Is Your Tree Removal Pro Insured? Here’s How to Check

Lauren Murphy
Written by Lauren Murphy
Updated November 19, 2021
Suburban house exterior with big tree in the front yard
Ken Hurst – stock.adobe.com

Highlights

  • Tree removal services should have both liability insurance and workers’ compensation for the best protection

  • Most professionals are happy to provide you with proof of insurance when you ask

  • To confirm your contractor is insured, call the insurance company to check

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Sometimes yard work requires more of a heavy lift, like if your beloved century-old oak gets hit in a big storm and cracks in half. It's certainly going to take more than a pair of tree clippers to fix it. This is when it's helpful to call a tree removal service. 

When considering a tree removal service, it's important to verify that the company carries the proper insurance to cover any onsite accidents or damage. Accidents happen, and when they do, insurance will protect both people and property in the aftermath. Here's how to check if your tree removal pro is insured.

What Types of Insurance to Look For

There are various types of insurance for tree service contractors, but liability insurance and workers’ compensation are arguably the most important ones. The company’s website may indicate whether or not they are insured, but this is not always the case. It’s important to check for this information to avoid potentially costly issues down the line, such as job site injury or damage done during the tree removal.

Liability Insurance

Worker wearing safety gear removing branches from a tree
jStock – stock.adobe.com

Liability insurance will come in handy if there are any accidental damages during the tree removal process. It covers both the homeowner and the tree removal professional. Liability insurance offers legal protection if a lawsuit resulting from personal injury or property damage arises.

If the pro you hire has liability insurance, you won’t be on the hook if they make a mistake while working. However, without liability insurance, you’ll be responsible for the repair bills.

Workers’ Compensation

Another key type of insurance every tree removal expert should have is workers’ compensation. Like liability insurance, this type of insurance can protect both the homeowner and the contractor working on the homeowner’s property. Workers’ compensation ensures that the contractor or company is responsible if an employee gets injured on the job. Because work-related injuries come with some of the most costly claims, this is a must for any contractor you hire, no matter the size of the company.

Ask for an Insurance Certificate

When you’re searching for the right tree removal pro, don’t hesitate to ask a lot of questions, especially about insurance and credentials. Here are some questions to ask:

  • Do you have liability insurance?

  • Do you have workers’ compensation?

  • What is the name of your insurance provider?

You can go one step further and request a copy of the insurance certificate. Contractors are often happy to provide this documentation, which is a great thing to have in your files.

Call the Insurance Company

Without proof of insurance from your tree removal pro, you may have to do some additional research to verify that they are insured. Hold off on signing a contract with the company until you confirm this information. Tree removal work can be hazardous, and insurance protects everyone involved, from the homeowner to the tree removal service and their crew. 

Note: A billing statement from the insurance company is not the same as an insurance certificate, and it’s not adequate proof of insurance. While these show insurance coverages, they don’t prove that the contractor actually paid the bill or if it’s up-to-date. If your tree removal pro cannot provide a current insurance certificate, call the insurance company to see if their policy is still in effect.

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