You’ve worked hard to start and grow your tree care business. You’ve gained the knowledge and experience necessary to properly and safely work with trees, you’ve bought the equipment needed to do the work, and you’ve hired employees as ground crew, climbers, arborists, spray techs, and more.
Get the right type of policy for an arborist or tree care professional.

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tree service insuranceDo You Need Tree Service Insurance?

As a responsible Arborist, you regularly take steps to ensure the safety and well-being of your crew, yourself, your equipment, your jobsite and your customer’s property. There is always risk – The unexpected happens, even when you apply your best efforts to make things right. A benign situation can quickly spiral out of control, with devastating financial and emotional results. Having the right insurance coverage in place can make the difference between remaining in business and loss of your future earnings and/or bankruptcy.

How Much Does Tree Service Insurance Cost?

Insurance for tree trimmers varies depending on the level of services offered. Other factors that are taken into consideration include:

  • Annual Revenue
  • Number of employees
  • Your Location
  • Equipment and tools used

Some insurance companies offer tree service insurance policies as low as $29 a month with an average of $45 per month for comprehensive coverage. Most insurances can set you up with a policy and get you a certificate of insurance the same day.

Who Needs Arborists Tree Service Insurance?

A number of individuals can benefit from tree trimming insurance, including:

  • Arborists
  • Tree removal specialists
  • Tree trimmers and pruners
  • Municipal tree care professionals
  • Hardscaping professionals
  • Tree pest management specialists
  • Landscape gardening professionals

Why Arborists Need Insurance?

While there isn’t special arborist or tree trimming insurance for tree care professionals, it is important to assess your specific insurance risks and get the right coverage in place to protect your business investment.

Here are some of the risks you will need to consider, whether you are just starting up your tree service or you have a well-established company and are re-evaluating your existing coverage:

  • Damage to other people’s property
  • Injury to others due to negligence, equipment malfunction or use of toxic substances such as pesticides
  • Loss, damage or theft of your tools, equipment or vehicles
  • Job-related injury or illness that you or your employees experience
  • Errors and omissions exposure, due to tree care and landscape consulting or advice that leads to a loss
  • Accidents you or your employees may cause while driving your commercial vehicles

Get the coverage you need today.
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What Are Tree Service Insurance Requirements?

General Liability

Because of their size, trees have the potential to cause substantial damage to your property. This is especially true if they are in close proximity to your home – ask anyone that’s had a tree fall on their roof during a storm. And while hiring a tree service should be far less hazardous than weathering a storm, there is always a risk when it comes to removing branches or cabling foliage. That’s why it’s critical that your tree service have general liability insurance.

Let’s say your tree service caused a tree to land on your home. Without insurance, they may not be able to pay, and you may have to sue for compensation. Compare that to the tree service with general liability insurance: their policy will cover the damage, no legal action necessary. As you can see, failing to hire a tree service with general liability coverage could yield costly and time-consuming consequences.

Workers’ Compensation

Tree care often requires arborists to work high in the branches – up to 120 feet, for some types of trees. The industry also involves use of heavy machinery, such as chainsaws. So it should come as no surprise that the tree care industry is one of the most dangerous lines of work. In 2017, there were a reported 53 fatal and 1,040 non-fatal injuries among 100,000 tree care professionals in the United States. Such a risk level thus makes worker’s compensation insurance an absolute must for tree services everywhere.

And a tree care company without worker’s comp insurance isn’t only doing a disservice to their employees; they’re also putting the customer at financial risk. Tree care companies are responsible to compensate employees that are injured on the job. But, if they cannot pay, the burden of compensation falls on the customer. So, it’s in your best interest for the tree care company to have ample worker’s compensation insurance.

Professional Liability Insurance

Also known as Errors & Emissions,  Professional liability insurance offers coverage in instances where a tree care professional provided false information or bad advice and it’s recommended that tree service companies carry this type of policy to protect against any disputes over potential negligence. 

An arborist did NOT advise a campground owner to cut down a tree, which fell 2 years later, injuring a person, and smashing the car she was in. This is an example of an Omission.

Inland Marine Insurance

Although the name sounds nautical, inland marine insurance refers to land-based equipment that tree companies use. This type of coverage protects the tools and supplies that may be transported from the business premises to a job site. This could include the theft, damage, or loss of chainsaws, ladders, stump grinders, tablets, and computers.

Is Liability Insurance Worthwhile for Tree Service Companies

Perhaps you believe your tree care business is so low risk that commercial liability insurance doesn’t make statistical sense for you. In which case, ask yourself a few questions.

  • Do you do work that could damage nearby structures or objects, or injure people?
  • Does your business have a common area, such as a storefront or reception area?
  • Does any part of your business involve the operation of heavy equipment?
  • Do your employees often drive as part of their job-related activities?

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then you aren’t as low-risk as you think, and passing on general liability insurance is not an option. However, even if you answered “No” to all of the questions, you should still consider protecting yourself with a general liability insurance policy.

Licenses to Consider

You should consider accrediting your tree service business with The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) and/or become credentialed with the International Society of Arboriculture. Some states—such as California—require a tree service contractor’s license. Be sure you’re up-to-date on your state’s requirements to operate as a tree-trimmer or arborist. 

Regulating Agency and References

Insurance Information Institute (III)

This organization’s mission is to improve public understanding of insurance – what it is and how it works.
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