Landscape gardeners are no different to other types of business in the sense that they need insurance to protect their businesses against unexpected losses.
The core covers in a landscape gardener’s insurance package are public and products liability insurance and legal expenses insurance. There are a range of other insurance covers that can be added to the package to protect you against other risks.
Public & products liability insurance
Public liability insurance protect you if a compensation claim is made against you by a member of the public who alleges something you have done or failed to do has resulted in them being injured or their property being damaged. As well as covering any compensation awarded, any associated costs and legal fees are also covered. Your insurer will also help you deal with any compensation claims so you wouldn’t need to worry about complex legal arguments.
Products liability insurance is similar, but covers compensation claims arising out of defects in any products that you sell or supply.
It’s important to ensure that you have financial loss cover, because standard public and products liability insurance only covers compensation claims involving injuries or damage and doesn’t cover claims for purely economic losses.
Legal expenses insurance
Legal expenses insurance covers you if you find yourself involved in legal action. It covers a number of different types of legal action, including criminal charges being brought against you, finding yourself in a dispute with a client or a neighbour, being subject to a tax or VAT inspection, or getting involved in an employment tribunal.
As well as covering your legal expenses – which can be – your legal expenses insurer will also help you deal with the legal action.
Property insurance covers your business premises and its contents against accidental damage or losses due to theft. You can also insure your tools against damage or theft.
If you are working on larger projects, it’s also worth considering a contract works insurance policy. This protects the work in progress as well as any materials on site. Temporary buildings and any hired-in equipment are also covered by a contract works insurance policy.
Professional indemnity insurance
Public liability insurance covers you if a problem with the design of one of the gardens you have landscaped results in a compensation claim being made against you, but it doesn’t cover you if you supplied the design but didn’t implement it as it doesn’t cover professional negligence. As such, if you are supplying designs as a stand-alone service, you should have professional indemnity insurance to protect you.
Like public liability insurance, as well as covering any compensation awarded against you, professional indemnity also covert he associated costs and any legal fees that you incur. Your professional indemnity insurer will also handle the claim on your behalf.
Employer’s liability insurance
If you operate as a one-man band you won’t need this type of insurance, but if you employ anyone, it’s a legal requirement to have employer’s liability insurance and there are severe penalties if you are caught trading without it.
This type of insurance covers you if an employee claims compensation from you because they believe they have been injured as a result of something you’ve done or failed to do. Like public and products liability insurance, as well as the amount of compensation awarded any associated costs and expenses are covered. The legal fees are also covered and your insurer will handle the claim on your behalf.
Personal accident & sickness insurance
Personal accident and sickness insurance protects your income if you are unable to work because you have been injured or are ill. This means you don’t have to worry about how you’ll cover your monthly bills and can concentrate on your recovery.
It pays a weekly benefit if you are temporarily incapacitated or a lump sum if you are permanently incapacitated. A lump sum if also payable in the event of certain injuries such as the loss of a limb or an eye, or in the event of your death.