For landscapers in Indiana, creating beautiful outdoor spaces is both an art and science. But running a successful landscaping business involves more than designing gorgeous gardens and maintaining pristine lawns. It requires protecting your company, employees, and reputation from unforeseen risks. A key safeguard against these perils is proper insurance coverage.

This comprehensive guide will uncover typical insurance costs for Indiana landscaping contractors based on business size, reveal key factors influencing premiums, provide insights on getting adequate yet affordable protection, and outline strategies to control costs as your business grows. With the right coverage, Hoosier State landscapers can continue growing their businesses without being uprooted by unexpected liabilities.

Indiana landscapers must have the appropriate insurance for landscaping to operate legally in the state. This typically includes liability coverage for landscapers to safeguard against third-party claims and workers’ comp insurance for landscaping companies to cover employee injuries sustained while working.

Key Statistics about Landscapers in Indiana

  • There are over 5,000 landscaping companies in Indiana employing around 25,000 workers.

  • The average annual salary for landscapers in Indiana is $49,000.

  • Indiana landscapers generate over $2 billion in revenue each year.

  • The highest concentration of landscaping companies are located in major metro areas like Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Evansville.

  • Peak seasons run from March to November when landscapers generate the bulk of their revenue. Winter months tend to be slower.

  • Common services include lawn care, hardscaping, irrigation, snow removal, tree care, and seasonal plantings.

  • Indiana has a humid continental climate bringing four distinct seasons with varying maintenance needs from snow removal in winter to irrigation in summer.

Key Factors Influencing Insurance Costs

Several variables impact insurance premiums for Indiana landscaping companies:

  • Size of Business: Larger companies with more employees, vehicles, equipment, and payroll have greater exposures resulting in higher premiums.

  • Services Provided: Complex or hazardous services like tree trimming warrant costlier coverage than basic mowing and pruning.

  • Location: Urban areas like Indianapolis see higher premiums than rural communities due to increased risks.

  • Experience Modifier: This score is based on past claims. More claims equate to a higher modifier and increased premiums.

  • Limits and Deductibles: Higher liability limits and lower deductibles mean larger potential payouts for insurers, increasing costs.

  • Safety Record: Documented training programs, equipment maintenance logs, and accident investigation processes demonstrate risk management, often lowering premiums.

  • Claims History: Too many claims can make coverage difficult to find and expensive. A clean history provides leverage to secure affordable premiums.

  • Equipment Values: Higher value mowers, chainsaws, trucks and other equipment lead to increased premiums.

  • Number of Vehicles: Additional vehicles raise the likelihood of accidents and auto liability claims impacting costs.

  • Years in Business: Newer contractors often pay more until they establish a track record over several years.

Small Landscaping Business Insurance Costs

Landscaper with $150k Revenue, 1 Owner, 1 Employee

  • General Liability: $1,100 to $2,000

  • Workers’ Compensation: $1,200 to $2,000

Smaller landscapers may not need bonds, though some municipalities require liability coverage to obtain business licenses. General liability provides protection if third parties are injured on a job site and sue. Workers’ compensation covers medical bills and lost wages for employees hurt on the job.

With lower payroll and fewer clients than larger companies, premiums remain relatively affordable at this stage. But don’t skimp on coverage. Unexpected lawsuits or accidents can sink unprotected small businesses. It’s wise to buy adequate limits even if it stretches the budget. The peace of mind is worth the cost.

Medium Landscaping Business Insurance Costs

Landscaper with $500k Revenue, 1 Owner, 3 Employees

  • General Liability: $3,400 to $5,400

  • Workers’ Compensation: $3,500 to $5,800

At this growth stage, landscapers take on more complex commercial accounts and may need higher liability limits and excess/umbrella insurance. Workers’ compensation costs also rise with additional payroll exposure.

Supplemental coverages like business property and inland marine should be considered to protect expensive equipment and real estate assets. Cyber liability can shield against hacks and data breaches.

Though premiums climb compared to early-stage companies, strong revenue growth often helps offset increased insurance costs. Maintaining a clean claims history through strong safety practices also keeps premiums in check.

Large Landscaping Business Insurance Costs

Landscaper with $1M Revenue, 1 Owner, 5 Employees

  • General Liability: $5,700 to $10,800

  • Workers’ Compensation: $5,900 to $9,100

Larger landscapers running multiple crews with many employees, vehicles and equipment have major insurance needs. General liability, workers’ compensation, commercial auto, and umbrella policies provide a financial safety net and are essential at this stage.

Some carriers offer business owners policies (BOPs) that bundle general liability, property and inland marine as a package product at a discounted rate. This simplifies insurance for qualifying mid-sized landscapers.

Though premiums rise significantly for bigger firms, the substantial revenue generated provides greater resources to invest in robust safety programs, training, and risk management – the key strategy for controlling costs long-term.

Additional Insurance Coverages

While general liability and workers’ compensation constitute the foundation of most landscaper insurance programs, various supplemental policies may be warranted depending on services provided and business structure:

  • Commercial Auto: Protects company vehicles like trucks, trailers, crew cabs, and other autos. Should match general liability limits.

  • Inland Marine: Covers equipment like mowers, chainsaws, skid steers, excavators for loss or damage. 5-10% of equipment value is a common premium.

  • Business Property: Safeguards business assets like offices, storage sheds, fencing, irrigation systems and other real estate.

  • Pollution Liability: Covers third-party bodily injury and property damage from pesticide drifts, chemical leaks, or fuel spills.

  • Commercial Umbrella: Provides additional liability limits above general liability and auto policies. Added peace of mind.

  • Employment Practices Liability: Protects against wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment and other employee claims.

  • E&O/Professional Liability: Shields against financial loss from professional errors like improperly planted trees that damage pipes.

Though these supplementary policies aren’t always mandatory, partnering with an insurance advisor can help analyze exposures and determine which additional protections are prudent for your business based on the services you provide.

How Insurers Determine Landscaper Premiums

Insurance carriers utilize several criteria to calculate premiums for landscaping companies:

  • Location: Urban areas typically have higher premiums than rural communities. Indianapolis sees some of Indiana’s highest rates.

  • Payroll Amount: Workers’ compensation premiums correlate directly with payroll, calculated as payroll / 100 x rate x modifier.

  • Number of Employees: More employees mean increased injuries and claims, boosting premiums.

  • Experience Mod: This factor represents past loss history with scores below 1.0 reducing premiums.

  • Class Codes: Workers’ comp classifies employees by risk level with higher codes garnering increased premiums. Landscapers mainly fall under code 0042.

  • Claims History: Too many past claims makes affordable coverage challenging to secure.

  • Services Provided: General liability costs more for hazardous services than routine maintenance. Tree work is riskier than mowing.

  • Equipment Values: Higher value equipment leads to increased inland marine and business property premiums.

  • Number of Vehicles: Additional vehicles raise the likelihood of accidents and auto liability claims.

  • Years in Business: Newer contractors often pay more until they establish a track record over several years.

Understanding these rating variables allows landscapers to make strategic decisions to control costs and keep insurance affordable.

Getting the Right Insurance for Your Landscaping Business

Purchasing coverage on your own through an agent or online broker can work when starting out. But as your business expands, partnering with a specialist who provides landscaper-tailored options ensures adequate, cost-effective protection.

Here are key benefits of working with a landscaping insurance expert:

  • Access to Carriers That Understand the Industry: Standard insurers lack the expertise to properly underwrite landscaper risks. Specialists provide access to niche markets with landscaping knowledge.

  • Coverage That Meets Your Specific Needs: Rather than cookie-cutter policies, specialists collaborate to craft tailored solutions addressing your unique exposures. This prevents gaps that could lead to denied claims down the road.

  • Help Navigating Complex Choices: Deciphering property values, liability limits, class codes, experience mods, and loss runs can be confusing. Specialists guide you through these complex factors.

  • Assistance Controlling Costs: They provide tips like raising deductibles, implementing safety protocols, choosing lower loss ratio carriers, and bundling policies to keep premiums affordable even as your business grows.

  • Advocacy at Claims Time: They act as your advocate to ensure claims are paid quickly and fairly with no delays or denials.

  • Ongoing Policy Reviews: As your business changes, they periodically review your policies to ensure adequate evolving coverage.

While DIY insurance seems convenient upfront, the coverage often misses key landscaping risks and gaps emerge over time. Partnering with a trusted specialist protects your business and gives peace of mind.

Strategies to Keep Insurance Affordable

Landscaping insurance costs inevitably rise as your business expands. But several strategies can help control premiums:

  • Raise Deductibles: Choosing higher deductibles decreases premiums, but increases your out-of-pocket costs if a claim occurs. Evaluate risk tolerance.

  • Maintain Good Records: Detailed equipment inventories, employee rosters, and vehicle driver logs help accurately rate policies.

  • Implement Safety Protocols: Documented programs like equipment maintenance schedules, chemical handling procedures, driver training, and post-accident investigations show insurers you’re serious about risk management.

  • Provide New Hire Safety Training: Orient all new employees on critical company policies and procedures. Document this training.

  • Perform Background Checks: Screen new hires driving company vehicles for past DUIs or reckless driving. Typically can’t insure high-risk drivers.

  • Buy From Lower Loss Ratio Carriers: Insurers with loss ratios below 60% spend less on claims versus premiums collected allowing room for discounts.

  • Ask About Discounts: Inquire about discounts like multi-policy, safety training, security systems, business associations, and years claims-free.

  • Review Limits Yearly: As your business changes, coverage limits may need adjusting higher or lower. Optimizing limits reduces waste.


Operating a successful, protected landscaping company in Indiana means securing insurance adapted to your size, services, and evolving exposures. As you grow, regularly reviewing your risks and coverage options ensures your business stays adequately covered. Partnering with a specialist who understands the landscaping industry and ensures you have the proper protection as your needs change is highly recommended. Keep your company flowering without the thorns of unexpected liabilities. Stay safe, remain properly insured, and keep Indiana landscapes thriving!