Professional tree care is essential for many homeowners and property owners. While most people don’t actively think about it, tree accidents and bad weather can have disastrous consequences that necessitate professional tree care. A reputable tree care provider can make a huge difference, ensuring that a fallen tree trunk is quickly and safely removed from your property.
Choosing the right tree care professional should always be a priority for anyone with a tree project. Among the many qualities of a reputable tree care professional, having good insurance coverage is one of them.
Benefits of Choosing an Insured Tree Care Service
1) Protection and Assurances
Tree care can be a very dangerous endeavor, not only for the workers but also for anyone in the immediate vicinity where tree removal is happening. Insurance provides assurances to any injured parties that they can be taken care of. For example, a worker that ends up hospitalized due to injuries sustained in the process of cutting down a tree can expect some compensation to help take care of their medical bills. Similarly, a homeowner or passer-by that sustains damage to their car due to a falling branch can get expect a fair settlement.
As the proprietor of a tree care business, you can rest assured that unfortunate events like a fire outbreak will not bring your business down. The right insurance protects you against such eventualities.
As a potential client, a tree care business that has all the right insurance policies means you won’t have to worry about getting caught up in legal battles due to workers getting injured while attending to a tree on your property.
2) It Proves That a Tree Care Business is Legitimate
There are numerous conmen that set up dubious tree care operations in order to get quick money from unsuspecting clients. Hiring an insured tree care business helps avoid such shady operations. A con man is unlikely to go through the trouble of spending money on purchasing insurance coverage for his tree business if he is only in it for the quick money.
3) Fending Off Frivolous Lawsuits
In today’s litigious society, many people are looking to make a quick buck. If suing someone for a small infraction presents the possibility of a payout, they’ll take it. Given the occasional risk associated with tree care, you can find yourself being named in a lawsuit if someone’s property is damaged. Say you hire an uninsured tree care professional to cut down a large tree at the fence line with your neighbor. If the tree trunk falls into your neighbor’s yard and damages things, you could be the target of a lawsuit. Your neighbor’s lawyer could cite negligence on your part in knowingly hiring a tree care professional with no insurance coverage. While such a lawsuit may amount to nothing, the time and effort that go into it can be wasteful.
Types of Insurance for Tree Care Professionals
Among the many things required in the tree care business, good insurance is one of them. Whether you’re working as a solo tree care professional or are part of a company, decent insurance is essential.
The following are the essential types of insurance policies for tree care professionals:
I) General Liability Insurance: Having a tree care business means you run the risk of causing damage while on the job. While rare, some homeowners are quite litigious. Say your tree care business is contracted for a job at a private residence. During the course of the job, one of your workers damages a wall during the removal of a tree trunk. The homeowner may choose to sue your tree care business. General liability insurance comes in handy in such situations.
ii) Professional Liability Insurance: This is also known as errors and omissions (E & O). This is similar to the kind of malpractice insurance that other professionals like doctors pay. It covers your tree care business in case of a lawsuit. For example, if your company gave poor tree care advice, a client can sue your tree care business. E & O covers such claims.
iii) Property Insurance: Your tree care business will have equipment like wood chippers, axes, chainsaws, and other implements. All these will need to be housed somewhere. If damage occurs to any of these pieces of equipment or the warehouse where you store them, property insurance will ensure that your tree care business is not back to square one.
iv) Commercial Auto Insurance: This type of coverage is very similar to a regular auto insurance policy. However, it is solely for protecting your tree car business vehicles like trucks and vans. It also extends to the drivers you hire for the business.
v) Inland Marine Insurance: While the name can be misleading, inland marine insurance has nothing to do with sea life. Instead, it simply refers to the kind of insurance that provides coverage for equipment. Although it’s similar to property insurance, it does not include things like warehouses. It only covers things like tools of the trade. For instance, if you stopped for a snack at a diner while on the way to a job site and some tree care tools were stolen from your truck, inland marine insurance covers such losses.
v) Worker’s Compensation Insurance: This type of insurance coverage, commonly known as worker’s comp, is there to cover any costs associated with workers getting sick or injured on the job. It is mandatory in nearly every jurisdiction. However, sometimes the tree care business proprietor may be given discretion as to whether to have it or not. Some states only require worker’s comp when there is a minimum number of full-time employees on a company’s payroll.
If any employee chooses to take legal action against their tree care company, this kind of insurance will help to foot the legal bills of the employer and settle any compensation claims.
Ultimately, insured tree care professional is will give you peace of mind, knowing that you won’t have to worry about a lawsuit. Additionally, an insured tree care company means they are reliable and professional.