Running a business can be a rewarding yet difficult experience. Insurance is a subject that can be especially confusing for business owners.
Much like you may wonder how to find out if someone has auto insurance coverage, you may wonder what kind of coverage your business has, as well as if the coverage is right for you, and what even is insured by your coverage.
When it comes to a lawn care and landscaping business especially, types of insurance can get overwhelming and possibly leave some owners scratching their heads.
You see, when you own an in-store business, you have the understanding that your commercial property insurance will cover your building and all your materials inside it.
But this is where a lawn care business gets tricky...
Since with a lawn care and landscaping business you do not own a business location but rather are traveling from home to home as your business, there may be confusion as to what type of insurance coverage is needed.
There are many different policies that exist for business owners, and it can be confusing to make sure you are choosing the one which provides you with everything you need. And sometimes, you have to look at multiple policies in order to get the coverage you want.
Though it can be easy to feel confused, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered.
Know What Type of Insurance You Need to Have
The first step to knowing if your lawn care equipment is covered by insurance is to make sure you have the correct type of insurance. You may think a policy such as general liability insurance will cover you in a case of missing or damaged equipment.
The bad news? This type of insurance on its own will not cover your lost or damaged lawn care equipment. You will need another type of insurance policy on top of your general liability.
So you may be wondering what kind of insurance you will need. The answer is a policy for contractors equipment. This policy will provide you with the coverage you need should you ever find yourself with lost, stolen, or damaged equipment.
Though each policy may differ slightly in coverage, getting contractors equipment insurance will ensure you’re covered when it comes to your valuable equipment.
What Contractors Equipment Insurance Covers
Typically, most contractors equipment policies are written on an “all-risk” basis. What this means is that your equipment is covered for everything from man-made damages to natural disasters.
Just like comprehensive car insurance covers “acts of God,” the average contractor equipment policy covers a variety of things. Occurrences such as flooding, hail, lightning, fires, and more that may cause problems to your machinery are covered under your policy.
You may be surprised to learn your policy might even cover damaged or lost employee uniforms. If you have a specific company apparel that is misplaced or stolen, you may be reimbursed for the cost or provided a replacement.
Your “all-risk” policy will essentially cover any damages which are not excluded from your policy.
Remember that contractors equipment insurance will only cover your actual equipment, so make sure you have additional coverage to protect you and your employees from the potential hazards associated with the landscaping industry.
These hazards can include but are not limited to:
- Heat stress
- Slips, trips, or falls
- Cuts or amputations
- Ear or eye damage
- Vehicle accidents
These potential risks and more are always a possibility, so be sure to look into all your coverage options when it comes to protecting your landscaping business and its employees.
Ensure You Choose the Right Coverage
When it comes to your policy, there may be multiple options for coverage. Two of the most common options are scheduled coverage and blanket coverage. Though they both fall under the category of contractors equipment insurance, their coverages differ slightly.
What does this mean for you? It means looking into each type of coverage and deciding which one best fits the needs of yourself in order to minimize the risk for your lawn care company.
This version of the policy will provide you with coverage for all scheduled items. What this means is that you will have a file with your insurer stating which items you want to have coverage for. Items that are not scheduled but become damaged or stolen will not be covered.
This version provides you with a blanket of coverage. This means that you will receive coverage for all items which are considered to meet the definition of covered property.
These terms are typically agreed upon at the time of policy purchase and may be changed if need be.
A Happy Medium
Most commonly, you will see contractors equipment insurance policyholders have a mixture of both scheduled and blanket coverage. This ensures the most important items receive the coverage they need, while also giving you a small blanket which extends to items not on the scheduled list.
What else is included?
There may be other added coverage to your policy you might not have considered. Though each policy could differ, these are some possible extended coverages that you may have.
Always be sure to check with your specific policy for what is included.
Rented or Borrowed Equipment
When hired for some jobs, your lawn care company may need to borrow or rent some equipment to complete the job. This may be equipment which you would not use on a regular basis, and therefore you do not feel you need to own it yourself.
Now, when using equipment you do not own, you may have some confusion as to whether or not your insurance policy will cover this equipment.
The good news? Most contractors equipment policies will provide you coverage for items to borrow or rent. However, always check on your specific policy however to ensure you have the coverage you need before renting or borrowing equipment.
Temporary Rental Equipment
If you have a job to complete making someone’s yard look beautiful yet find yourself with damaged equipment, you may be worried about obtaining a temporary replacement until your permanent replacement arrives.
You may be in luck, however. There are many policies that will cover the cost of rented equipment while waiting for a replacement. Simply check with your insurer to determine what kind of coverage you have which can relieve the stress of worrying to get a job done on time due to damaged or stolen equipment.
Make Your Insurance Policy Work for You
Owning a lawn care company can come with many rewards, just as it can come with possible confusion and stress when making sure you are adequately covered by insurance.
Just like you need to be able to salvage damaged landscaping, you need to be able to save any equipment that gets damaged, too.
Understanding your insurance needs and choosing the correct policies accordingly can help alleviate some of those worries. Always make sure you are looking into your policy options and know what kind of coverage you have.
Utilizing your knowledge of your insurance can help you ensure that even in a moment of disaster, you will be covered.