Gardening businesses range from small, one-man, home-based operations to larger businesses that trade from their own business premises and have a number of employees.
The one thing they all have in common is the fact that they face risks that could result in unexpected losses. They all need gardener’s insurance to protect them against these risks.
The risks can be broken down into a number of areas:
- The risk of damage of loss to the business property
- The risk of a compensation claim being made against the business
- The risk of the business becoming involved in legal action
- The risk of loss of income due to injury or illness
Damage or loss to business property
If you’re a small, home-based operation, sometimes it’s not worth insuring your business property. It’s worth adding up the value of your property, though, because sometimes when you include the office equipment you use to manage your business and communicate with your clients, the total value can be surprising. Also, note that in this situation, your office equipment might not be covered by your household insurance.
If you’re a larger business operating from your own business premises, you’ll definitely need insurance against accidental damage to your business property or loss of that property due to theft.
Compensation claims can be expensive to settle. A serious injury could result in a compensation award in excess of £250,000 and there could also be a claim for loss of wages if the claimant was unable to work as a result of their injury and other associated expenses.
Liability insurance covers this type of claim. In addition, the liability insurer will handle the claim on your behalf so you don’t need to worry about dealing with solicitors and potentially complex legal arguments. Your liability insurance also covers any legal fees if a compensation claim is made against you.
Employer’s liability insurance is a legal requirement if you employ anyone, even if you only employ people on a temporary or casual basis. It covers compensation claims made against you by your employees.
Public liability insurance is similar, although it covers compensation claims made against you by members of the public and other third parties. Public liability insurance isn’t required by law, but it may be a contractual condition that you have it so without it, you can be restricted in terms of what work you are able to accept. Public liability insurance usually comes with products liability insurance which covers compensation claims arising from defects in products that you have sold or supplied.
If you are supplying garden designs as stand-alone designs and aren’t doing the gardening work yourself, you will also need professional indemnity insurance which covers you against compensation claims due to any errors and omissions in the designs that you have supplied.
A business can become involved in legal action for a number of reasons such as:
- Criminal charges being brought against it
- Employment tribunals
- Disputes with clients or neighbours
- Tax/VAT inspections
All of these can result in unexpected legal costs and often these legal costs can be substantial. Legal expenses insurance protects you against unexpected legal costs, and your legal expenses insurer will help you deal with any legal action.
Protecting your income
Often, if you’re unable to work because you’ve been injured or you’re ill, you’re unable to earn. But your bills still need to be paid at the end of each and every month.
Personal accident and sickness insurance protects your income in this scenario by paying a weekly benefit while you’re unable to work. If you will be permanently incapacitated, it pays a lump sum instead. A lump sum is also payable if you die, or in certain circumstances such as if you lose an eye or a limb.