For landscaping professionals, ensuring you have the right insurance coverage is essential to protect your business against the unique risks associated with this industry. Landscaping work involves various activities that can lead to accidents or property damage, such as using heavy equipment, handling plants and materials, and working on diverse terrain. To mitigate these risks, a comprehensive insurance plan is vital.

This guide on Landscaper Insurance provides detailed information on the key insurance policies relevant to landscapers. It includes insights on cost expectations and advice on how to manage your insurance expenses effectively. Our analysis is based on an extensive review of 770 insurance quotes specifically for landscapers, gathered from top providers across the United States.

We also offer specialized resources focusing on the primary coverages that are crucial for landscapers, including General Liability Insurance for Landscapers and Workers Compensation Insurance for Landscapers. Additionally, to offer more specific insights, we have developed state-specific guides for all 50 states. These guides contain local rate information and regulatory requirements. These resources are designed to give landscapers a thorough understanding of the insurance market, helping you make well-informed decisions to safeguard your landscaping business.

For a comprehensive overview of insurance for contractors and artisan trades, refer to our Complete Guide to Insurance for Contractors.

What Insurance do Landscapers Need?

For landscaping businesses embarking on their journey, it’s typically advisable to start with lower insurance limits. As your company matures, accumulating more employees and vehicles, a more robust insurance coverage becomes necessary. Here’s a guideline for minimum insurance limits, segmented by annual revenue brackets:

For Annual Revenue Less Than $150,000:

  • General Liability Insurance: Recommended at $1 million per occurrence and $2 million in total (aggregate). Opting for lower limits is not advised.
  • Workers’ Compensation: Follow statutory limits, applicable if you employ staff.
  • Inland Marine Insurance: A coverage of at least $10,000 is suggested to protect tools and equipment.

For Annual Revenue Around $500,000:

  • General Liability Insurance: Maintain coverage at $1 million per occurrence with a $2 million aggregate.
  • Workers’ Compensation: Continue adhering to statutory limits.
  • Inland Marine Insurance: Increase coverage to $25,000.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance: Opt for a minimum of $300,000 liability coverage per accident, though higher limits may be beneficial.

For Annual Revenue Exceeding $1,000,000:

  • General Liability Insurance: A standard coverage is $1 million per occurrence with a $2 million aggregate. Consider increasing to $2 million per occurrence / $4 million aggregate for enhanced protection.
  • Workers’ Compensation: Statutory limits remain applicable.
  • Inland Marine Insurance: Raise coverage to $50,000.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance: It’s prudent to have at least $1 million in liability coverage per accident.
  • Umbrella Insurance: A minimum of $1 million per occurrence and in aggregate is recommended for additional security.

Remember, these are foundational guidelines and your specific business needs may warrant adjustments. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your coverage with the growth and changes in your business is key to ensuring adequate protection.

General Liability Insurance for Landscapers

This is the foundational insurance coverage landscaping contractors must have in place. General liability insurance primarily provides protection against third-party claims alleging your services caused bodily injury or property damage on a job site. It will provide legal defense costs and payment for judgements up to your policy limits.

Most landscaping pros should carry at least $1 million per occurrence and $2 million in total or general aggregate limits. For larger companies, limits of $2 million per occurrence and $4 million aggregate are preferable. Premiums often range from 0.5% to 1.75% of revenue for $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate limits.

Typical Landscaper Liability Limits: $1 million per occurrence/$2 million aggregate. Insurance professionals generally recommend at least $1 million in liability coverage. Boosting coverage from $500k to $1M marginally impacts premiums but substantially raises your protection.

Typical Landscaper Liability Premiums: 0.5% to 1.75% of annual revenue

Key factors impacting your Landscaper Liability premiums:

  • Revenue: More revenue means a larger volume of work. This increased exposure raises the likelihood of claims and is reflected in higher premiums.
  • Policy Limits: Certain projects or contracts might need extra liability coverage, raising your costs. But incorporating these expenses into your rates helps offset the added premiums.
  • Claims History: Like auto insurance, frequent claims drive premiums up. A clean history keeps landscaper GL insurance affordable.
  • Location: Stringent regulations in your state can increase oversight and push up premiums.
  • Services: Various landscaping services present distinct risks, each of which can influence the insurance premiums in a unique manner. These risks must be evaluated and understood, as they play a significant role in determining the cost of coverage.

Here are sample GL premiums for landscapers by state and revenues:

State$150K Revenue$500K Revenue$1M Revenue
New York$9,600$25,400$56,500
North Carolina$1,200$2,900$5,900
Average Landscaper Liability Premium by Revenue and State

Here are favorable General Liability premiums for landscapers as well as potential savings calculated off the average premiums above:

State$150K Revenue$500K Revenue$1M Revenue
Favorable RateImplied SavingsFavorable RateImplied SavingsFavorable RateImplied Savings
New York$5,50043%$9,60062%$15,40073%
North Carolina$64047%$1,07463%$2,13864%
Favorable Landscaper Liability Premiums and Potential Savings Calculated from Average Premiums

Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Landscapers

If your landscaping business employs any W2 workers, workers compensation insurance is mandatory in nearly every state. Workers’ comp insurance covers employee injuries or illnesses suffered on the job. Premiums hinge on the risk of your staff’s responsibilities, grouped into class codes by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). With over 600 codes, this helps insurers accurately categorize and price policies. Landscapers mainly use codes 0042, with rates ranging from $2.00 to $4.33 per $100 of payroll per year for each worker.

WC Limits for Landscapers: State-dependent. Workers’ comp policies typically have unlimited benefits. However, limits can vary based on state rules.

WC Rates for Landscapers: $2.00 to $4.33 per $100 of payroll

Key factors impacting landscaper workers’ comp premium:

  • Class Codes: Employees are grouped by job type and risk level. More hazardous roles equal higher premiums. Landscapers mainly use code 0042.
  • State: Each state governs workers’ comp regulations including benefits, claims processes, and baseline insurance rates. The cost of living and medical care also cause geographic variances in premiums.
  • Experience Modifier: This figure represents your safety record. It begins at 1.0, then adjusts up or down based on your claims history. More incidents drive the modifier and premiums up.
  • Payroll Amount: A key factor is gross payroll, calculated as payroll / $100 * rate * experience modifier. Higher payroll increases premiums.

Most and least expensive states for Plumber’s Workers Compensation Insurance:

StatePremium per $100K Payroll
New Jersey$8,700
New York$4,500
Most Expensive WC Premium States for Plumbers

StatePremium per $100K Payroll
North Dakota$1,500
West Virginia$1,500
Least Expensive WC Premium States for Plumbers

Commercial Auto Insurance

This covers vehicles used for business purposes in case of an accident. For landscapers, premiums range from $2,000 to $4,500 per vehicle annually.

Typical Policy Limits: $100k/$300k/$100k

Each state mandates minimum auto insurance requirements. But higher limits are often recommended for full protection. Also, landscapers may need additional coverage for expensive equipment transported on trucks and trailers. Consult an insurance expert for guidance on appropriate limits.

Typical Premium: $2,000 to $4,500 per vehicle

Factors impacting your commercial auto premium:

  • Number of Vehicles: More vehicles equal greater chances for accidents. Additional vehicles mean higher premiums.
  • Vehicle Type: Larger vehicles like dump trucks have greater damage potential. This results in higher premium costs.
  • Driving Records: Drivers with prior accidents or citations may increase your premium.

Surety Bonds

Surety bonds are essential for landscaping contractors, as they provide a guarantee that you’ll meet your contractual obligations. The required bond amount differs across states and local areas, usually ranging between $5,000 and $25,000, though it can be higher. Instead of the full amount, you typically pay a fraction, about 1% to 5%, as a bond premium. For instance, California mandates a $25,000 contractor bond for landscapers, but Texas doesn’t have a statewide requirement. Yet, many Texas locales have their own bonding rules. It’s crucial for you to check and adhere to the bond requirements in each area you operate. This compliance not only upholds professionalism and reliability but also enhances customer trust and satisfaction – key elements for growing your business.

Key factors that determine your bond premium include:

  • Bond amount: The higher the bond amount, the higher the cost.
  • Your credit score: A lower score might indicate a higher risk of default, leading to an increase in your premium.

Illustration of bond premium by amount and credit score:

Bond AmountExcellent CreditGood CreditBad Credit
$5,000$100 – $150$150 – $200$200 – $400
$10,000$100 – $300$300 – $500$500 – $1,000
$15,000$150 – $400$400 – $750$750 – $1,500
$20,000$180 – $500$500 – $1,000$1,000 – $2,000
$25,000$200 – $500$500 – $1,200$1,200 – $2,500

Inland Marine (Equipment) Insurance

This covers your tools and equipment on job sites and in transit. For landscapers, annual premiums often range from $1,000 to $3,000 or more.

Typical Policy Limits: $10k to $100k

Policies have per-item limits in addition to overall coverage limits. For instance, a $100k policy might have a $5k per item cap. Ensure your limit adequately covers your equipment’s value. Gear valued over $10k requires inland marine insurance.

Typical Premium: $1,000 to $3,000+ per year

Factors impacting your inland marine premium:

  • Equipment Value: Higher value equipment raises potential payouts from insurers, increasing premiums.
  • Risk Environment: Equipment used in high-crime locations may have higher premiums.

Additional Insurance for Landscapers to Consider

Beyond the core insurance policies above, some landscaping contractors may benefit from these following coverage options for further protection:

Commercial Property Insurance

This protects buildings, offices, warehouses, and other business property against damage from vandalism, fire, theft, storms, and more. For landscapers, annual premiums often range from $1,000 to $7,500 or more.

Typical Policy Limits: Based on property value

Typical Premium: $1,000 to $7,500+ per year

Your commercial property premium is influenced by:

  • Property Value: More expensive properties lead to higher premiums because of greater potential payouts.
  • Location: Properties in areas prone to natural disasters or high crime will likely have elevated premiums.
  • Construction Type: Buildings featuring fire-resistant materials may qualify for discounts.

Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions) Insurance

E&O insurance shields against financial loss from professional mistakes, negligence claims, or failing to deliver contracted services. It covers legal fees, settlements, and judgments. Most contractors secure E&O coverage, though it’s typically not legally required. For landscapers, annual premiums range from $750 to $2,500+.

Typical Policy Limits: $250k to $1M

Typical Premium: $750 to $2,500 per year

Factors impacting your E&O insurance premium:

  • Services Performed: High-risk services typically warrant higher premiums than routine lawn care.
  • Revenue: Landscapers generating more revenue are viewed as larger targets for lawsuits. This leads to higher premiums.
  • Claims History: Frequent past claims will likely drive your premiums upward.

Umbrella Liability Insurance

This provides extra liability coverage beyond your other policies’ limits. For an additional $1 million in protection, landscapers typically pay $750 to $1,500 in annual premiums. Businesses deemed high-risk may pay more.

Typical Policy Limits: $1M ($2M or more for larger firms)

Typical Premium: $750 to $1,500 per year

Your umbrella insurance costs depend on:

  • Business Size: Larger businesses have greater risks and claim potential, warranting higher premiums.
  • Services Performed: Specialized or dangerous work (like tree removal) may increase costs.
  • Location: Local laws, risks, and cost of living impact pricing.
  • Coverage Limits: Your other policies’ limits affect the umbrella insurance cost.
  • Claims History: Frequent past claims mean higher umbrella premiums.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) protects businesses from employment-related lawsuits alleging discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, and other employee claims. For landscapers, annual EPLI premiums often range from $2,000 to $7,000+ depending on staff size and other risk factors.

Typical Policy Limits: $100k to $1M

Typical Premium: $2,000 to $7,000+ per year

Variables impacting your EPLI insurance premiums:

  • Number of Employees: More employees increase exposure to potential claims.
  • Revenue: Higher revenues equate to larger payrolls and greater risks.
  • Claims History: Past EPLI claims drive premiums upward.
  • Industry Risk: Landscaping is lower-risk than sectors like financial services.
  • State Laws: State regulations like wrongful termination rules influence costs.

Cyber Liability Insurance

Cyber liability insurance is crucial for landscapers using technology to run their business. It protects against data breaches, hacking, and electronic theft. For small to mid-sized landscaping companies, annual premiums range from $500 to $2,000.

Typical Policy Limits: $100k to $1M

Typical Premium: $500 to $2,000 per year

Factors impacting your cyber insurance costs:

  • Revenue: Higher revenue businesses have more customer data and appear more lucrative to hackers.
  • IT Infrastructure: Strength of firewalls, encryption, and security affect premiums.
  • Data Type: Sensitive client data like SSNs may increase costs.
  • Industry: Landscaping poses lower cyber risks than sectors like healthcare.

Pollution Liability Insurance

Pollution liability insurance covers property damage, bodily injury, and cleanup costs caused by exposure to hazardous materials used in landscaping like pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. For small to mid-size landscapers, annual premiums range from $750 to $2,500 or more depending on chemicals used and coverage limits.

Typical Policy Limits: $50k to $1M

Typical Premium: $750 to $2,500+ per year

Factors impacting pollution liability insurance costs:

  • Chemical Use: Frequent use of hazardous chemicals increases risks and premiums.
  • Coverage Limits: Higher limits mean greater potential payouts for insurers, raising premiums.
  • Claims History: Past pollution-related claims drive costs upward.
  • Revenue: Larger companies perceived to have greater exposures pay more.
  • Risk Management: Advanced chemical handling and storage procedures help lower premiums.

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)

A BOP bundles general liability, commercial property, and inland marine into one policy, simplifying insurance for qualifying small businesses like many landscapers. Premium discounts are often available with BOPs. Expect annual premiums ranging from $2,000 to $10,000+ depending on your coverage limits and business characteristics.

Typical Policy Limits: GL – $500k to $1M per occurrence/aggregate; Property – $100k to $1M; Inland Marine – $10k to $50k

Typical Premium: $2,000 to $10,000+ per year

Variables influencing your BOP premiums:

  • Revenue: Higher revenues increase risks across all coverages.
  • Claims History: Frequent past claims raise premiums.
  • Location: Areas prone to natural disasters or crime lead to higher premiums.
  • Number of Vehicles/Equipment Value: More or higher value equipment covered boosts premiums.
  • Coverage Limits: Higher limits mean larger potential payouts for insurers.

Total Cost of Landscaper Insurance Programs

Your insurance costs will evolve as your business grows. Key factors like staff size, years in business, and revenue impact your coverage needs and premiums. Fledgling operations with few employees and equipment have modest insurance needs. But as you take on more complex projects, hire staff, accumulate assets, and generate more revenue, your policies and premiums will expand.

A major factor is your claims history. The longer you operate without claims, the more affordable your insurance. Conversely, frequent claims lead to higher premiums. Keep this in mind when evaluating your insurance needs.

Here’s a summary of sample landscapers, typical insurance policies, and illustrative premiums. Remember every business is unique, so consult an insurance broker familiar with your specific risks. There are carriers that specialize in landscapers. Partnering with a broker grants access to suitable carriers, enabling a tailored insurance program. We strongly advise working with an expert who can access the right markets and build an insurance portfolio protecting your landscaping operation.

Busineess Type:Coverage and Limit Assumptions:Total Cost of Insurance:
Sole Prop Landscaper
$150K Revenue
General Liability (GL) || $1M per occurrence / $2M total
Commercial Auto || $100K/$300K/$100K
Inland Marine || $10K
Landscaping Business
2-3 Employees
$500K Revenue
General Liability (GL) || $1M per occurrence / $2M total
Workers’ Compensation || *Required
Commercial Auto || $100K/$300K/$100K
Inland Marine || $25K
Surety Bond || $25K
Commercial Property || *Varies
Landscaping Business
5-7 Employees
$1M Revenue
General Liability (GL) || $1M per occurrence / $2M total
Workers’ Compensation || *Required
Commercial Auto || $100K/$300K/$100K
Inland Marine || $50K
Surety Bond || $25K
Commercial Property || *Varies
Umbrella || $1M

Why Insure Your Landscaping Business With ContractorNerd?

At ContractorNerd, we understand the unique challenges and risks faced by landscaping professionals. That’s why we’ve dedicated ourselves to providing comprehensive, efficient insurance solutions tailored specifically to meet the needs of the landscaping industry. Our approach is informed by an extensive analysis of over 770 insurance quotes specific to landscapers, combined with detailed, state-specific guides. This ensures that we offer you the most relevant and competitive insurance options available.

Our expertise isn’t limited to just providing quotes. We specialize in key areas such as general liability, workers’ compensation, and commercial auto insurance, ensuring that your business is safeguarded against the specific risks it faces. But what truly sets ContractorNerd apart is our commitment to personalized service. We strive to make the insurance process as simple and straightforward as possible, connecting you with top-rated carriers to secure high-quality coverage at competitive rates.

When you choose ContractorNerd, you’re not just selecting an insurance provider; you’re partnering with a team that is deeply knowledgeable and genuinely dedicated to the landscaping industry. We take the time to understand your business’s unique needs, guiding you through the insurance landscape to find the perfect fit for your requirements. Our goal is to give you peace of mind, allowing you to focus on what you do best – growing your landscaping business. Reach out to us at ContractorNerd, and let us help you safeguard your business with the right insurance solutions.