Albertans are known for making the most out of their outdoor spaces during the few warm months we have, and there are many professionals out there eager to help. Landscaping is a solid summer business for many in the province, and landscapers are currently revving up their lawnmowers, sharpening their blades, cleaning their tools, and readying their trucks for the spring yard-cleaning season. Summer is around the corner and we’re all ready to spend as much time as possible out in the sun and under the stars.
Proper landscaping insurance coverage is a necessity for those wielding mowers, pruners, rakes, shovels, and weed whips for a living. Components of a good policy include commercial property insurance, equipment breakdown insurance, commercial general liability insurance, and commercial vehicle insurance.
Commercial property insurance for landscaping companies
Landscaping insurance should include commercial property insurance, which covers where you store your tools as well as the property within in it. In the event of a named peril such as a fire or a flood, the thousands of dollars you have invested in purchasing and maintaining your equipment are safe. Each season, ensure you have a complete inventory of everything you use for your business – right down to every pair of secateurs and bag of soil. Take photos of your property and keep those and your inventory stored separately in a safe place. Throughout the season, keep your inventory updated with every purchase you make, which will greatly assist should you ever have to file a claim, and help at tax time.
Equipment breakdown and business interruption insurance
Equipment breakdown insurance is a good supplement to landscaping insurance because it can help cover those times when you need emergency repairs or have to replace equipment due to electrical or mechanical failure. Equipment breakdown coverage is something that can come in very handy, such as when your air conditioner stops working or your hot water heater bursts.
If you’re a sole proprietor, something like cleaning up after a flood can take a big bite of your earnings. Business interruption insurance goes further than equipment breakdown insurance, providing compensation for financial losses resulting from unexpected circumstances that cause temporary or long-term interruptions to your business operations. For landscaping professionals, examples could include fire or property damage, vandalism and/or theft, sabotage, and the death of a key employee or principal.
Business interruption insurance can also play an important role when Alberta’s crazy weather starts to kick up. In 2020, this province was responsible for insured damages from severe weather incidences totalling more than $2 billion. That accounts for about 87% of the severe weather insurance claims in Canada for the same year. A landscaping insurance policy with business interruption insurance can cover for projects started that must be stopped due to a crazy July hailstorm, and for the replacement of any tree, shrub, or perennial too damaged to be saved.
Commercial general liability insurance
Commercial general liability insurance covers for damages should your company’s actions cause third-party bodily injury or property damage. An example may be an employee botching the pruning job of a beloved heirloom tree and the homeowner demanding damages for the destruction of a valuable piece of property. Commercial general liability insurance can provide for the legalities that result from such incidences.
Commercial vehicle insurance
By trade, landscaping professionals drive around a lot, moving their people and equipment around from lawns to mow and gardens to weed. Commercial auto insurance is a requirement if a vehicle is being used to transport any sort of tools needed to run a business, so every landscaping professional needs a policy. Commercial auto insurance policies with accident benefits coverage and third-party liability coverage are compulsory for business owners almost everywhere in Canada. The penalties for failure to hold an appropriate policy can be harsh.
Workers Compensation for employees in Alberta
The Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) of Alberta is the body that decides what businesses require workers’ compensation coverage and which do not. Landscaping falls into the WCB’s 2020 Construction and Construction Trade Services category. Owners of landscaping companies in Alberta have 15 days from the date of hiring their first employee to register with the WCB.
Given what a physically demanding job landscaping is, injuries are not uncommon. Landscape company owners can help lessen the number of work-related injuries by ensuring all employees are trained in safety, the proper handling of tools, and how to work without hurting themselves. Oversight should be diligent, even down to encouraging employees to drink plenty of water on hot days. All of this will keep your employees much healthier, plus they will know the value you place in them. You will also lose less days to illness and injury and gain many more in employee loyalty and longevity.
Insurance brokers can help find landscaping insurance discounts
As insurance brokers, we at Lane’s are able to access the many different types of business insurance available and we know the right questions to get you excellent coverage at great rates. Contact us at our Calgary, Edmonton, Banff, and Alberta offices.