Winter Tree Trimming

Don’t let Jack Frost create a financial disaster for your clients who brave snow and ice to rescue property from downed tree limbs and branches.

ChainsawRegardless of the nature of the job, or if a tree service business has employees or not, there is a certain amount of liability inherent in the work. The right insurance can make the difference in protecting a tree service owner from a bevy of liability issues as well as their bottom line.

This is why it’s especially important that agents take the time to educate tree service clients and prospects about the value of their insurance coverage and all of the different options they should be considering.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is one of the most important and all-encompassing insurance options for any business owner. It is critical where activities could result in a lawsuit for potential damages: such as property damage and injury, which someone may suffer as a result of the service provider’s actions. If your client provides tree trimming or tree removal services, there is a high possibility they could cause damage to a building, car or other property, and/or bodily injury to an unsuspecting person in the area, due to a falling branch, tree trunk or equipment. In addition, many states will not allow a tree trimming service to operate without the proper liability insurance.

Equipment Insurance

Chances are most tree trimming services will have a special vehicle along with tree trimming equipment and tools. Any business that owns or operates a vehicle for commercial purposes should invest in commercial auto insurance. This type of insurance can protect clients from a lawsuit or medical liability if their company vehicle is involved in an accident. Along with commercial automotive insurance, the right equipment insurance can help ensure that the business will be able to continue operations even if it needs to repair or replace equipment.

Worker’s Compensation

If a worker becomes injured on the job, worker’s compensation insurance provides funds to pay for the worker’s medical expenses and salary while he/she is unable to work. If a tree trimming service has at least one employee, they should check the laws in their state to verify whether or not they are required to maintain worker’s compensation insurance.

Personal Accident Policy

If working as a sole proprietor or independent contractor, personal accident coverage may be a better solution than worker’s compensation. In a personal accident policy the insured is protected for injuries and loss of revenue.

Employment Practices Liability

UIG also recommends a tree trimming business invest in employment practices liability insurance (EPLI). This coverage can help protect a business and the business owner from litigation resulting from improper workplace behavior, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, discrimination or wrongful termination.

While all of this may seem like “business as usual,” odds are that many tree service owners have not sorted through all of their options, if any of them. It is better to reiterate and remind than to assume that your clients and prospects are aware of all the rules, regs and amounts of coverage they need.

And, of course, once you’ve presented the options, be sure to have them sign off that they have declined any of these coverage lines, if they choose to do so, and keep it on file.