Gardeners' public liability insurance

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    Chris Godfrey

    Page written by Chris Godfrey. Last reviewed on June 25, 2024. Next review due October 1, 2025.

    At first glance, a gardening business may seem like a quiet and safe profession. However, the reality is quite different. Heavy equipment, machine tools, sharp blades, changing weather and the occasional need to operate from ladders can make the industry one of the most hazardous to work in. Factor-in close proximity to customers and the general public and the potential for accidents that can create large claims for compensation can grow out of control. 

    To reduce this risk and prevent simple accidents, errors or omissions turning into a financial catastrophe, professional gardeners, landscapers, tree surgeons and groundskeepers need public liability insurance. When combined with a range of other types of cover this important insurance can shield your gardening business from the impact of almost every adverse event. 

    Gardeners’ public liability insurance is essential for:

    • Sole traders, partnerships, limited companies and limited liability partnerships
    • Self-employed professional gardeners and SMEs who provide gardening and landscape services to commercial and residential customers including parks and recreational spaces
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      What insurance do I need for my gardening business?

      Gardeners’ insurance is an umbrella term for a range of policies you can buy to protect your gardening business from many types of risk. Professional gardeners can purchase a tailored package of cover to match the unique features of their business, but important insurance includes:

      Public liability insurance

      Gardeners’ public liability insurance protects your business if someone is injured, or their property is damaged because of the services that you or your business provides. This vital cover, also known as PL or liability insurance, is designed to protect your professional gardening business against compensation claims for injuries or property damage from a customer, passer-by, or a visitor to your business premises – whether you’re at fault or not.

      Employers’ liability insurance

      Employer’s liability (EL) insurance protects you and your employees, (including those who no longer work for you and some contract workers), should they be injured or become unwell as a result of working for your business. Employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement for most US employers. Your policy must cover you for at least $5 million and come from an authorised insurer. Your business can be fined up to $2,500 for every day you are not properly insured. 

      Professional indemnity insurance

      Professional indemnity insurance, also known as professional liability insurance, can protect you if a client makes claim against your gardening business because of the advice or information you have provided. Many government bodies, public institutions, and major customers may also require proof of a minimum level of PI insurance before doing business with you.

      Tools insurance

      Tools insurance, also known as portable equipment insurance, plant insurance or business equipment insurance, covers the cost of replacing your valuable tools and equipment if they’re lost, damaged, or stolen – including owned and hired-in plant and machinery.

      Protect your important business tools:

      • Heavy machinery, including diggers, scrapers and dumpers
      • Power tools such as mowers, trimmers, brush cutters and blowers
      • Chainsaws
      • Power washers
      • Hand tools
      • Ladders, steps and platforms

      Why do gardeners and landscapers need insurance?

      No matter if you’re working in a commercial, residential or public space, the work you do as a professional gardener or landscaper puts you and your business at significant risk. Simple accidents or mistakes that cause personal injury or property damage to the general public, your customers, or your suppliers could generate compensation claims in the tens of even hundreds of thousands of pounds. Gardeners’ insurance is the only way to ensure your business is not at risk from events beyond your control. 

      Protect yourself from common incidents like these:

      Property damage

      Whilst delivering an order of bedding plants, you accidentally reverse your van into the customer’s garden wall, bringing it down. They claim for the costs to rebuild the wall and other damages. Public liability insurance can take care of the claim and the legal expenses you incur.

      Injured employee

      One of your employees is injured when using a chainsaw. Employers’ liability insurance will pay for the employee’s recovery, including any rehabilitation costs, and cover them for loss of income until they can get back on their feet.

      Tools missing in action

      You’re sizing up a large landscaping project when you discover your expensive laser measuring device has been stolen, leaving you to guesstimate. Tools insurance can quickly cover the cost of buying a replacement device and get you back on track.

      Information dispute

      You provide your best landscaping advice to the customer, but when the end result of the project doesn’t fit their vague idea of what they wanted, they make a compensation claim against you. Fortunately, professional indemnity insurance can cover the cost of changing the garden to meet the client’s changing vision.

      Why is landscape gardening insurance important?

      Because risk is everywhere and the financial impact of even the smallest accident or mistake can be a calamity for your business. In 2023, the average US public liability claim was $13,500 plus defendant’s legal expenses. Even a sum like this could drive many gardening businesses into insolvency.

      What does gardening insurance cover?

      Depending on the level of cover you buy, gardeners’ insurance can protect your business from the financial impact of the following:

      • Personal compensation costs – for the injury or death of a third party or an employee, including the loss of earnings and future loss of earnings
      • Medical fees – including the cost of calling out an ambulance, treatment and a stay in hospital for the claimant, plus their rehabilitation
      • Repairs – including the cost of labour and materials
      • Replacement costs – for tools and equipment
      • Vehicle loss or accident – repairs or replacement vehicle
      • Restitution claims – for providing incorrect professional advice or information
      • Legal costs – including the cost of defending you against a claim and the claimants’ legal costs if you’re found to be at fault

      How much does insurance for gardeners cost?

      Gardeners’ insurance can start at less than $10 per month. However, the price you pay will depend on the level of cover you choose, your business location, your turnover, the types of gardening work you do and a host of other business factors that make every quote unique. 

      How Swoop can help

      All business involves risk, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer the consequences if things go wrong. Don’t let a simple accident or mistake uproot your business. Contact Swoop today to compare top-quality gardeners’ insurance from a range of providers and to discuss all your business insurance needs.

      Written by

      Chris Godfrey

      Chris is a freelance copywriter and content creator. He has been active in the marketing, advertising, and publishing industries for more than twenty-five years. Writing for Wells Fargo Bank, Visa, Experian, Ebay, Flywire, insurers and pension funds, his words have appeared online and in print to inform, entertain and explain the complex world of US consumer and business finance.

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