For landscapers in Hawaii, crafting breathtaking tropical landscapes is an art form. But running a successful landscaping business in the Aloha State involves more than planting palm trees and pruning shrubs. It requires protecting your company, employees, reputation, and bottom line from unforeseen perils. A key shield against the risks landscaping companies face is proper insurance. This comprehensive guide will uncover estimated insurance costs for Hawaii landscapers based on your business’s size and stage. It also outlines key factors impacting premiums, additional coverages to consider, how insurers calculate prices, and tips for getting the right insurance tailored to your organization’s needs.

Hawaii landscapers must have the right landscaper insurance policies to operate legally in the state. This usually includes general liability protection for landscapers to protect against third-party claims and workers’ compensation coverage for landscaping businesses to cover employee injuries on the job.

Key Statistics about Landscapers in Hawaii

Here are some key statistics about the landscaping industry in Hawaii:

  • There are approximately 7,490 landscapers and groundskeepers employed in Hawaii, according to 2020 data. This represents 12.59 landscaping jobs per 1,000 total jobs in the state.

  • The average annual salary for Hawaii landscapers is $40,680, which is higher than the national average salary of $37,270.

  • The Honolulu metropolitan area employs the most landscapers in Hawaii with around 5,010 jobs. Honolulu has around 6.7 landscaping jobs per 1,000 total jobs.

  • Hawaii has the 2nd highest concentration of landscaping jobs of any state at 12.59 per 1,000 jobs. This is over double the national average concentration of 4.93 per 1,000 jobs. Only Florida has a higher concentration at 15.3 per 1,000.

  • The Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina metropolitan area on Maui has the highest concentration of landscaper jobs in Hawaii at 20.24 per 1,000 total jobs. Lahaina and other parts of Maui attract many upscale resorts and luxury properties needing extensive landscaping.

  • Landscapers in Hawaii earn hourly wages ranging from $15.73 in lower paying metropolitan areas like Hilo to $20.41 in higher paying regions such as Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina.

Key Factors Influencing Insurance Costs

As your Hawaiian landscaping business evolves from a small startup to a larger company, your insurance needs and costs will change. Here are key factors that impact insurance premiums for landscapers in the state:

  • Staff Size: More employees means greater risks and higher insurance costs, especially for policies like workers’ compensation that are directly tied to payroll size. Each additional landscaper increases your premiums incrementally.

  • Years in Business: New landscaping companies generally pay higher premiums than long-standing firms until they build a record of workplace safety and claims history. Once established, rates often decrease.

  • Annual Revenue: The more revenue your landscaping business generates each year, the greater your overall risk exposure. Higher revenue equals larger jobs, more equipment, expanded services, and larger payrolls – increasing the likelihood of insurance claims. This growth in exposure directly increases premiums.

  • Claims History: If your landscaping business has a history of frequent insurance claims for incidents like employee injuries, damaged gear, liability lawsuits, or property damage, your premiums will trend upward over time. Insurers view this as indicative of ongoing risks. A clean claims history helps keep costs down.

  • Services Provided: If your company offers specialized, risky services like tree trimming/removal, insurers will charge higher premiums as this work has an increased chance of liability claims, crew injuries, and equipment damage. Routine mowing and pruning are lower risk.

  • Equipment Value: As your business grows, you accumulate expensive landscaping equipment like mowers, tractors, chain saws and more. The higher the total value of gear and machinery you own, the higher your inland marine insurance premiums covering these assets.

Small Landscaping Business Insurance Costs

For a Hawaiian landscaping company generating approximately $150,000 in annual revenue with 1 owner and 1 additional employee, typical insurance costs can range from:

  • General Liability Insurance: $1,700 – $3,000 per year

  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: $2,400 – $4,200 per year

  • Surety Bonds: $150 – $750 per year

General liability insurance covers your small landscaping business if a third party makes allegations of bodily injury or property damage resulting from your operations, such as a customer slipping and falling on a wet patio you serviced. It covers legal defense costs and any settlements or judgments. $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate limits are recommended.

Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical bills and lost wages for employees injured on the jobsite and is mandated in Hawaii. For landscapers, rates range from $15.83 to $35.48 per $100 of payroll. Payroll size directly impacts premiums.

Though not legally required, surety bonds are often needed to bid on public landscaping projects or service contracts. Bonds protect the client if the landscaper fails to complete the job.

Medium Landscaping Business Insurance Costs

For Hawaiian landscaping companies with approximately $500,000 in annual revenue, 1 owner, and 3 employees, typical insurance costs often include:

  • General Liability Insurance: $5,600 – $8,500 per year

  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: $7,300 – $12,000 per year

  • Surety Bonds: $150 – $750 per year

As landscapers grow into this middle stage, insurance premiums increase to account for larger payrolls, expanded services offered, pricier equipment, and greater overall risk exposures that boost the chances of claims. However, maintaining rigorous workplace safety protocols and a clean claims history helps control cost increases.

Many insurers offer discounts for completing defensive driver training, equipment maintenance logs, employee screening, and other risk management measures. Quantifying your safety efforts helps secure savings. Bundling multiple policies with one insurer also often results in a multi-policy discount.

Large Landscaping Business Insurance Costs

For larger Hawaiian landscaping companies with around $1 million in annual revenue, 1 owner, and 5 employees, typical insurance costs often include:

  • General Liability Insurance: Around $11,300 per year

  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: $12,100 – $18,800 per year

  • Surety Bonds: $150 – $750 per year

As your landscaping organization grows to this size, you take on more complex commercial contracts, employ more field staff, invest in pricier gear, and accumulate assets like sheds and workshops – increasing risks and insurance costs across the board. Premiums must expand to match your rising exposure.

Implementing advanced risk management techniques can help reduce premiums for larger landscapers. This includes comprehensive employee screening and training procedures, documented equipment maintenance protocols, job site monitoring programs, and more. Documenting these efforts proves your commitment to safety. It enables securing more favorable insurance rates.

Additional Insurance Coverages to Consider

In addition to the core general liability, workers’ compensation, and surety bond policies discussed above, expanding landscaping businesses should consider other coverages such as:

Commercial Auto Insurance – Covers vehicles like pickup trucks, trailers, and crew vans used for business purposes in case of accident, theft, or damage. Hawaii requires minimum bodily injury coverage of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident.

Inland Marine Insurance – Protects expensive landscaping tools and equipment on job sites or while in transit from damage or theft. This is crucial for larger equipment like tractors, bobcats, and straw blowers that are costly to repair or replace.

Errors & Omissions Insurance – Also called professional liability insurance, this shields against financial loss arising from alleged mistakes, negligence claims, or failure to deliver contracted services. It covers legal expenses, settlements and judgments. E&O provides vital protection for reputational harm.

Cyber Liability Insurance – Covers data breaches, hacks, and electronic theft. It is important for landscapers who maintain customer credit cards or other sensitive information digitally. Cyber attacks can cripple small businesses.

Pollution Liability Insurance – Covers property damage, bodily injury, and cleanup costs caused by exposure to hazardous materials you use like fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. Required by many commercial contracts.

Commercial Property Insurance – Safeguards business properties like offices, nurseries, equipment sheds, and other real estate against damage from vandalism, fire, theft, storms, or other perils.

Employment Practices Liability Insurance – Provides protection against employment lawsuits alleging discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, or other employee claims. Defense costs often exceed $100k for a single case.

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) – Bundles general liability, commercial property, and inland marine into one simpler, discounted policy. A cost-effective option for qualifying small or mid-sized landscaping outfits.

How Insurers Determine Landscaper Premiums

Insurance carriers evaluate several factors when pricing policies for landscaping companies. These variables allow insurers to calculate risk and set appropriate premiums. Key criteria include:

  • Claims History – Frequent past claims drive up premiums, signaling ongoing risk. Landscapers with minimal incidents generally pay lower rates.

  • Safety Record – Advanced safety protocols like rigorous equipment maintenance and defensive driver training help secure lower premiums by reducing claims potential.

  • Services Provided – Insurers charge higher premiums for riskier services like hazardous tree removal or high-elevation trimming which have more accidents.

  • Equipment Value – More expensive gear leads to higher inland marine premiums based on the replacement cost if items are damaged.

  • Number of Employees – Larger staffs increase risks across all policies. Workers’ comp costs directly correlate to payroll size.

  • Annual Revenue – Landscapers generating more revenue take on bigger contracts and accumulate more exposures. Higher revenue equals greater risk potential to insurers.

  • Experience Modifier – This score factors in your claims history. A score below 1.0 merits a discount. Above 1.0 leads to a surcharge.

  • Risk Environment – Operations in high-crime urban settings may pay more for policies vs low-risk suburbs. Geographic risk is considered.

  • State Regulations – In states like Hawaii with strict insurance rules, added compliance efforts may increase liability premiums.

Getting the Right Insurance for Your Landscaping Business

Work with an independent agent or broker specializing in landscapers. They understand the unique risks facing landscape contractors across Hawaii. Landscaping specialists have access to carriers offering tailored coverage at competitive pricing for each stage of your company’s growth.

Avoid agents selling generic business packages not designed for landscapers. This often leads to inadvertent gaps in coverage. The right advisor guides you to customized policies fitting your specific protection needs while minimizing premiums. An expert regularly reviews and updates your insurance portfolio as your operations evolve.

Key tips for getting the best landscaper insurance include:

  • Bundle multiple policies with one carrier for discounts

  • Select higher deductibles to lower premium costs

  • Join trade groups for access to group coverage rates

  • Compare rates from both standard and excess & surplus insurers

  • Ask about risk management discounts to offset premium increases

  • Do not underinsure or cut corners. Avoid devastating gaps in protection.

  • Review limits annually and adjust as required to contain costs


Properly insuring your Hawaiian landscaping business is essential to defend against risks like customer lawsuits, damaged equipment, employee injuries, cyber attacks, reputational harm and more. Follow this guide when budgeting for insurance. Work with a specialist to craft an affordable, evolving program adapted to your company’s distinct needs. Then you can focus on growing Hawaii’s natural beauty, not managing risks. Stay safe and let your landscape thrive!