for commercial buildings and personal property into one package.
  • Workers’ Compensation: Protects your employees who become injured or ill while at work.

Mowers can Wander

A company I worked as a manager for had a policy that said, “If you do damage to a customer’s property you need to report it to the customer, and if they are not home, leave a note and then inform the office as soon as possible.” If the employee follows this guideline, he doesn’t get into trouble.

So, one afternoon when the crews came in, Joe told me that he ran over some flowers in the flower bed at Mrs. Smith’s house and left her a note.  I told him that I would handle it and called Mrs. Smith.  She wasn’t home so I left a message telling her that we would replace the flowers in the next couple of days.

An hour later, I received a call from Mrs. Smith. She thanked me for leaving the message but told me that it was a little more serious than just the flower beds. There were muddy tracks from lawn mower tires that started at her fireplace where the coffee table was smashed against the hearth. The muddy tracks then led out, over the white carpet, through the smashed sliding glass door, over the brick patio and into the flower garden.

When I asked Joe the next day, I found out that he had disabled the operator presence levers and had let the mower cut under a fruit tree without being on it (fruit trees are the worse things to cut under because the limbs are stiff). Joe ran around the tree but failed to catch the mower before it cut through the flower garden, over the patio, through the sliding glass door, smashed the coffee table into the hearth. It finally stopped at the hearth, grinding its wheels into the white carpet, spewing smoke into the living room with the blades churning over the rug… not just the flower garden!

Hoses Fall Into Window Wells

Another time as a manager, I received a phone call from a customer saying that when he arrived home there was 3″ of water in his recently finished basement. He thought that one of our workers had taken the hose he had left in the back yard, soaking his grass, and thrown it against the house, where it landed in a windown basement. We checked our records and agreed that our employee had been there during this time.

The whole basement needed to be refinished so we calle dour insurance company and they set up a meeting at the customer’s home.

As they were inspecting the damage, the customer was explaining what he thought had happened. The insurance agent was a little dubious… until they realized the same employee was back to cut the grass again.

As they watched out the basement window, our employee came around the house, saw that the hose was lying out, soaking the grass, picked it up and flung it over towards the house. The end of the hose fell perfectly into the window well… mystery solved.

The agent signed the claim form and called to tell us to train our employees a bit better!

Why do you need business insurance?  You better get it before you find out the hard way!