Tree contractors should carry general liability insurance and workers' compensation to protect people and property from unexpected damage or issues
Whether you’re ready to stop spending the weekend trimming dead branches, or it’s finally time to get that unhealthy oak tree removed, there are many benefits to outsourcing regular tree service to a professional. Many homeowners will opt to get several quotes before making a decision about which tree care company to hire.
When vetting different contractors, it’s important to ask about insurance coverage. Learn tree service insurance requirements to ensure you’re covered at all times.
What Are the Insurance Requirements for Tree Services?
Tree service is a job that comes with a good deal of risk for workers, who must maneuver around power lines, tackle fallen tree branches, and work with heavy equipment. That’s why it’s a good idea to leave these tasks to the professionals and hire outside contractors.
As such, you’ll need to consider what’s important when hiring a tree service, and take the time to do a little research. Contracting a company without insurance can mean that any damage or accidents that occur on your property are your responsibility. This can also leave you vulnerable to lawsuits.
Some tree contractors may operate a business without any insurance at all, so it’s crucial you properly vet them before hiring. Look for a tree company or contractor with both general liability and workers’ compensation insurance, at minimum.
Types of Insurance Coverage for Tree Service Contractors
A pro can keep your yard looking picture-perfect year-round. But before that can happen, use these tips to find the best tree service company for your needs. Your tree service company should have both general liability and workers’ compensation insurance, but there are a couple other options that would also be great for them to have.
Don’t assume that a tree service company that says they’re insured has the proper coverage. There are several different types of insurance that help cover a variety of potential situations. Having the right insurance policies in place helps mitigate the risks when hiring a contractor for any type of tree removal, trimming, or other maintenance.
Since some companies may not have any insurance, decide what your tree service insurance requirements are and then ask for proof that they carry them. Here’s a look at the various types of insurance for tree service contractors.
General Liability Insurance
General liability coverage is a broad insurance that protects both the homeowner and the tree business in the instance of an accident or damages. If bodily injury or property damage occurs during the course of the work, a general liability policy will offer protection in the case of a lawsuit.
Professional Liability Insurance
Professional liability insurance offers coverage in instances where a tree care professional provided false information or bad advice. This type of policy is also known as Errors & Omissions, and it’s recommended that tree service companies carry this type of policy to protect against any disputes over potential negligence.
Inland Marine Insurance
Although the name sounds nautical, inland marine insurance refers to land-based equipment that tree companies use. This type of coverage protects the tools and supplies that may be transported from the business premises to a job site. This could include the theft, damage, or loss of chainsaws, ladders, stump grinders, tablets, and computers.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Work-related injuries are some of the most costly claims, so carrying comprehensive workers’ compensation coverage is essential for any tree service business. As a homeowner, you accept the potential liabilities for any accidents or damage that may occur on your property, and this coverage protects you as well. No matter how large or small the tree service is, every employee needs to be protected with adequate workers’ comp insurance.
Request a Certificate of Insurance
Any reputable business will have no problem sharing their certificates of insurance, so don’t be afraid to ask! Tree removal can be dangerous work, and double-checking for proper tree insurance coverage will help protect everyone. Before hiring a tree service professional, request copies of their policy documents and hold off on entering into a contract until you’ve had a chance to review them.
Hire a Tree Service Business You Trust
As with most large projects, it’s a good idea to bring a few different companies out to evaluate and provide quotes. Be sure to ask the representative what kind of training their tree crews have, and how they maintain a safe environment for both the workers and the property owners.
Decide what your insurance requirements are for tree service companies and ask them to confirm they carry those types. Search online to find great local tree service contractors, read reviews, and find exactly the right business for your needs.