How Insurance Protects Arborists

How Insurance Protects Arborists

September 21, 2023 / 5 mins read

Your work as an arborist can be dangerous and there’s always the risk of accidents and injuries when you’re cutting and trimming trees, shrubs, and plants.

Arborist insurance will protect your business whether you run a large tree service company or you are an independent arborist.

Does your tree service company serve clients in Edmonton or the surrounding area?

Wherever your arborist or tree removal business is located in Edmonton, your Western Financial Group business insurance expert will give you top-notch insurance advice and ways to save on insurance for your tree service.

Why do I need arborist’s insurance?

As an arborist, you can spend a lot of time climbing a tree, using a ladder, working in an aerial lift while using a chainsaw or power tool to cut, trim, or shape all kinds of branches, big and small. A branch could fall by chance and hit a pedestrian or damage a nearby vehicle.

You work at heights and with heavy equipment such as aerial lifts that can lead to accidents and property damage.

A lawsuit or an accident can damage the reputation of your tree removal or tree care service.

When you can show proof of valid insurance you will give your customers confidence in your tree care service.

You need an arborist insurance package to protect you from these risks.

Arborist, or tree cutting and removal insurance, can help protect you from these 3 common claims:

1. You recommend against removing a tree but a few days later, the tree falls on your client’s roof and the client sues you. Professional liability insurance could help pay for legal fees and the cost of repairs to the client’s roof.

2. You are trimming branches from a tree and one of them falls on a parked car and damages it. Commercial general liability insurance could help you cover the repair costs to the parked car.

3. Your computer system is hacked and your clients’ credit card information and personal information is compromised. Cyber liability insurance will help cover the cost of restoring your system and can help pay for notification expenses to inform your customers affected by the breach.

Here’s an insurance checklist for arborists:

  • Do you have the best business insurance rate that suits your Edmonton tree care service?
  • Do you have the right amount for your deductible and regularly review it to make sure it’s the right amount for your business?
  • Do you know the value of your equipment and tools and are they properly insured?
  • Are you or your employees using personal vehicles for your work?

At Western, we are business insurance experts. We will save you time and money by doing the insurance shopping for you to find the right package at the right value for your arborist or tree care service.

What’s in an insurance package for an arborist?

Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance

CGL insurance helps protect you against claims alleging third-party bodily injuries, such as a client/passerby getting injured as you are doing tree cutting work.

It can also help protect you against third-party property damage such damaging property while you are doing tree removal or tree cutting work at a client’s home or business.

It also helps protect you against allegations of false advertising, and libel or slander.

Without commercial general liability insurance, you would be responsible for paying any legal costs and settlements out of your own pocket.

It wouldn’t be uncommon for you to have $2 million of CGL insurance and more depending on the size of your Edmonton tree service business.

Professional liability insurance

It’s also known as errors and omission (E&0) insurance.

If you are faced with a lawsuit as an arborist, professional liability insurance can help protect you against loss in the event of a lawsuit due to a negligent act, or an error or omission in the course of your services to a client.

In addition to claims of error, omission, or negligence, E and O can also protect against slander, libel, and breach of contract.

Some of the most common E & O situations that arborists may face include:

  • Tree removal projects that are not completed according to the contract with a client, such as being over budget
  • Tree removal not finished on time; tree stumps not removed
  • Bad advice on tree removal; negligence in your work

It helps cover legal defence costs and settlement costs.

Tools and equipment insurance

Without tools and equipment insurance, you would be taking a risk as an arborist because of what is required in your field.

This type of insurance replaces, or repairs damaged, stolen, or lost equipment and tools, accessories, or other property that you use in your tree care business.

Anything valued at less than $1,500 is considered a tool and anything above that limit is considered equipment.

This type of insurance can also be called equipment floater insurance instead of tools and equipment insurance.

Cyber liability insurance

Small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Do you keep client information online and take online payments? If so, your Edmonton arborist business could be hacked by cyberthieves.

Without cyber insurance, you will have to pay out of your pocket for the cost of restoring your system. You may also be liable for damages to third parties whose information has been stolen and you may have to pay for notification expenses to inform customers affected by a breach.

Pollution liability insurance

As a tree removal company owner or independent arborist, you need to protect your business from risks associated with pollution while on the job. Pollution liability insurance covers third-party bodily injury and property damage and environmental damage at a property where you’re working. It helps with clean-up costs, fines, and emergency response expenses.

Commercial property insurance

Commercial property insurance keeps your tree care service company protected from property losses, such as theft or vandalism.

You can also add earthquake insurance, sewer backup or flood coverage extensions to protect your arborist business.

Property you may need to insure:

  • Buildings and other structures
  • Furniture, equipment, supplies
  • Computers
  • Documents such as payroll, accounts receivable

Business interruption insurance

This type of insurance usually covers vandalism, fire, wind, flooding, and other risks (make sure to understand what your policy covers). Your policy will help compensate you for lost income and expenses that you will need to continue paying even while you are unable to work.

Business interruption insurance can mean the difference between your arborist business closing and not reopening.

If there is an insured loss at your arborist company that’s severe enough to prevent it from being open, the expenses associated with getting your business running again will be covered.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Personal car insurance does not cover your business. The vehicles your tree service business uses need to be protected by a commercial auto policy against third-party liability and property damage.

Commercial auto coverage protects cars, trucks, vans, trailers, and any vehicle that’s used to transport materials, tools and equipment, packaged goods, or people.

How much insurance do I need as an arborist?

It will depend on the size of your business and any past claims.

Ask your Western business insurance expert to determine the right level of coverage for you in this field so that your business is protected.

What do I do if my tree care business has an insurance claim?

  • Contact your broker immediately after any business-related mishap. Waiting to file a claim can confuse insurers about the severity of the damages to your business.
  • Know your policy so that when you contact your broker you are familiar with what will be covered or not.
  • Document the damage. Take photos right away and write down what happened.
  • Do not throw away damaged goods after taking photos. Keep the physical evidence so that your adjustor can see it.
  • Do not invite lawsuits. Don’t say anything that could be used against you, especially if you aren’t sure what happened.
  • Be honest about what your damaged property is worth. Damaged commercial property is generally valued according to its actual cash value or replacement value.

Western Insurance has licensed BUSINESS INSURANCE EXPERTS to get your Edmonton arborist or tree care business the right insurance package. Our experts are available now to help you navigate the business insurance journey to protect your arborist company.

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