What is Tree Service Insurance?
Tree work can be personally and financially rewarding, but it’s work that comes with certain risks. From stolen equipment to damaged homes, tree service insurance may help Massachusetts arborists protect themselves from many of the risks they face.
Tree service insurance is specialized commercial insurance for arborists. The policies are normally underwritten as package policies that combine multiple coverages together, which allows them to shield arborists from many risks.
What Massachusetts Professionals Should Carry Arborist Insurance?
Broadly speaking, most Massachusetts professionals who offer for-hire tree service ought to consider arborist insurance. The insurance might be useful to anyone who:
- Trims and/or shapes trees
- Manages pest infestations in trees
- Removes trees and their stumps
- Provides general municipal tree care
- Provides hardscaping services
- Provides landscaping services
Moreover, professionals normally should have insurance regardless of how their business is structured. Sole proprietorships, limited liability corporations and C corporations might afford various levels of protection, but the types of protection that business structures provide are generally different than the risks that insurance policies offer protection against.
What Protections Are Available Through Arborist Insurance?
Arborist insurance might offer a variety of protections against both property and liability risks. Some of the more commonly available coverages are:
- Business Property Coverage, which may cover facilities and equipment stored at the facilities
- Inland Marine Coverage, which may cover equipment and tools as they’re moved between job sites
- Equipment Breakdown Coverage, which may cover vital equipment against unexpected malfunctions
- General Liability Coverage, which may cover basic accidents resulting in third-party injury or property damage
- Product Liability Coverage, which may cover fertilizers or pesticides that cause harm to third parties
- Errors and Omissions Coverage, which may cover mistaken advice that’s given to clients
An insurance agent who specializes in arborist insurance can help tree service professionals review all of the available coverage options, and decide which are right for them.
Is Workers Compensation Included in Arborist Policies?
Tree service providers who have employees normally are required to carry workers compensation, which is primarily used to safeguard against workplace accidents. If an employee is injured on the job (which certainly is a risk when working on trees), the coverage might help pay resulting medical expenses and some lost wages.
Whether workers compensation comes as part of an arborist policy is dependent upon the specifics of a policy. Some policies have workers compensation as one of their coverages, while others leave arborists to acquire the coverage through a separate policy.
Is Auto Coverage Included in Arborist Policies?
Many tree service professionals need some form of commercial auto coverage, because personal auto policies normally don’t cover significant work-related driving. Any purchased commercial auto coverage generally must at least meet state minimum requirements, and additional coverage is often advisable.
Auto coverage might not be included as a standard protection within an arborist policy, but it’s frequently available as an optional feature. A knowledgeable insurance agent can help make sure appropriate auto coverage is included within a chosen arborist policy.
How Much Are Premiums for Arborist Policies?
Premiums for arborist policies vary, and there are numerous factors that can impact cost. A professional’s scope of work, location, number of employees and previous claims history are merely some of the details that can impact cost.
Even with differences among policies’ premiums, however, coverage tends to be affordable. An independent insurance agent can show exactly how much insurance will cost for a specific situation, as independent agents are able to compare policies’ coverages and rates across insurance companies.
How Can Arborists in Massachusetts Get Tree Service Insurance?
For help finding tree service insurance, contact the independent Massachusetts insurance agents of Flavin & Flavin Insurance. Our agents are well-versed in these policies, and we’ll work closely with you to make sure you’re well protected when cutting, maintaining or otherwise taking care of trees.