For landscapers in South Dakota, maintaining beautiful gardens, lawns, and landscapes is both an art and science. But protecting your business goes beyond mastering design and horticulture. It requires safeguarding your company, employees, equipment, and reputation from the pitfalls of running a landscaping operation.

A key shield against risk is business insurance. This comprehensive guide will uncover what landscaper insurance typically costs in South Dakota, key factors that influence premiums based on your size and stage of business, additional coverages to consider, how insurers calculate prices, and tips for getting the right insurance at a competitive rate tailored to your company’s unique needs.

South Dakota landscapers must have the right insurance protection for landscaping to operate legally in the state. 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 about Landscapers in South Dakota

Understanding the landscaping industry landscape in South Dakota provides context on the operating environment:

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 2,030 landscapers and groundskeepers employed in South Dakota as of 2022, with an average annual salary of $35,800.
  • The typical hourly wage for landscapers in the state is $17.21 per hour according to the BLS.
  • Landscapers in South Dakota have a location quotient of 1.07, meaning the concentration of landscaping jobs is on par with the national average.
  • The Sioux Falls metro area has the most landscaping jobs in the state at 690. Rapid City follows with 460 landscaping positions.
  • South Dakota has over 600 landscaping companies in operation around the state. Most are small businesses with 1-4 employees.
  • The typical landscaping company revenue size in South Dakota ranges from $100,000 to $500,000 based on industry data. Firms with over $1 million in revenue are rare.
  • Landscaping businesses in South Dakota commonly offer a range of services spanning lawn maintenance, hardscaping, irrigation, lawn care applications, snow removal, landscape design, and construction.

Key Factors Influencing Insurance Costs

Landscaper insurance costs in South Dakota depend on these vital factors:

  • Revenue: As revenue grows, it typically means a larger volume of work and higher payroll. This increased exposure raises the likelihood of claims and losses, which is reflected in higher premiums. Firms generating over $1 million in revenue see particularly steep premium jumps.
  • Payroll Size: Payroll directly impacts workers’ compensation premiums, one of the most expensive coverages for landscapers. More payroll means higher premiums.
  • Number of Employees: Additional staff equals increased risks across policies like workers’ comp, commercial auto, and general liability. Each extra employee adds exposure.
  • Equipment Value: Higher valued trucks, trailers, mowers, tools and other equipment raise potential payouts from insurers for damage or theft. This leads to larger inland marine premiums.
  • Services Offered: Providing more specialized, skilled or dangerous services like tree removal, excavation and drainage work warrant higher premiums than routine mowing and maintenance. The services conducted impact costs.
  • Location: Operating in high crime cities inflates premiums compared to rural areas due to increased vandalism, theft and liability exposures in metropolitan zones. Geographic location matters.
  • Claims History: Landscapers with frequent past claims will see steep premium hikes over time. A clean history helps keep costs affordable. The loss run is critical.

Small Landscaping Business Insurance Costs

For small landscapers in South Dakota with around $150,000 in annual revenue, 1 owner, and 1 part-time employee working 6 months of the year, typical insurance costs range from:

  • General Liability: $1,000 to $2,600 annually for $1 million policy limits
  • Workers’ Compensation: $1,400 to $2,400 annually
  • Inland Marine: $1,000 to $1,500 to cover $10,000 of equipment
  • Commercial Auto: $1,800 to $2,500 annually per vehicle to cover 1-2 trucks
  • E&O Professional Liability: $750 to $1,500 annually if needed for large landscaping contracts

Many small landscapers bundle these coverages together in a commercial package policy for added discounts. Total insurance costs will generally run $5,000 to $10,000 annually for a landscaper of this size in South Dakota. Coverage limits can be adjusted based on specific contract needs, equipment values, and risk tolerance.

Medium Landscaping Business Insurance Costs

For mid-size South Dakota landscaping companies with approximately $500,000 in annual revenue, 1 owner working full-time, and 3 full-time employees, annual insurance premiums typically span:

  • General Liability: $3,300 to $6,900 annually for $1 million occurrence/$2 million aggregate limits
  • Workers’ Compensation: $4,200 to $6,900 based on class codes and payroll size
  • Inland Marine: $2,000 to $3,000 to cover $25,000 in equipment
  • Commercial Auto: $3,500 to $4,500 annually per vehicle to cover 3-5 trucks
  • Umbrella Liability: $1,000 to $2,000 for an additional $1 million in coverage

Expect total yearly premiums between $15,000 to $25,000 for a landscaping business of this size. Having over $1 million in umbrella protection is recommended at this revenue level. Coverage limits can be increased if larger contracts, equipment values or risk tolerance call for it.

Large Landscaping Business Insurance Costs

For larger South Dakota landscaping companies generating around $1 million in annual revenue, with 1 owner working full-time and 5 full-time employees , annual insurance premiums often range:

  • General Liability: $6,300 to $12,600 annually for $1 million occurrence/$2 million aggregate limits
  • Workers’ Compensation: $7,000 to $10,800 based on class codes and payroll
  • Inland Marine: $4,000 to $6,000 to cover $50,000 in equipment
  • Commercial Auto: $4,000 to $7,500 annually per vehicle to cover 5-7 trucks
  • Umbrella Liability: $2,500 to $5,000 for an additional $2 million in coverage

Expect total yearly premiums of $25,000 to $45,000 for a sizable landscaping operation of this scale. Having at least $2 million in umbrella protection is recommended for a $1M revenue business. Limits can be increased depending on contractual requirements and risk tolerance.

Additional Insurance Coverages to Consider

Beyond the core business policies highlighted above, South Dakota landscaping companies should consider these additional coverages:

  • Pollution Liability Insurance – Covers third-party bodily injury and property damage from exposure to chemicals like fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides used in lawn care. Important for landscapers who do chemical applications. Can range from $500 to $2,000 annually.
  • Professional Liability E&O – Protects against claims alleging failure to deliver landscaping services as promised or allegations of negligence. Critical for design/build firms. Usually $1,000 to $2,000 annually.
  • Cyber Liability Insurance – Safeguards sensitive customer data and financial assets from data breaches, hacking, malware and other digital threats. Typically $500 to $1,500 per year.
  • Employment Practices Liability – Shields against wrongful termination, discrimination, workplace harassment and other employee lawsuits. Applies to firms with over 5 employees. Expect premiums of $2,000 upwards.
  • Commercial Property Insurance – Insures business properties like offices, storage facilities and warehouses against damage from theft, vandalism, natural disasters, fire and other perils. Generally $1,000 and up annually depending on property values.

How Insurers Determine Landscaper Premiums

When pricing landscaper policies in South Dakota, insurance carriers analyze:

  • Services Performed – Tree removal warrants higher premiums than routine mowing and maintenance services due to increased risks.
  • Revenue Size – Larger annual revenues mean bigger risks and claims potential. Firms with over $1M in revenue pay significantly higher premiums.
  • Claims History – Frequent past claims drive up pricing due to the likelihood of future losses. A clean history helps minimize premiums.
  • Payroll Amount – Directly impacts workers’ compensation premiums, which are mandated for any employee not owner-related.
  • Location – High crime metro areas are pricier than rural communities due to increased vandalism, theft and liability risks.
  • Safety Record – Documented safety protocols help demonstrate risk management commitment and can lower premiums.
  • Equipment Values – Higher value trucks, trailers, mowers and tools mean larger potential payouts, increasing premiums.
  • Customer Data – Collecting sensitive info like SSNs and financial data increases cyber liability exposure.

Carefully evaluating these variables enables landscapers to secure adequate coverage aligned with their unique risks at competitive rates. An experienced broker understands how these factors influence insurance costs within the landscaping industry.

Tips for Getting the Right Insurance at the Best Price

Finding optimal insurance for your South Dakota landscaping operation requires an agent who comprehends your specific risks and exposures. Here are tips for securing tailored coverage at competitive rates:

  • Work with a Landscaping Specialist – The landscaping trade has unique risks distinct from other contractors. Avoid general agents. Find a brokerage specializing in landscapers who has direct access to top insurers tailored for this industry.
  • Ask About Loss Ratios – Insurers with loss ratios below 60% spend less on claims payouts and can offer lower pricing. Ask your broker for loss ratio data on the carriers they use.
  • Review Limits Carefully – Analyze your current limits to ensure adequate coverage aligned with equipment values, contract sizes and risk tolerance. Avoid over or under-insuring.
  • Bundle Policies – Packaging multiple policies with one insurer often results in a multi-policy discount. Combine general liability, inland marine, commercial auto, umbrella, and other coverages.
  • Implement Safety Protocols – Documented safety programs like equipment maintenance, driver training, and job site security help demonstrate your risk management focus. This can reduce premiums.
  • Leverage Associations – Trade association memberships like NALP offer access to exclusive discounted group insurance programs. Take advantage of these savings opportunities.
  • Compare Premium Financing Options – Paying annually versus monthly or quarterly can lead to fee reductions. Review payment plan options and their associated costs.


This overview shows landscaper insurance costs in South Dakota vary based on revenue, staff size, equipment values, services provided, safety record, and other considerations unique to each company. Taking the time to thoroughly evaluate your specific risks enables you to secure suitable coverage at competitive rates. Partner with a trusted agent who understands the landscaping trade to craft an insurance solution allowing your business to thrive. They will ensure you have the proper protection to nurture South Dakota’s landscapes safely and successfully.