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.
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.