There is no way around it. Insurance is boring. If you meet someone at a party and they say, “Boy, do I have a great insurance underwriting story for you,” you’re running for the door. Insurance is one of those things you don’t want to think about, but when you need it, you’re so glad you have it.
What if your finished basement flooded, damaging furniture and collectibles, but you didn’t have home insurance? What if something important came up and you couldn’t go on that dream vacation the day you booked it?
Clearly, insurance of all kinds can be a life-saver. And the same can be the case with a landscaping company: hiring one that’s well insured is a very wise idea.
Why hire a landscape company with extensive insurance?
- Have peace of mind: As with all types of insurance, ultimately the answer is that you can rest assured that you’re financially covered if you need help.
- Protection in case of slip and fall lawsuits: What if an employee or client slips and falls outside your building? An insured landscaping company can protect you financially.
- You know they have a great reputation: It’s not easy to acquire a large amount of insurance, so if you’ve found a company with a lot, it generally means their reputation is very good. The average landscaping company has $1-2 million in liability insurance. The minimum is $1 million. So if you find someone with significantly more, you’re on the right track.
What role does landscape maintenance play in mitigating risk?
- The most obvious role we can play in mitigating risk is to identify potential hazards on your land, areas where people could slip and fall, or other dangers, such as potholes, cracks, burnt-out lightbulbs, or ice hazards.
- Believe it or not, we can also help prevent crime through a concept called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). We can strategically arrange landscaping so there are clear views on your property, which better enables people to witness any crimes that may occur.
Avoid the myth: “I don’t need an insured maintenance crew. I know a guy that’s cheaper!”
Going with the cheaper company is not always the best idea. It’s often true that you get what you pay for, and if that cheaper option causes a liability issue and they’re either not insured or not insured enough, there could be trouble. In other words, the short-term savings could result in high payouts if anything went wrong. The minimum of $1 million is not necessarily enough. After all, the more insurance, the more you’re protected.
Pay attention to the contract
Landscaping contracts can differ, placing liability on the owner for certain things and the contractor for others. For example, when it comes to snow-related issues, the contractor is often liable, but for other maintenance issues, the owner is liable. But make sure you know what your contract says.
I hope all my insurance talk didn’t make you run for the door… or the “back” button. These insurance and liability issues are greatly important to your business, and your business’ bottom line, if you’re planning to hire a landscaping company.