For landscapers in Colorado, crafting beautiful landscapes is both an art and science. But running a successful landscaping business involves more than planting trees and mowing lawns. It requires protecting your company, employees, equipment, and reputation from unforeseen risks. A critical safeguard is proper insurance tailored for landscapers. This comprehensive guide will uncover typical insurance costs for Colorado landscaping contractors based on business size, highlight key factors influencing premiums, provide insights on additional coverages beyond the basics, and offer guidance on getting the right policies to fit your operation’s specific needs and evolving risks.

Landscapers working in Colorado need to have the appropriate insurance for landscaping in place. This typically includes liability insurance for landscapers to safeguard against third-party claims and workers’ comp for landscaping companies to cover employee injuries sustained while working.

Key Statistics about Landscapers in Colorado

  • There are over 9,000 landscaping companies in Colorado, generating around $2 billion in annual service revenues.

  • The industry employs approximately 45,000 workers in the state. This includes over 35,000 landscaping and groundskeeping laborers earning a median salary of $33,000. There are also over 10,000 first-line supervisors managing crews and operations with a median salary of $59,000.

  • Major metropolitan regions generating significant demand for landscaping services are Denver, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, and Boulder.

  • Common services offered by Colorado landscaping companies include basic lawn care, hardscaping like retaining walls and patios, irrigation system installation, snow removal, tree care services, and seasonal plantings.

  • Leading trade associations providing resources, training, and advocacy for Colorado landscapers are the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC) and Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) Rocky Mountain Chapter.

Key Factors Influencing Insurance Costs

There are several important variables that determine insurance premiums for landscapers in Colorado:

  • Location: Insurance rates for certain coverages like workers’ compensation are regulated at the state level and vary across Colorado based on regional risk levels. More populated urban areas like Denver generally have higher premium factors than rural regions.

  • Services Offered: Specialized higher-risk services like tree removal, snow plowing, or frequent use of hazardous chemicals can increase a landscaper’s exposures. This may necessitate specific insurance coverage types and lead to higher premiums. Routine lawn mowing and maintenance services represent lower risks.

  • Annual Revenue: As a general rule, insurance carriers associate larger annual revenues with greater risks. Landscaping companies generating higher gross sales are viewed as more attractive lawsuit targets and as having larger potential loss exposures. Therefore, premiums tend to climb in correlation to rising revenues.

  • Payroll Size: The total annual payroll and number of employees directly impact workers’ compensation premiums. Larger workforces need to be covered for more potential injuries, translating to higher premium costs.

  • Claims History: Too many liability or work comp claims over a 3 to 5 year period will often cause insurance rates to escalate. Maintaining a clean recent loss run helps keep premiums affordable.

  • Equipment Values: The value of tools, vehicles, machinery, and other equipment needing inland marine coverage influences premiums based on the extent of property exposures.

  • Safety Record: Implementing thorough workplace safety protocols helps demonstrate lower risks to insurance carriers. This can contribute to securing lower premiums. Lack of formal safety policies may increase pricing.

Small Landscaping Business Insurance Costs

For landscapers in Colorado with approximately $150,000 in annual revenue, 1 owner operating without payroll, and possibly 1 part-time uninsured subcontractor, typical baseline insurance costs range:

  • General Liability: $1,100 to $2,700 annually
  • Workers’ Compensation: Not required without payroll, but recommended voluntary coverage added for owner can run $1,100 to $1,900
  • Inland Marine Equipment Coverage: $500 to $1,500 based on value of tools/equipment
  • Bonds: Not Required

At this early business stage, many Colorado landscaping companies will carry a basic Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) consisting of:

  • General Liability covering third party bodily injury and property damage claims, with limits of $500,000 per occurrence and $1 million aggregate.

  • Property coverage for basic office equipment and tools generally around $10,000 to $20,000.

  • Inland Marine for necessary vehicles and equipment often with a limit of $10,000.

For this BOP structure, annual premiums commonly run from $2,000 – $4,000 total.

Other key insurance considerations for small landscaping operations:

  • Ensuring General Liability limits are sufficient to cover typical risks. Starting at $500,000 per occurrence is recommended, with higher limits of $1 million as optimal protection.

  • Understanding exclusions like restrictions on coverage for subcontracted work.

  • Discussing any unique client contracts requiring specific insurance coverage limits with your agent.

  • Adding voluntary workers’ compensation coverage for the owner to provide medical and lost wage benefits in case of injury.

Medium Landscaping Business Insurance Costs

For Colorado landscaping companies with approximately $500,000 in annual revenue, 1 owner, and 3 employees on payroll, typical insurance costs are:

  • General Liability: $3,300 to $5,000 annually
  • Workers’ Compensation: $3,200 to $5,300
  • Inland Marine Equipment Coverage: $3,000 to $7,500 based on value of tools/equipment
  • Bonds: Performance bonds may be required for some public sector contracts

At this stage, prudent Colorado landscaping contractors often upgrade to a Commercial Package Policy (CPP) which includes:

  • Expanded General Liability with limits increased to $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate.

  • Larger Property coverage extended to $100,000 for office, garages, storage sheds, fencing, and basic equipment.

  • Increased Inland Marine protection for vehicles, machinery, and tools up to $50,000 to $75,000.

  • Optional Contractor’s Equipment Coverage for heavier machinery like bulldozers and backhoes.

For this CPP structure, annual premiums commonly range from $7,000 – $12,000 in total.

Some other important coverages for a growing landscaping business:

  • Boosting General Liability coverage to $2 million aggregate as project size and risks increase.

  • Adding Employers Liability Coverage to workers’ compensation at higher limits like $500,000 to $1 million.

  • Raising Auto Liability limits for multiple trucks and trailers.

  • Considering Commercial Umbrella Liability above General Liability for extra protection.

Large Landscaping Business Insurance Costs

For larger Colorado landscaping businesses with approximately $1 million in annual revenue, 1 owner, and 5 employees on payroll, typical insurance premiums are:

  • General Liability: $6,000 to $10,400 annually
  • Workers’ Compensation: $5,400 to $8,400
  • Inland Marine Equipment Coverage: $5,000 to $10,000
  • Commercial Auto: $8,000 to $12,000 covering multiple vehicles
  • Bonds: Performance and payment bonds needed for public contracts

More established landscaping contractors frequently utilize a Contractors Package Policy (CPP) providing enhanced General Liability, Property, Inland Marine, Auto, and Umbrella coverage. For a company of this size, annual CPP premiums often range from $15,000 – $25,000 total.

Some additional coverages for larger Colorado landscaping contractors to consider:

  • Commercial Umbrella or Excess Liability above $2 million to increase protection.

  • Professional Liability insurance to guard against errors & omissions in designs or project work.

  • Pollution Liability insurance for pesticide and fertilizer application risks.

  • Cyber Liability as reliance on computer systems and digital data increases.

  • Business Income insurance to cover income loss from covered events.

  • Building Ordinance coverage for property repairs to meet current codes.

Additional Insurance Coverages

Beyond the core General Liability, Commercial Auto, Workers’ Compensation, Inland Marine, and Property coverage, there are other important insurance options landscaping businesses should also consider:

  • Employment Practices Liability (EPLI): Protects against employee lawsuits alleging discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and other employment practices violations. Defense costs and settlements can easily exceed $50,000 making this coverage critical.

  • Commercial Crime: Covers employee theft and fraud which can be substantial risks for landscaping businesses handling cash, credit cards, and valuables. Having Commercial Crime insurance is vital.

  • Hired & Non-Owned Auto Liability: Provides liability protection when employees use personal vehicles on the job. Also covers rental trucks. This fills a gap in commercial auto policies.

  • Contractor’s Pollution Liability: Insures against bodily injury and property damage from pollution events related to pesticide, herbicide, and fertilizer applications.

  • Business Interruption Insurance: Provides reimbursement for income lost if a covered cause of loss like a fire interrupts business operations. This protects revenue streams.

  • Building Ordinance or Law Coverage: Pays for property repairs or reconstruction to meet current building codes after a covered loss. This can be very expensive without coverage.

How Insurers Determine Landscaper Premiums

Insurance carriers utilize several factors to calculate and determine premiums for landscaping contractors:

  • Loss History: Past liability, property, and work comp claims and losses drive pricing significantly. Too many losses leads to dramatically higher premiums.

  • Risk Classifications: Based on services, equipment used, machinery operated, and specific job site exposures, certain classifications denote greater hazards warranting higher premium factors.

  • Geography: Insurance rates for certain lines like workers’ compensation are regulated at the state level. Costs in highly populated urban areas also tend to run higher than rural regions.

  • Financial Metrics: Key financial measures like payroll size, sales revenue, number of employees, and years in business help insurers gauge overall risk exposures. Higher values mean bigger perceived risks and premiums.

  • Limits & Deductibles: More insurance coverage requires greater potential payouts by the carrier, increasing premiums. Choosing higher deductibles lowers premiums.

  • Safety Protocols: Documented safety initiatives including equipment maintenance logs, DMV employee driving record reviews, accident investigation procedures, and training programs help secure discounts. Lack of formal safety can increase pricing.

  • Claims Modifiers: Especially for workers’ compensation, past loss history modifies premiums via an Experience Modifier. Too many losses drive this factor up, greatly increasing premiums.

Getting the Right Insurance for Your Landscaping Business

With countless variables at play impacting costs, landscaping companies need customized insurance coverage tailored to fit their particular operation and evolving risks. Work with an independent agent who specializes in the landscaping industry to build adequate, affordable policies. They have extensive experience with landscaper risks, offer benchmarking data, and provide access to expert carriers with niche programs. A knowledgeable landscaping insurance broker will:

  • Take the time to thoroughly evaluate your specific services, clients, job sites, equipment, vehicles, technology, safety record, and risks to design appropriate coverage.

  • Leverage their industry connections to access specialized landscaping insurance carriers with products unavailable to standard agents.

  • Help structure optimal coverage limits and deductibles to balance premium costs and risk tolerance. Discounts may also be secured.

  • Continually monitor the insurance marketplace for potential savings opportunities as your business grows and changes.

  • Offer insightful risk management guidance to help avoid costly claims and keep employees safe.

Partnering with a dedicated landscaping insurance agent ensures your unique business gets the tailored coverage needed, allowing you to focus on serving clients and building an enduring company.


As Colorado landscaping companies grow in terms of revenue, payroll, clients, and services offered, risk exposures increase substantially. It becomes critical to work with an experienced independent insurance agent to secure suitable policies as the operation evolves. Key considerations are proper General Liability limits, Workers’ Compensation for all employees, adequate Inland Marine coverage for expensive equipment, Commercial Auto coverage for vehicles, and fitting Additional Insurance options like EPLI, Crime, and Cyber policies. Keep premiums affordable through diligent safety programs, optimal risk classifying, choosing ideal limits and deductibles, and maintaining a positive loss control record. With a customized insurance portfolio tailored for landscaping contractors by a specialist, Colorado companies can defend their operations from unforeseen perils and thrive.