There are many benefits of being a tree removal expert. You may work for a large company and get to spend your days enjoying the beautiful weather outdoors. Or you're a business owner and feel empowered as an entrepreneur, taking the jobs you want to take and making a name for yourself as a tree service company.
However, as any arborist knows, many dangers are related to your line of work. Anytime you climb up a tree or use power tools to trim and shape a client's landscaping, there is a chance that something could go wrong. Even the most experienced and well-practiced arborists can make a mistake from time to time.
Not to mention, if a third party is near your worksite while felling trees, there is a chance that they could get hurt or that property could get damaged. It's too common for tree branches to fall on cars or go through windows. Having the right arborist insurance in Ontario is essential for protecting you and your business from financial ruin due to a lawsuit or injury.
Also known as tree removal insurance, arborist insurance is a broad term for a range of different coverages that can be tailored to your business's specific needs. For instance, an arborist working out of their truck has different needs than a company that employs multiple arborists and has a fleet of commercial vehicles.
No matter how proactive you are and how diligently you follow safety protocols, mitigating all risks is impossible. As the saying goes, accidents happen. If you don't have arborist insurance in Ontario, you'll be forced to pay for damages, settlements, legal fees and medical costs out of pocket. This can be a severe financial strain for a business.
Whether you work as a sub-contractor or if you own an arborist tree removal business, you need to have arborist insurance. Ontario customers will typically feel uncomfortable hiring an arborist who is not adequately insured. And, if you employ subcontractors, they must also have their own coverage. A few tree services that should ensure they have arborist insurance include:
Your arborist insurance policy can be uniquely tailored to your specific needs. Many types of insurance can be added to your policy, and other coverage extensions can be included. For this reason, it's best to partner with a qualified Insurance Broker, such as the team at Morison Insurance. By shopping around for competitive rates at the province's top arborist insurance carriers, we will find you a policy that offers the best coverage for your needs. For example, your tailored insurance policy could include any of the following types of coverage.
Also known as Errors & Omissions Liability insurance, Professional Liability arborist insurance is essential for tree service professionals. Professional Liability differs from general liability protection, which we'll dive into in a moment. Professional Liability protects you against claims of misconduct, negligence, failure to deliver a promised service, bad advice and breach of contract that result in a client and/or third party experiencing financial damages. An example of this could be if a client is trying to sell their home and chooses your company to complete landscaping work, and then the landscaper needs to correct a mistake, like cutting down the wrong tree, which makes it harder for the client to sell their home. Likewise, if you're supposed to finish pruning trees by a specific deadline before a house goes up for sale, but you still need to meet this deadline, it's possible a client could lose money. Then they would be within their rights to sue you. Professional Liability coverage on your arborist insurance can provide coverage for the cost of legal fees and settlement costs.
Commercial General Liability insurance covers two essential risks: bodily injury to a third party while completing your tree services and third-party property damage. An example of this could be if you cut down a tree branch and it lands on someone's car, damaging it. You could be found responsible for the damages to the car and possibly sued over the damage incurred. Likewise, while performing your tree care services, a felled tree accidentally lands in a third party's backyard and injures someone. You could wind up in serious legal—and financial—trouble because of this incident. General liability arborist insurance will help offset legal defence costs and settlement costs.
If you own a commercial building where you store equipment or operate a head office, you need comprehensive coverage to protect the space from a range of perils. A commercial property insurance policy will cover the cost to repair and/or replace your physical building and any tools, equipment and inventory damaged by an insured peril. For instance, if a fire burned down your head office, this insurance would help you repair/replace the building. This type of coverage can also offer protection against theft and vandalism. It's essential to ask your Morison Insurance Broker to go over your commercial property insurance policy so you know what it covers.
If you own a vehicle for strictly commercial purposes, then you likely already have a commercial auto insurance policy. However, suppose you use a personal vehicle as part of your business. In that case, you may not realize that a personal auto policy will not provide coverage if the vehicle or any possessions within the vehicle are stolen or damaged while being used for business purposes.. If you use a personal vehicle for business purposes and it's not insured correctly, you may not be able to claim for a loss.
Do you own multiple commercial vehicles for your arborist business? Then you may want to ask your insurance broker about fleet insurance. In a nutshell, fleet insurance allows you to insure all your commercial vehicles under one policy—rather than individually.
You may need home-based business insurance coverage if you operate your tree care business from home, especially if you store tools and equipment at your house. Most homeowners policies will not cover any business-related activities at your home. This includes if tools and equipment used for commercial purposes are stolen or damaged.
Your tools of the trade are one of the most important aspects of running a tree care business. If something happens to your tools and you're forced to replace them, the costs can be astronomical. This may cause you to take out an additional loan or close your business for good. Tools and equipment insurance can be insured on an equipment floater and is essential for protecting equipment, especially when in transit or at a job site—in other words, when it's not on your commercial premises.
Business interruption insurance covers you for loss of income during periods when you can't conduct business as usual due to a covered event.
Pollution Liability insurance covers third-party bodily injury, property damage, and environmental damage caused by gradual or sudden pollution events on job sites. Contact a Morison Insurance Broker to discuss this valuable coverage more.
You probably chose your profession as an arborist because you like being outdoors and working with your hands, not typing away on a computer all day—so why should your arborist insurance include cyber risk coverage? The fact is that most businesses need cyber liability insurance these days because most companies conduct at least some of their business online. You may accept digital payments or store sensitive client information, such as their payment details and home addresses. That makes you a target for cybercriminals looking for information they can exploit for fraud or theft. Cyber insurance gives you financial support to deal with the legal fallout of such an event, including litigation costs, settlements, and notifying your clients of a privacy data breach.
There are many ways that your individual arborist insurance policy can protect you from financial loss due to a range of risks. The above are just a few examples of what can be included in your arborist insurance policy. If you'd like further insight into what protection these coverages offer and how you can ensure the most protection possible, contact our dedicated and licensed Morison Insurance Brokers today.
Several factors impact arborist insurance rates. A few of these include, but are not limited to:
In addition to the above factors, arborist insurance costs vary per provider and by how much coverage you need. Some of the factors that impact the cost of arborist insurance are:
The best way to establish how much your unique coverage will cost is by obtaining an arborist insurance quote from one of our qualified Morison Insurance Brokers.
The limitations of your insurance depend on how much coverage you purchase. That said, each type of coverage will also have its own exceptions. For instance, tools and equipment insurance does not cover damage from general wear and tear or damage incurred because of poor maintenance.
There are also some services you may offer or are considering offering that you can only get coverage from some arborist insurance companies. For example, if you have a wood chipper, insurance carriers will not insure you if you are chipping directly into the back of a truck and hauling the chips away. The chips must be bagged on site and moved away, or not chipped and hauled away as cut-up pieces of wood.
Stump removal is another significant consideration. While arborist insurance carriers generally accept stump grinding, many companies will not insure an arborist who provides stump removal services because there's a much bigger risk of causing damage to the client's property. That doesn't mean you can't get coverage for stump removal, but it's essential to make sure your insurance broker knows exactly which services you provide so they can find arborist insurance that will give you the full coverage you need. To best understand your policy's limitations, speak with an arborist insurance broker at Morison Insurance today.
Before purchasing arborist insurance in Ontario, gathering all the necessary documents and information needed to get an accurate quote is essential. Some of the documents you should ensure you have prepared are payroll estimates, information regarding previous claims, and annual revenue estimates. In addition to that paperwork, you should also be prepared to answer a series of questions during the application process. Some of these questions may include:
To get an arborist insurance quote in Ontario, contact our friendly and experienced team today. Each of our brokers is an expert at finding clients the best coverage possible at competitive rates. We can be reached at 1-800-463-8074 or via the online form below.
This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. It is provided for general information only. Insurance needs differ from person to person, and this article is therefore not a substitute for professional advice about your individual insurance needs which can be obtained by speaking to one of our brokers.