What is Tree Service Insurance?
Arborists can have a rewarding career servicing trees, but the nature of the work presents several risks. From accidents to stolen equipment, both liability and property perils must be protected against. Tree service insurance can help arborists in Massachusetts do just that.
Tree service insurance is a specialized commercial insurance for arborists. Because arborists face multiple risks, these policies normally come with several coverages that get bundled together.
What Massachusetts Businesses Need an Arborist Insurance Policy?
Most Massachusetts businesses that service trees in any way should consider protecting themselves with arborist insurance. This includes (but isn’t limited to) businesses that:
- Trim trees
- Manage pests in trees
- Remove trees and stumps
- Provide municipal tree care
- Provide landscaping or hardscaping services
Additionally, businesses usually need insurance regardless of their legal structure. Sole proprietors, limited liability corporations, C corporations and S corporations can all benefit from insurance, as these various governance structures only offer certain legal protections.
What Coverages Can Businesses Get Through Arborist Insurance Policies?
As mentioned, arborist insurance policies normally come with multiple coverages. Some of the coverages that might be found in any particular policy are:
- General Liability Coverage, which may protect against basic accidents and some other lawsuits
- Errors and Omissions Coverage, which may protect against instances where errant advice given to customers
- Product Liability Coverage, which may protect against instances where fertilizers, pesticides or other products cause harm
- Business Property Coverage, which may protect facilities, equipment and tools used for work
- Inland Marine Coverage, which may cover equipment and tools as they’re transported to and from job sites
- Equipment Breakdown Coverage, which may cover essential equipment if it malfunctions
An insurance agent who’s experienced with arborist policies can help businesses identify all of the coverages they should look for.
Do Tree Service Businesses Need Workers Compensation?
Workers compensation generally provides important protection against workplace injuries, which are certainly a risk when working within the arborist industry. Moreover, most Massachusetts businesses that have employees are required to carry the coverage.
Workers compensation isn’t available within all arborist insurance policies, however. Some policies make the coverage available, and others don’t. When the coverage isn’t available through an arborist policy, it can easily be obtained via a workers comp-specific policy.
Do Tree Service Businesses Need Auto Insurance?
Most tree service businesses need commercial auto insurance for their vehicles. The insurance generally must at least meet state minimum requirements, and carrying extra coverage is often advisable.
Arborist policies often include commercial auto insurance as an option, although some might not have it as standard protection. An informed insurance agent can help check for the coverage if it’s needed.
How Much Do Arborist Policies Cost?
Insurance companies consider multiple factors when underwriting arborist policies. Some of the factors that can influence rates include a business’ location, size, scope of work, and chosen limits and coverages. Past claims history often also has an impact, as do other details.
Even with variance among policy premiums, most policies are affordable. An independent insurance agent who’s able to shop policies from different insurers, making it easy to identify how much different companies will charge for a given set of protections.