For landscapers in North Carolina, a well-groomed lawn is a work of art. But operating a successful landscaping business involves more than mowing straight lines and pruning shrubs. It requires protecting your company, employees, and reputation from unforeseen risks unique to the Tar Heel State. A key safeguard against these threats is insurance tailored specifically for landscapers. This guide will uncover typical landscaper insurance costs in North Carolina, key factors influencing premiums, and how to get the right coverage for your landscaping operation.

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

Key Statistics about the North Carolina Landscaping Industry

  • There are over 7,000 landscaping companies in North Carolina, generating around $2 billion in annual revenues. The industry has grown over 15% in the past 5 years.

  • North Carolina has the 9th largest landscaping industry in the United States.

  • The typical landscaper salary in North Carolina is $39,000. Salaries range from $30,000 for entry roles to $60,000+ for owners and managers.

  • Top cities for landscaping services include Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Cary, Wilmington, High Point, and Concord.

  • Around 60% of landscaping companies in North Carolina are sole proprietors, 35% have 2-10 employees, and 5% have over 10 employees.

  • Leading trade associations are the North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association (NCNLA) and Carolinas Landscape Association (CLA).

  • North Carolina landscapers mainly service residential and commercial properties. Common services include:

    • Lawn maintenance and mowing

    • Lawn installation – sod, seeding, hydroseeding

    • Landscape design and installation

    • Hardscaping – patios, walkways, retaining walls

    • Irrigation installation and repair

    • Tree and shrub care – planting, pruning, removal

    • Seasonal services – snow removal, leaf clearing, gutter cleaning

    • Fertilization, aeration, overseeding

    • Pest and weed control

Key Factors Influencing Insurance Costs

Several variables determine insurance costs for North Carolina landscaping businesses:

Revenue: Higher revenues equate to larger jobs and payrolls, increasing risks and premiums. Most policies are priced as a percentage of receipts.

Staff Size: More employees mean greater exposure to injuries and claims. Each additional employee directly raises premiums.

Services Offered: Riskier services like tree removal warrant higher premiums than routine maintenance. Specialized services require specific coverages.

Equipment Value: Insuring expensive mowers, trucks, trailers and other gear boosts premiums. Carriers consider total value insured.

Location: Areas prone to hail, tornadoes, hurricanes and theft may increase premiums. Coastal areas often pay more.

Claims History: Frequent past claims drive costs up. A clean history keeps premiums affordable. Carriers reward low claims frequency.

Safety Record: Strong safety programs, protocols and training help lower premiums. Insurers offer discounts for risk management initiatives.

Coverages & Limits: More insurance policies or higher limits increase costs but provide greater protection. Ensure adequate coverage at suitable limits.

Insurer Specialization: Carriers specializing in landscapers offer tailored products, loss control services and competitive pricing.

Customer Mix: Serving primarily residential vs commercial clients presents distinct exposures. Insurers factor this in.

Subcontractor Use: Relying heavily on subcontracted services can increase risks and premiums if not properly managed.

Years in Business: New businesses often pay higher premiums until establishing a record over several years. Longevity is rewarded.

Small Landscaping Business Insurance Costs

For landscapers in North Carolina with around $150,000 in annual revenues and 1-2 employees, typical insurance costs are:

General Liability: $600 – $2,500 annually

Workers’ Compensation: $1,400 – $2,400 annually

Inland Marine: $500 – $1,500 annually

Commercial Auto: $1,800 – $3,500 per vehicle annually

Professional Liability: $500 – $1,500 annually

Surety Bonds: $100 – $500 annually

Many small landscapers bundle these coverages together in a Business Owners Policy (BOP) for simplified management. BOPs provide a multi-policy discount while consolidating coverage administration. Expect premiums around $3,000 – $7,000 for a BOP with typical limits.

General liability and workers’ compensation make up the bulk of costs for most small landscapers. Prioritizing adequate limits for these coverages is important before considering additional niche policies. Commercial auto also becomes essential for businesses using vehicles for hauling tools and equipment. New landscapers with limited records may pay toward the higher ends until establishing good loss run history.

Medium Landscaping Business Insurance Costs

For landscapers in North Carolina with approximately $500,000 in annual revenues and 3-5 employees, typical insurance costs are:

General Liability: $1,100 – $4,600 annually

Workers’ Compensation: $4,100 – $6,700 annually

Inland Marine: $1,500 – $3,000 annually

Commercial Auto: $3,500 – $6,000 per vehicle annually

Professional Liability: $750 – $2,000 annually

Surety Bonds: $100 – $500 annually

At this size, bundled BOP policies become less common as exposures diversify. Expect total premiums around $8,000 – $15,000 for these core coverages. Umbrella liability policies providing additional protection start becoming essential at this business size.

Medium-sized landscapers still allocate most of their insurance budget to general liability and workers’ compensation. But higher revenue-generating jobs require increased coverage limits. Commercial auto, inland marine and professional liability also take on greater importance to protect equipment and reputation. Multiple vehicles, specialized gear, and unique services warrant more tailored solutions.

Large Landscaping Business Insurance Costs

For landscapers in North Carolina with approximately $1,000,000 in annual revenues and 5-10 employees, typical insurance costs are:

General Liability: $2,100 – $9,300 annually

Workers’ Compensation: $6,800 – $10,500 annually

Inland Marine: $2,000 – $5,000 annually

Commercial Auto: $4,500 – $8,000 per vehicle annually

Professional Liability: $1,000 – $2,500 annually

Surety Bonds: $100 – $500 annually

Umbrella Liability: $1,000 – $2,500 annually

Expect total premiums from $15,000 – $30,000+ to cover these policies at suitable limits. Larger landscapers also commonly add coverage like cyber liability, pollution liability, and employment practices liability.

The breadth of insurance programs expands significantly for larger landscapers. The scale and complexity of their operations present more hazards to prepare for. While the major cost components remain general liability and workers’ compensation, gaps get addressed with additional niche policies. Limits also increase across the board to protect growing assets and revenue streams. Loss prevention and risk management protocols become more robust to control claims frequency impacting costs.

Additional Insurance Coverages

Beyond the core policies above, North Carolina landscapers should consider:

Cyber Liability: Covers data breaches, hacking incidents, fraudulent fund transfers and cyber extortion threats. Crucial for landscapers using technology to run their business.

Pollution Liability: Protects against third party bodily injury and property damage from misapplications of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and other chemicals. Also covers cleanup costs.

Commercial Property: Safeguards buildings, offices, warehouses, equipment and tools against perils like theft, vandalism, fire and natural disasters.

Business Interruption: Replaces income lost if disasters, covered losses or cyber events shut down operations. Essential for revenue continuity.

Employment Practices Liability: Shields against employment lawsuits alleging discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination etc. Useful for larger landscapers with multiple employees.

Flood Insurance: Provides protection for properties vulnerable to flooding not covered by standard property policies. Usually required for mortgaged properties.

Group Health Insurance: Offers major medical coverage to retain talent and recruit staff.

Life Insurance: Provides a benefit to the families of owners or valued employees if they pass away. Useful as an executive benefit or shareholder protection.

How Insurers Determine Landscaper Premiums

Insurance carriers use various factors to calculate premiums for North Carolina landscaping companies. These include:

Payroll: Directly impacts workers’ compensation premiums as higher payroll equals greater premiums. A major pricing component.

Sales Volume: Used to measure exposures and risk levels across multiple policies. More revenue means larger premiums.

Claims History: Frequent past claims raise premiums due to greater perceived risk. A clean history lowers costs.

Location: Geographic location influences risk of natural disasters, crime, accidents, lawsuits and premiums. Coastal areas often pay more.

Industry Classifications: NCCI codes for workers’ compensation and NAICS codes enable insurers to assign baseline rates that premiums build from.

Experience Mod: Adjusts workers’ comp premiums up or down based on claims history and safety initiatives. A lower mod reduces premiums.

Loss Ratios: Insurers with lower loss ratios can offer more competitive pricing.

Endorsements: Added coverage enhancements or exclusions alter the underlying policy premium.

Safety Initiatives: Strong safety programs and protocols help insurers justify premium credits and discounts.

Customer Mix: Weighting of residential versus commercial work impacts premium algorithms as it indicates riskier exposures.

Getting the Right Insurance for Your Landscaping Business

Navigating landscaper insurance can be complex for North Carolina contractors. Policy terms, claims processes, and adjustments to meet evolving threats are best handled by specialists. Partnering with an independent agent who has access to top admitted and surplus lines carriers focused on landscapers is key to customizing an affordable, adequate insurance portfolio as your business grows.

Aligning with a trusted advisor deeply experienced in the landscaper insurance market and North Carolina’s unique risks helps avoid gaps in coverage while controlling costs. They simplify confusing policies, provide objective insights, and advocate on your behalf in the claims process. They also proactively monitor emerging regulations and risks relevant to North Carolina landscapers, tailoring and optimizing your policies accordingly.

Investing in the niche expertise of an agent dedicated to the landscaping sector is essential to properly safeguarding your company and hard-earned profits. An experienced landscaping insurance resource simplifies protecting your business as it scales and shields you from getting caught off guard by costly claims or insufficient coverage.


Insurance provides North Carolina landscaping businesses an essential line of defense against the hazards and liabilities they encounter in their daily operations. While premiums and optimal coverages fluctuate based on unique risk factors, landscaping contractors in the Tar Heel State can take proactive steps to control costs while securing adequate protection. Developing a long-term partnership with an insurance advisor intimately familiar with the landscaping sector positions North Carolina contractors to craft an evolving coverage strategy matching their changing exposures. Equipped with proper insurance tailored specifically for landscapers by specialists, North Carolina companies can continue delivering beautiful and safe lawnscapes across the state.