For landscapers in Washington, maintaining pristine gardens, lawns, and landscapes is both an art and livelihood. But beyond mastering the horticultural intricacies, running a successful landscaping business requires protecting your company, employees, equipment, and reputation from unforeseen perils. The right insurance coverage is a key shield against these risks.

This comprehensive guide will uncover what landscaper insurance typically costs in Washington based on your business size, services, number of employees, and other factors. We’ll also explore the types of policies you need, variables impacting premiums, and strategies for getting affordable, comprehensive protection tailored to your landscaping operation.

Washington landscapers must have the right insurance 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 for Washington Landscapers

Here are some key statistics to provide context on the landscaping industry in Washington:

  • Average Landscaper Salary in WA: $58,000
  • Estimated Number of Landscaping Companies in WA: Over 4,000
  • Landscaping Industry Annual Revenue in WA: $2.8 billion
  • Typical General Liability Limits: $1M per occurrence/$2M aggregate
  • Typical Workers’ Compensation Limits: Statutory limits per Washington law
  • Typical Commercial Auto Limits: $500K/$1M
  • Average Premiums:
    • General Liability: $800 – $14,000
    • Workers’ Comp: $1,300 – $10,400
    • Inland Marine: $500 – $5,000
    • Commercial Auto: $1,000 – $3,000 per vehicle

With over 4,000 landscaping companies generating $2.8 billion in revenue, it’s a sizeable sector in Washington. And the average landscaper salary of $58,000 demonstrates there are good livelihoods to be made helping homeowners and businesses maintain beautiful outdoor spaces. But thriving in this industry means having the right insurance safeguards.

Key Factors Influencing Insurance Costs

Several variables determine insurance premiums for Washington landscapers:

  • Annual revenue: Higher revenue equates to larger jobs and greater risk exposure. More employee hours and higher payroll also increase premiums.
  • Number of employees: More employees increase risks across policies like workers’ comp, general liability, and auto.
  • Services performed: Riskier services like tree removal, snow plowing, and drainage carry greater hazards that warrant higher premiums than routine lawn care and shrub trimming.
  • Equipment value: Higher value tools, vehicles, and machinery increase the replacement cost insured under inland marine policies, raising premiums.
  • Location: Areas prone to theft, vandalism or natural disasters have elevated premiums. Urban zones also tend to have higher premiums than rural areas.
  • Claims history: Frequent past claims drive costs up as you’re deemed a greater risk. Even one large claim can impact premiums for 3-5 years.
  • Client contracts: Contract requirements dictate certain policy limits and coverages needed to satisfy insurance obligations.
  • Safety record: Strong safety protocols and training help demonstrate risk management commitment and can contribute to lower premiums.
  • Loss control: Insurers may provide loss control consulting and recommendations to help landscapers improve safety and qualify for discounts. Implementing these suggestions shows commitment to reducing risk.
  • Risk transfer: Strategies like contractual risk transfer to subcontractors and requiring certification and proof of insurance from vendors help lower insured exposures.

As you structure your insurance program, be sure to work with an agent who understands how these variables interplay for landscaping businesses. This enables tailoring coverage and limits to fit your unique risk profile and operating characteristics.

Small Landscaping Business Insurance Costs

For landscapers with under $150K in annual revenue, 1 owner, and 1 employee, typical policies and estimated premium ranges are:

  • General Liability:
    • Limits: $500K to $1M per occurrence/$1M to $2M aggregate
    • Premium: $800 to $2,200
  • Workers’ Compensation:
    • Limits: Statutory per WA law
    • Premium: $1,300 to $2,300
  • Inland Marine:
    • Limits: $10K to $20K
    • Premium: $500 to $1,000
  • Commercial Auto:
    • Limits: $500K/$1M
    • Premium: $1,000 to $2,000 per vehicle

Why small landscapers need these coverages:

  • General liability protects against third party property damage and bodily injury claims.
  • Workers’ compensation is mandatory in WA and covers injuries to employees.
  • Inland marine insures tools, equipment, and machinery against theft and damage.
  • Commercial auto covers vehicles used for business purposes.

For small landscapers, focusing coverage on core risks is prudent. As operations grow, additional coverages can supplement the basic policies above.

Medium Landscaping Business Insurance Costs

For landscapers with around $500K in revenue, 1 owner, and 3 employees, typical policies and estimated premium ranges are:

  • General Liability:
    • Limits: $1M per occurrence/$2M aggregate
    • Premium: $2,400 to $5,300
  • Workers’ Compensation:
    • Limits: Statutory per WA law
    • Premium: $4,000 to $6,600
  • Inland Marine:
    • Limits: $25K to $50K
    • Premium: $1,500 to $3,000
  • Commercial Auto:
    • Limits: $500K/$1M
    • Premium: $1,500 to $3,500 per vehicle

Why medium landscapers need expanded coverages:

  • General liability limits are increased to cover larger contracts.
  • Higher payroll costs increase workers’ compensation premiums.
  • More equipment raises inland marine limits to account for greater value.
  • Additional vehicles drive up commercial auto premiums.

As your landscaping business crosses certain revenue and payroll thresholds, evaluating expanded insurance is prudent.

Large Landscaping Business Insurance Costs

For landscapers with approximately $1M in revenue, 1 owner, and 5 employees, typical policies and estimated premium ranges are:

  • General Liability:
    • Limits: $1M per occurrence/$2M aggregate
    • Premium: $2,900 to $14,000
  • Workers’ Compensation:
    • Limits: Statutory per WA law
    • Premium: $6,700 to $10,400
  • Inland Marine:
    • Limits: $50K to $100K
    • Premium: $3,000 to $5,000
  • Commercial Auto:
    • Limits: $1M/$1M
    • Premium: $2,000 to $4,000 per vehicle

Why large landscapers require robust coverage:

  • Higher general liability limits are prudent with more revenue.
  • Large payroll costs drive workers’ compensation premiums up.
  • More high value equipment necessitates higher inland marine limits.
  • Commercial auto increased limits match exposure from additional vehicles.

For sizable landscaping outfits, evaluating risks with an insurance professional is essential to determine adequate coverage and limits across all policies.

Additional Insurance Coverages

Beyond the core policies above, Washington landscapers should consider:

  • Professional Liability: Protects against errors, omissions, and negligence that lead to client damages. Helps cover legal expenses and settlement costs if sued. Useful for design-build landscape firms.

  • Pollution Liability: Covers bodily injury, property damage, and cleanup costs caused by exposure to fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and other hazardous materials routinely used in landscaping. Essential for companies with chemical spraying services.

  • Cyber Liability: Safeguards against costs associated with data breaches, hacking, electronic theft, and other cyber incidents. Critical insurance for landscapers using technology to run their business. Can protect client data like credit cards and proprietary corporate information if compromised.

  • Employment Practices Liability: Shields against employment lawsuits alleging wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, and other employee claims. Helpful for larger landscaping businesses with more staff.

  • Business Owner’s Policy (BOP): Bundles general liability, commercial property, and inland marine together under one policy. Simplifies coverage with potential cost savings. A viable option for small to mid-size landscaping outfits.

Consider these supplementary options to provide comprehensive protection as your landscaping services expand.

How Insurers Determine Premiums

Insurers analyze several factors when pricing landscaper policies in Washington:

  • Risk profile: Based on services, location, safety protocols, claims history, and other variables indicating risk level. Tree trimming is considered higher-risk than lawn mowing, for example.

  • Revenue: Higher revenue equates to larger jobs and payrolls, increasing general liability, workers’ compensation, and auto exposures.

  • Industry data: Premiums are benchmarked regionally and against averages for the landscaping sector. Helps ensure pricing aligns with competitors.

  • Loss history: Past claims activity helps predict future losses. Even one large claim can impact premiums for 3-5 years.

  • Expenses: Projected losses, administrative expenses, commissions, taxes, and other insurer costs get built into pricing models.

  • Profit goals: Insurers incorporate target underwriting profit margins based on capital requirements and growth plans.

  • Reinsurance: Cost of reinsurance purchased to limit insurer exposure influences pricing strategy.

Insurers use these data points and proprietary predictive analytics and pricing algorithms to derive suitable premiums reflecting the unique risk characteristics of each landscaping business. Ongoing review also allows adjusting pricing to account for new loss trends.

Getting the Right Insurance for Your Landscaping Business

Working with an experienced insurance advisor who specializes in the landscaping sector is key to getting tailored, affordable coverage. They will:

  • Have access to top regional and national insurance carriers offering competitive pricing.

  • Benchmark policies and premiums against averages to avoid overpaying.

  • Offer claims advocacy services to help with the claims process.

  • Structure programs to account for season fluctuations and evolving risks.

  • Suggest risk transfer and safety strategies to control costs.

  • Provide loss control guidance to help qualify for discounts.

  • Conduct annual policy reviews as your business grows.

This expertise enables building an optimal insurance portfolio protecting the unique needs and exposures of your landscaping operation.

Key considerations when securing coverage:

  • Make sure general liability, workers’ compensation, and auto liability limits align with customer and project contract requirements. Failing to meet insurance terms could preclude signing contracts.

  • Consider optional policies like professional liability, pollution liability, cyber liability, and employment practices liability as services expand.

  • Choose higher deductibles to reduce premiums, but ensure you can cover potential out-of-pocket costs. Too high of deductibles could impact cash flow if a claim occurs.

  • Ask about multi-policy discounts available by bundling several coverages with one carrier.

  • Inquire what loss control credits are offered for implementing safety protocols and training. Discount percentages can be meaningful.

  • Review exclusions, limitations, and endorsements carefully to avoid coverage gaps.

  • Reassess evolving insurance needs annually. Meet with your agent to discuss changes to your risk profile.

Following these tips helps create an insurance safety net that allows your landscaping business to flourish, while avoiding the financial thorns of unexpected losses.


With a patchwork of insurance policies all working together, Washington landscaping businesses can keep their people, property, and profits flowering without the dead weight of unforeseen perils. Partner with a specialist to find the right coverage so you can keep the grass green and continue nurturing your livelihood.