Turning ordinary Iowa yards into beautiful landscapes is both an art and science for landscaping contractors in the Hawkeye State. But protecting your business entails more than growing lush grass and pruning flawless shrubs. As a landscaper in Iowa, having proper insurance to guard against potential perils like bodily injuries, property damage, employment lawsuits, and other hazards is crucial to avoid financial devastation.

This extensive guide examines key statistics on Iowa landscapers and delves into typical insurance costs based on your company’s size, revenues, payroll, number of vehicles, services provided, and other vital factors. We’ll provide an in-depth overview of major coverages, how insurance carriers calculate your premiums, money-saving tips, and guidance for finding the right protection for your landscaping operation.

Let’s get started exploring how to keep your Iowa landscaping business flourishing without the dead weight of unexpected risks.

Landscapers working in Iowa need to have the right landscaper insurance policies in place. This usually includes general liability insurance for landscapers to protect against third-party claims and workers’ compensation for landscaping businesses to cover employee injuries on the job.

Key Statistics on the Landscaping Industry in Iowa

Here are insightful stats on landscapers in Iowa to provide context when evaluating your insurance needs:

  • There are over 5,000 landscaping companies in Iowa, the majority being small businesses with 1-4 employees.

  • The median salary for landscapers in Iowa is approximately $49,000 per year. This varies based on experience, technical skills, and certifications.

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, top paying metropolitan regions in Iowa for landscapers are Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Dubuque.

  • Common risks faced by landscapers in Iowa include injuries from operating mowers, trimmers, chainsaws, and other equipment, musculoskeletal disorders from repetitive motions, exposures to pesticides and chemicals, and motor vehicle accidents while driving to job sites.

  • Iowa requires landscaping companies to carry workers’ compensation insurance. General liability coverage is highly recommended but not mandated by law.

  • Compared nationally, Iowa falls around the middle of the pack for landscaper insurance costs. Average premiums as a percentage of revenue range from 0.5% to 2% for general liability coverage.

Having a handle on your business’ unique risks and adhering to Iowa’s insurance regulations is vital for constructing an adequate insurance program.

Key Factors that Determine Your Insurance Costs

Your insurance premiums as a landscaping contractor in Iowa will rise and fall based on these pivotal factors:

Annual Revenues: As your annual revenues grow from taking on more landscaping projects, your risk exposures increase. This escalates the chances of claims occurring, which will drive up the cost of coverage. Most policies are priced as a percentage of total receipts.

Payroll Amount: Payroll directly impacts workers’ compensation premiums, which compensate for job-related employee injuries or illnesses. More total payroll means increased workers’ comp costs.

Number of Employees: Having additional landscaping staff members raises your risks across multiple policies like workers’ compensation, commercial auto, and umbrella liability. Each extra employee exposes you to more potential claims.

Services Offered: If you provide specialized high-risk services like tree removal, pond installation, concrete work, or snow plowing, your premiums will often run higher than for routine mowing and pruning.

Equipment and Property Values: The higher the total value of equipment, vehicles, tools, and real property you own for your business, the higher the premiums required to cover them sufficiently.

Geographic Location: Being located in regions of Iowa prone to severe thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes, or areas with high crime means elevated insurance rates.

Claims History: Past claims you’ve filed, especially frequent ones, will push your premiums upward. Maintaining a clean loss run keeps costs affordable.

Policy Limits and Deductibles: Choosing higher liability limits or lower deductibles means greater potential payouts for insurers if claims occur. That results in them charging you more for coverage.

Now let’s examine typical premium ranges based on your company’s size and revenues.

Insurance Costs for Small Iowa Landscaping Businesses

Landscaping Company with $150k Revenue, 1 Owner, 1 Employee

General Liability Coverage

Typical premium range:

  • Low end: $800
  • High end: $1,700

General liability compensates third parties for bodily injury or property damage caused by your business operations, products, or services. It also provides coverage for personal injury, advertising injury, and medical payments. For a small Iowa landscaper, limits of $500k to $1 million per occurrence and $1 million to $2 million aggregate are recommended.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Typical premium range:

  • Low end: $1,700
  • High end: $3,000

Workers’ compensation insurance covers lost wages, medical benefits, rehabilitation services, and death benefits for employees injured on the job. Iowa requires all employers to carry this coverage. Premiums are calculated based on payroll, class codes, and other factors.

Surety Bonds

Typical cost: Not required

Many contracts do not mandate bonds for small landscaping contractors with limited revenues. When required, typical bonds include bid, performance, and payment bonds.

Landscaping Company with $500k Revenue, 1 Owner, 3 Employees

General Liability Insurance

Typical premium range:

  • Low end: $2,300
  • High end: $3,600

With increased annual revenue comes greater risk exposure from taking on more contracts. This necessitates higher liability limits to adequately protect the business, which drives up premiums.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Typical premium range:

  • Low end: $5,200
  • High end: $8,600

Having more employees results in greater payroll expenses, which directly increases workers’ comp premiums. Payroll = Number of Employees x Average Salary.

Surety Bonds

Typical cost: Not required

Most contracts do not mandate bonds for landscaping companies with $500k or less in annual revenue.

Typical Premium Costs for Mid-Sized Iowa Landscaping Businesses

Landscaping Company with $1M Revenue, 1 Owner, 5 Employees

General Liability Coverage

Typical premium range:

  • Low end: $4,500
  • High end: $7,900

With seven figures in annual revenue comes increased exposures, necessitating higher liability limits to properly protect the business. This results in greater premiums.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Typical premium range:

  • Low end: $8,700
  • High end: $13,400

Having additional employees leads to more payroll expenses, which directly increases workers’ compensation premiums.

Surety Bonds

Typical cost: Not required

Most standard contracts do not require surety bonds for landscapers with around $1M in revenues.

Typical Insurance Costs for Large Iowa Landscaping Companies

For landscaping businesses with over $2M in yearly revenue, here are typical premium ranges:

General Liability Insurance

Typical premium: $8,000 to $25,000

Very high revenues warrant increased liability limits to adequately protect the company’s assets and cover risks. This results in greater premiums.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Typical premium: $25,000 to $100,000+

With significantly more employees, payroll expenses leap upwards, driving up workers’ compensation premiums.

Surety Bonds

Typical cost: $2,000 to $10,000

Larger landscaping contracts frequently mandate bid, performance, and payment bonds to mitigate the customer’s risk.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Typical premium: $4,000 to $8,000 per vehicle

Covers vehicles like trucks, trailers, and vans used for business purposes. More vehicles equal higher premiums.

Inland Marine Insurance

Typical premium: $3,000 to $10,000+

Protects expensive landscaping tools and equipment onsite and in transit. Higher value equipment leads to increased premiums.

Other Common Insurance Policies for Iowa Landscaping Companies

In addition to the major lines of coverage, you may want to consider these extra policies:

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP): Bundles general liability, commercial property, inland marine, and other common coverages into one cheaper policy.

Employment Practices Liability: Protects against employment-related lawsuits alleging discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, etc.

Cyber Liability Insurance: Covers data breaches, ransomware attacks, and other hacking incidents. Especially relevant for landscapers who store customer information digitally.

Commercial Umbrella Insurance: Provides extra liability limits above and beyond the limits of your other liability policies.

Pollution Liability Coverage: Insures against bodily injury, property damage, and cleanup costs caused by exposure to chemicals, pesticides, or other hazardous materials used in landscaping.

How Insurance Carriers Calculate Premiums for Landscapers

When pricing your policies, insurance companies evaluate these key factors:

  • Claims history – more frequent past claims mean higher premiums

  • Services performed – specialized, dangerous services warrant higher premiums

  • Equipment used – expensive equipment covered drives premiums upward

  • Safety protocols – strong safety programs help lower premiums

  • Loss control – steps taken to reduce risks may decrease costs

  • Class codes – workers’ comp classifications reflect job risk levels

  • Experience modifier – adjusts workers’ comp premium based on loss run

  • Location – geographic region impacts state laws, risks, and baseline premiums

  • Deductible level – higher deductibles reduce premiums but increase out-of-pocket costs if a claim is filed

  • Policy limits – higher liability coverage means greater potential payouts for insurers, increasing premiums

Getting the Right Insurance for Your Iowa Landscaping Business

Partnering with an insurance specialist experienced in landscaper risks is key to obtaining optimal protection at the best available price. A landscaping expert has access to top specialty markets and can provide:

  • Comprehensive analysis of your specific risks

  • Expert policy limit guidance

  • Access to niche landscaper carriers with tailored products

  • Risk control guidance to help lower your premiums

  • Bundling options like Business Owner’s Policies to increase savings

  • Ongoing policy review as your business evolves

Having the right insurance shields your company from unforeseen perils, providing peace of mind and allowing you to focus on growing a thriving landscaping business in Iowa. Work with a trusted landscaping insurance professional to safeguard your company.


Insuring your Iowa landscaping business requires coverage adapted to your particular risks and business model. Use this guide as a starting point when assessing your protection needs and anticipated costs. Collaborate closely with an experienced insurance agent to implement the optimal insurance portfolio so you can concentrate on maintaining and expanding beautiful Iowa landscapes. Keep your business flowering without the dead weight of unexpected hazards. Remain insured, remain in business!