For landscapers in Wisconsin, a perfectly manicured lawn or beautifully designed landscape is a work of art. But running a successful landscaping business involves more than expert pruning and planting. It requires protecting your company, employees, equipment, and reputation from unpredictable perils. The right insurance coverage shields you when the unexpected occurs. This guide examines what landscaper insurance might cost for operations of different sizes in Wisconsin, variables impacting costs, and strategies to keep premiums affordable. With insight on risks unique to landscapers in the Badger State, you can plant the seeds for a thriving business and have peace of mind that you are covered if storm clouds appear.

For landscapers in Wisconsin, having the right insurance protection for landscaping is essential. This usually includes general liability protection for landscapers to protect against third-party claims and workers’ compensation coverage for landscaping businesses to cover employee injuries on the job.

Key Statistics for Landscapers in Wisconsin

  • Number of landscaping companies in WI: Over 2,500
  • Average landscaper salary in WI: $50,000 per year
  • Typical peak season: March to October
  • Common services: Lawn care, planting, hardscaping, snow removal
  • Main risks: Liability claims, property damage, employee injuries, equipment theft
  • Landscaper employment concentration: Dane, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Brown, Outagamie counties

Understanding the landscape of the landscaping industry in Wisconsin provides context on the insurance needs and costs for local operators. With over 12,500 landscaping workers in the state concentrated heavily in metropolitan centers like Milwaukee and Madison, competition is abundant. Being properly insured protects your business as you strive to grow and thrive.

Key Factors Influencing Insurance Costs for WI Landscapers

Several variables determine insurance premiums for Wisconsin landscaping businesses:

  • Location: Being based in certain counties or metro areas impacts rates. Urban areas generally have higher premiums.

  • Staff size: More employees mean greater risks, increasing costs. Workers’ compensation in particular is tied closely to payroll and employee count.

  • Years experience: New businesses pay higher premiums until establishing a record. Long-standing operations with clean claims histories receive discounts.

  • Revenue: Higher revenue signals greater exposure, driving up premiums. Most policies base pricing partially on a percentage of receipts.

  • Services offered: Riskier services like tree removal warrant costlier coverage versus routine mowing and pruning.

  • Equipment value: More expensive gear needs pricier inland marine policies to protect against theft and damage.

  • Claims history: Incident-free histories receive significant discounts. At-fault accidents and lawsuits lead to much higher premiums.

  • Coverage limits: Higher liability caps mean greater potential payouts for insurers, increasing costs. Boosting limits marginally increases premiums but substantially raises protection.

  • Insurer competition: Carrier availability impacts costs in the Wisconsin market. Areas with fewer choices often have higher rates.

  • Safety record: Documented safety protocols like equipment maintenance and driver training help lower premiums by demonstrating loss prevention.

  • Customer contracts: Complex commercial accounts may increase liability risks versus residential work.

Now let’s examine typical insurance costs based on your landscaping operation’s size and stage.

Small Landscaping Business Insurance Costs in Wisconsin

Landscaper Profile

  • 1 owner
  • 1-2 employees
  • $150,000 annual revenue
  • Basic equipment like mowers and 1-2 trucks
  • Residential clients
  • 2-5 years in business

Typical Insurance Policies & Costs

General liability insurance

  • Typical limits: $1 million per occurrence/$2 million aggregate
  • Typical cost range: $1,100 – $2,000 annually

Workers’ compensation insurance

  • Typical limits: Statutory limits per Wisconsin rules
  • Typical cost range: $1,300 – $2,300 annually


  • Not typically required for small landscapers in Wisconsin

For a lean small landscaping operation in Wisconsin, expected total annual insurance costs range from $2,400 – $4,300. Competitive pricing is often available from carriers familiar with Wisconsin’s landscaping insurance needs. Boosting liability limits above $1 million or adding special equipment coverage would increase costs. An agent well-versed in local markets can find affordable packages for new operations without an extensive claims history.

Medium Landscaping Business Insurance Costs in Wisconsin

Landscaper Profile

  • 1-2 owners
  • 3-5 employees
  • $500,000 annual revenue
  • 5-10 vehicles including trucks, trailers, mowers
  • Commercial and residential clients
  • 5-10 years experience

Typical Insurance Policies & Costs

General liability insurance

  • Typical limits: $1 million per occurrence/$2 million aggregate
  • Typical cost range: $3,100 – $6,100 annually

Workers’ compensation insurance

  • Typical limits: Statutory limits per Wisconsin rules
  • Typical cost range: $4,000 – $6,600 annually

Inland marine insurance

  • Typical limits: $25,000 – $50,000
  • Typical cost range: $1,500 – $2,500 annually

For a medium-size landscaping operation in Wisconsin, expected total annual insurance costs range from $8,600 – $15,200. Bundling multiple policies with one carrier often provides a discount. Complex commercial contracts, high-value equipment, and expanding liability limits would all push costs upward. There are insurance carriers in Wisconsin catering specifically to the needs of mid-size landscapers. An agent well-versed in local markets can find affordable packages tailored to such operators.

Large Landscaping Business Insurance Costs in Wisconsin

Landscaper Profile

  • 5-10 owners/executives
  • 10+ employees
  • $1 million+ annual revenue
  • 20+ vehicles including trucks, power equipment, trailers
  • Commercial and residential accounts
  • 10+ years experience
  • Multiple locations

Typical Insurance Policies & Costs

General liability insurance

  • Typical limits: $2 million per occurrence/$4 million aggregate
  • Typical cost range: $4,400 – $11,000 annually

Workers’ compensation insurance

  • Typical limits: Statutory limits per Wisconsin rules
  • Typical cost range: $6,700 – $10,400 annually

Commercial property insurance

  • Typical limits: Based on property values
  • Typical cost range: $2,500 – $5,000 annually

For larger landscaping businesses in Wisconsin, expected total annual insurance costs range from $13,600 – $26,400. Meeting commercial contract requirements may necessitate substantially higher liability limits at increased premium costs. Other add-ons like cyber insurance, professional liability, or pollution coverage should also be considered. Carriers that focus on Wisconsin landscape companies can craft broad protection for more complex large operators. An agent experienced with local risks can package a tailored policy meeting the expansive needs of such an operation.

Additional Insurance Coverages for Wisconsin Landscapers

Beyond the core policies discussed, Wisconsin landscapers may benefit from several supplemental insurance options:

Inland marine insurance

  • Protects equipment onsite and in transit.
  • Typically costs about $125 annually per $10,000 value.

Commercial auto insurance

  • Covers vehicles used for business purposes.
  • Typically $1,500 – $2,500 per vehicle annually.

Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI)

  • Shields against employment lawsuits.
  • About $2,500 annually for $500k limits.

Cyber/data breach insurance

  • Safeguards customer data and computer systems.
  • Roughly $1,000 annually for $500k limits.

Pollution liability insurance

  • Covers third-party bodily injury and property damage from chemical discharge claims.
  • Approx. $1,500 annually for $500k limits.

Hired & non-owned auto insurance

  • Protects against liability claims involving rented, leased, borrowed, or personal vehicles used for business.
  • Usually $750 – $1,500 per year depending on driver histories.

These options fill coverage gaps some Wisconsin landscapers may have. Work with an agent to analyze risks and build adequate protection.

How Insurers Determine Landscaper Premiums in Wisconsin

Insurance carriers weigh several factors when pricing policies for Wisconsin landscapers:

General liability insurance

Based on revenue, location, claims history, services provided, safety protocols, and elected coverage limits.

Workers’ compensation insurance

Based on employee classification codes, payroll amount, workplace safety initiatives, experience modification factor, and past claims.

Inland marine insurance

Based on values of equipment insured and locations where used.

Commercial auto insurance

Based on number and types of vehicles, radius of travel, driving records, garage locations, and desired liability coverage limits.

Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI)

Based on staff size, revenue, industry risk, state employment laws, and history of HR-related lawsuits.

Cyber/data breach insurance

Based on firm’s technology infrastructure, data storage practices, IT security protocols, and past hacking attempts or incidents.

Pollution liability insurance

Based on types and quantities of chemicals used, claims history, company’s revenue size, and documented risk management practices around chemical handling/storage.

The premium variance from one Wisconsin landscaper to another results from each insurance carrier’s specific proprietary underwriting formulas analyzing these criteria. An expert broker provides guidance on improving risk factors to earn discounts.

Getting the Right Insurance for Your Wisconsin Landscaping Business

Follow these best practices when insuring your Wisconsin landscaping operation:

  • Document risk management and safety protocols showing your commitment to loss prevention. Insurers reward this dedication with reduced premiums.

  • Work with an independent insurance agent who specializes in landscapers. They have expertise in industry-specific risks and access multiple carriers to find cost-efficient coverage. Avoid captive agents tied to just one provider.

  • Ask brokers for recent loss ratio data from insurers they recommend. Firms spending less than 60% of premiums on claims may offer better pricing thanks to underwriting efficiency.

  • Review all exposures unique to your business and tailor coverage accordingly. One size does not fit all landscapers’ insurance needs.

  • Weigh higher deductibles that reduce policy costs against your risk tolerance. Make sure you could afford out-of-pocket expenses from frequent claims.

  • Bundle multiple policies with one carrier. Meet regularly with your agent to optimize insurance as your business evolves.

Finding the Right Wisconsin Landscaping Insurance Agent

Choosing the right agent is key to securing adequate, affordable coverage. Here are tips for selecting an agent to protect your Wisconsin landscaping business:

  • Look for an independent agent with access to multiple carriers, not one beholden to a single provider.

  • Seek out agents specializing in landscapers. They understand the unique risks you face.

  • Ask trusted industry peers for agent referrals. Most landscapers rely on word-of-mouth.

  • Interview multiple agents to assess responsiveness and expertise. Comfort with an agent is crucial.

  • Inquire about loss control services offered to help assess risks. Many agents provide this.

  • Compare premium quotes to find the optimal balance of service and price. Don’t focus purely on cost.

  • Gauge an agent’s experience tailoring policies for landscaping operations similar to yours.

  • Prioritize agents pledging year-round support as needs evolve. Beware seasonal relationships.


Insurance provides critical protection so Wisconsin’s landscapers can focus on growing their businesses, not defending lawsuits or replacing stolen gear. Costs vary based on specific risks, but typically range from $2,400 to $4,300 annually for small operators and $13,600 to $26,400 yearly for large landscaping companies. Work closely with an independent insurance specialist to implement affordable, adequate coverage so your Wisconsin landscaping business can flourish.