Different Types of Insurance Coverage:
If you own a lawn care business or have plans to start one, you will need at least basic business insurance coverage to guard against mistakes, accidental property damage, and lawsuits, and worker’s compensation insurance if you employ more people than just yourself.
This will be an important part of formulating your business plan, as it will provide peace of mind to your customers to know they will be compensated if you unwittingly cause damage or loss to their property, or if they feel they are taken advantage of by an unfair business dealing.
If you have employees under your supervision, the law requires you to take out worker’s compensation insurance on them if they are injured on the job.
Protecting your business and your assets is extremely important. In some cases, if you are a sole proprietor, you can be held personally liable for loss or damage if you are uninsured, which could mean losing personal property, in some cases, even your house.
There are various kinds of insurance available to you as a lawn care business owner, including:
- business liability
- inventory loss
- professional liability
- company vehicle insurance
- forgery protection
- identity theft protection
- mechanical breakdown
- property damage insurance
An attorney or legal advisor can help you to sort out these various types of insurance and what they can do to protect your business. Some of the basic types of business liability insurance are:
- General liability, which guards against law suits from customers due to something that happened either on company property or as a result of using one of your services or products,
- Employers’ liability, which protects against employees who bring a suit against the company on account of pay discrepancies or other complaints, including some on the job accidents, and automotive liability, which covers injuries and damages if an employee is hurt while operating a company vehicle or damages someone else’s property.
These types of basic insurance are almost always essential. As stated, business liability coverage protects you and your company from lawsuits, which can be necessary to keep your company afloat. Attorney costs add up quickly and can lead to bankruptcy if you do not have adequate protection.
The amount of insurance coverage you should obtain depends on what you can afford. Look into it carefully, and compare rates against other companies. You will also want protection for your equipment in case it is lost, stolen or damaged. This will save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the years of doing business.
An Overview of Insurance Policies For Your Lawn Care Business:
Protecting your investments, which include your business and all of your assets, should be a high priority if you hope to continue doing business. Some forms of insurance are required by law, and others are just good old common sense.
- Look at what top companies are charging for coverage, and get a package that is right for your size and style of business. There’s really no such thing as too much insurance, but pay for only what you can afford.
- As much as you will want to avoid being in a bankruptcy situation, paying for too much insurance can break the bank as well. Be prudent, and be sure to get adequate legal advise before signing for any huge premiums. Also, remind yourself to renew your coverage yearly so that you’re always protected. When possible, set up an automatic renewal policy on all of your major types of coverage.
- If you are just getting started or are still in the beginning stages of formulating your business plan, make insurance a vital part of putting your plan on paper. Don’t go into business full time until at least the basic liability policies are in place.
- In addition to insurance, put together a safety plan, as well as a policies and procedures manual to ensure a smooth and efficient business operation. This is true even if you are the company’s only employee. Following a strict set of guidelines according to state and local regulations along with a strong dose of common sense can save you from using your insurance policy coverage before you have to.
- When building relations with clients, build their trust by fulfilling the service agreement they signed for, and be careful not to cause any damage from either carelessness or negligence. If the unthinkable happens, and someone decides to sue, you will be glad to have the insurance in place, be it general liability to protect you from a customer or employers’ liability to protect you from a disgruntled employee.
- As insurance rates go up, reconsider your options every year, as top companies in the insurance business tend to be very competitive, and you may be able to get a much better price somewhere else. Keep your options open, and get legal advise for any loopholes or blind spots. On top of all of this, your insurance coverage still may not be enough. If facing the possibility of bankruptcy, get a good certified public accountant and a bankruptcy lawyer to walk you through the proceedings. They may be able to avail you of services offered in your insurance policies that you were not aware of, and your business will have a much better chance of surviving.
All of these cost-cutting measures are ways to stay afloat in this tough economy no matter what is thrown at your lawn care business. Your lawn care business, whether new or old, needs to have this kind of coverage and protection in order to compete in today’s market place. Even the biggest franchises get sued from time to time for various reasons, and it is generally considered a cost of doing business.
In accordance with the rule of survival of the fittest, you will want to avail yourself of the type of protection available to you, whether you’re a small, medium, or large business, and no matter how many or how few employees you have. The businesses who stay around the longest are those who have been able to weather the financial storms of law suits and other liability issues through smart business planning and good liability coverage.