For landscapers in New York, operating a successful business involves more than just mowing lawns and pruning trees. It requires protecting your company, employees, equipment, and reputation from the various risks that come with running a landscaping operation. A crucial safeguard against these perils is having the proper insurance coverage in place.

This comprehensive guide will uncover what New York landscapers can expect to pay for insurance based on their specific business characteristics. We’ll explore the key factors that influence costs, provide detailed sample premium ranges for small, medium, and large landscaping companies, outline additional coverages to consider beyond the core policies, and offer tips on getting the right insurance at the best price.

Whether you’re just starting out or are a well-established landscaping firm, this resource can help you make informed decisions on protecting your business while controlling costs.

New York landscapers must have the proper landscaping insurance policies to operate legally in the state. 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 on the job.

Key Statistics about the Landscaping Industry in New York

To provide context on the landscaping trade in New York, here are some useful figures:

  • There are over 9,000 landscaping companies operating in New York, generating approximately $2.3 billion in annual revenue statewide.

  • The average annual salary for landscapers in New York is $62,000, which aligns with the national median.

  • The top counties in New York for landscaping companies based on number of businesses are Suffolk, Nassau, Westchester, Monroe, and Erie.

  • New York has over 77,000 landscaping employees working across the state. The metro areas with the most landscaping staff are New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, Syracuse, and Binghamton.

  • Landscapers in New York often provide a wide range of services beyond basic lawn care like tree removal, snow plowing, landscape design, hardscaping, irrigation system installation, and more.

  • New York has a continental climate with cold, snowy winters and warm, humid summers. This impacts equipment needs and services provided compared to other states.

  • Landscapers in New York must carry workers’ compensation insurance. General liability coverage is also commonly required by commercial clients and residential property owners.

Key Factors Influencing Insurance Costs for New York Landscapers

There are several important variables that affect what landscaping businesses will pay for insurance coverage in New York:

Location – Operating in riskier metropolitan areas like New York City and Long Island leads to higher premiums across most lines of coverage. More affordable insurance rates can generally be found upstate and in rural areas.

Services Provided – Offering specialized or hazardous services like tree removal, tree pruning, pesticide/fertilizer application, snow plowing, and more can warrant pricier premiums than routine grass cutting and shrub trimming.

Number of Employees – Having more full-time and part-time staff on the payroll increases exposures across policies like workers’ compensation, general liability, commercial auto, and umbrella coverage. More employees equals greater risks for insurers.

Annual Revenue Size – In general, landscaping companies generating higher total revenues annually face greater risks and claim potential. Six- and seven-figure earners will pay more in premiums compared to businesses with modest revenues.

Claims History – As with auto insurance, past loss experience greatly impacts pricing. One or more liability, property, or injury claims can drive premiums up substantially. Maintaining a clean claims history keeps costs down.

Client Contract Requirements – Some commercial property managers and homeowner associations mandate landscapers carry certain high limit or specialty coverages beyond typical policies. Satisfying these contractual requirements increases insurance costs.

Equipment Values – The higher the total value of equipment and tools that must be covered, the more expensive the premiums for policies like inland marine insurance and business owner’s policies.

Business Structure – Sole proprietors, single member LLC’s, partnerships, and corporations all have distinct insurance needs that influence costs. Factors like business personal property, loss of income, and liability exposures vary significantly based on your business structure.

Seasonality – Landscaping companies operating year-round face greater risks and potential claims periods versus businesses closing up shop during the winter months. The increased exposure for 12-month operators will be reflected in higher premiums.

Deductible Levels – Choosing higher deductibles for policies like general liability, commercial property, and auto coverage reduces premium outlays, but increases your out-of-pocket costs should a claim occur. There is a risk/reward tradeoff to evaluate.

Loss Ratios of Insurer – Carriers with lower loss ratios spend less on claims payouts relative to the premium dollars collected. They can offer more competitive pricing since more premium goes towards profits rather than claims. Ask your agent for loss ratio data when shopping policies.

Detailed Premium Estimates by Landscaper Size

Now that we’ve covered the major variables impacting costs, let’s examine estimated insurance premium ranges based on landscaping business size and characteristics in New York:

Small Landscaping Business Premium Estimates

For small landscapers in New York with under $500,000 in annual revenue and 1-3 employees, typical insurance costs are:

  • General Liability – $6,500 – $11,400 annually for $1 million per occurrence/$2 million aggregate with standard deductible

  • Workers’ Compensation – $2,800 – $4,800 annually based on employee classifications and experience modifier

  • Inland Marine (equipment coverage) – $1,000 – $2,000 annually depending on value of tools/equipment covered

  • Commercial Auto – $2,000 – $3,000 annually per vehicle; higher limits or specialty vehicles cost more

  • Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions) – $500 – $1,500 annually with $250,000 limits

  • Cyber Liability – $500 – $1,000 annually with $250,000 limits

*Performance bonds are generally not required for small landscapers taking on public/commercial projects in New York.

Total Premium Estimate Range: $12,800 – $22,700

Medium Landscaping Business Premium Estimates

For mid-size New York landscaping companies with $500,000 – $2 million in annual revenue and 3-10 employees, average insurance premiums are:

  • General Liability – $20,400 – $30,600 for $2 million per occurrence/$4 million aggregate limits

  • Workers’ Compensation – $8,300 – $13,700 based on payroll, employee class codes, and experience modifier

  • Inland Marine – $5,000 – $10,000 covering $50,000+ in equipment

  • Commercial Auto – $3,000 – $4,000 per vehicle

  • Professional Liability – $1,000 – $2,500 with $500,000 limits

  • Umbrella Liability – $1,000 – $2,000 for $1 million in additional coverage

Total Premium Estimate Range: $38,700 – $62,800

Bonds are still generally not mandated by contract for mid-size landscapers, keeping costs down.

Large Landscaping Business Premium Estimates

For bigger New York landscaping companies with over $2 million in annual revenues and 10-50 employees, average insurance premiums are:

  • General Liability – $50,000 – $100,000 for $5 million per occurrence/aggregate limits

  • Workers’ Compensation – $25,000 – $75,000 based on total payroll and loss histories

  • Inland Marine – $15,000 – $30,000 to cover equipment worth $100,000+

  • Commercial Auto – $4,000 – $6,000 annually per vehicle; dozens may need coverage

  • Professional Liability – $2,500 – $5,000 with $1 million limits

  • Umbrella Liability – $5,000 – $10,000 for $5 million in additional coverage

*Performance bonds of $25,000 – $100,000 may be mandated for large contracts, adding 1-3% to job costs

Total Premium Estimate Range: $101,500 – $226,000

The wide premium range illustrates how variables like location, services, claims history, equipment values, and more can impact costs for larger landscapers.

Additional Insurance Coverages to Consider

Beyond the major lines of insurance outlined above, New York landscaping businesses should evaluate these additional coverages:

Pollution Liability – Covers third-party bodily injury and property damage arising from the use of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and other chemicals. Limits of $500,000 to $1 million recommended. Premiums typically $1,500 – $3,500 annually.

Employment Practices Liability – Protects against employee lawsuits alleging discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, etc. Limits of $100,000 to $500,000 suggested based on company size. Annual premiums range from $2,500 – $5,000.

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) – Bundles general liability, business property, and inland marine into one cheaper policy. A potential option for small to mid-size landscapers to save money. Average premiums of $5,000 – $15,000 per year.

Commercial Crime – Covers theft of money, securities, equipment, and other property by employees. Suggested for landscapers with office staff handling payments. Typical premiums of $500 – $1,500 annually for $50,000 limits.

Cyber Liability – Protects against data breaches, network security failures, hacking incidents, and electronic theft. Limits of $500,000 to $1 million recommended depending on revenue. Approximate cost of $1,000 – $3,000 per year.

Business Interruption – Covers income lost if operations are halted by a covered peril like natural disaster, fire, or theft. Especially useful for larger landscapers with significant overhead and expenses. Premiums vary based on business size and coverage limit selected.

How to Get the Right Insurance at the Best Price

Shopping for insurance without guidance can result in coverage gaps, insufficient limits, and overpaying for policies. Working with an independent agent or broker specializing in the landscaping industry is crucial to getting optimal protection at affordable rates.

A landscaping specialist has expertise in the unique risks and insurance needs for different types of companies. They often have access to carriers catering specifically to the landscaping trade that offer tailored coverages and competitive premiums.

A good agent or broker will explain important state-specific considerations like New York’s stringent workers’ comp system and liability exposures stemming from snow removal work. They can also provide guidance on suggested coverage limits, cost-saving options like higher deductibles, and money-saving packaged policies.

Partnering with the right insurance professional ensures your landscaping business is covered appropriately as it evolves from a small startup to an established enterprise. They will review your policies on an annual basis and realign coverage and limits accordingly. Be sure to discuss any new services, equipment, locations, or staffing changes that may impact your risks.


Obtaining proper insurance coverage is crucial for New York landscaping companies seeking to protect their business, people, assets, and livelihoods from unexpected losses. But gaining adequate protection can come at a steep price.

Following prudent risk management practices like employee safety training, client contracts, equipment maintenance, job site security precautions, and mandatory PPE usage can help landscapers control insurance costs while demonstrating their commitment to reducing risks.

Work closely with a qualified landscaping insurance specialist to get tailored guidance and access top markets providing the right protection at the best terms. They have the expertise to craft an insurance portfolio allowing your landscaping company to thrive and grow without worrying about unforeseen perils derailing your success.