NIP Group regularly hosts webinars covering a variety of topics, from broker-specific to tree industry trends and more. In our April webinar, our TreePro Program Manager Tim Greifenkamp led a discussion with Rory Anderson, Account Executive at Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, and Eric Petersen, President of ArboRisk Insurance.
The focus of this webinar was to share their expertise around the unique risks of the tree care industry and what coverages are often overlooked. Here are our three key takeaways from the event.
1. Double-Check Your Tree Care Clients’ General Liability Policies
The first thing Peterson recommends to tree care clients is to review their professional liability and general liability to ensure that they have the right policy language and forms to cover your operations.
“Every job that a tree care does has an element of professionalism, an element of advice-giving, and without having the proper general liability form that can pay for mistakes made on a misdiagnosis from a plant or disease problem, cutting the wrong tree down – unfortunately that happens all the time, those are professional mistakes that happen out at the job sites and your general liability form is your first primary source of defense for all that,” he adds.
Many policies have limitations that limit or restrict coverage. That’s where Arborist Errors & Omissions form comes in, says Anderson. “The typical GL policy is intended to pick up bodily injury and property damage; however, it typically excludes your work, so that’s where Arborist E&O comes in handy. It provides coverage specifically for your work,” he says.
General liability excludes the work you’re doing on the tree so the key is adding the endorsement to give you that coverage.”
2. Make Sure Policy Limits Cover the Value of a Rental, Too
Sometimes, tree care companies will rent a mini-lift or other machinery before they buy it, and Peterson reminds us that the Certificate of Insurance can be an afterthought but it’s important to make sure the policy limits cover any rented equipment, too.
Even if a tree care client is renting or loaning out equipment to another company, ask for proof of rented equipment insurance. You’re still relying on their coverage, Peterson says, but you’ll at least have something. However, when it comes to risk management, best practice is not to let anyone borrow your equipment.
3. Specializing in the Tree Industry Has Many Benefits for Brokers
Both Anderson and Petersen focus exclusively on the tree care industry, and for Petersen, the biggest benefit is how that expertise helps his clients. “Our clients don’t have to explain their equipment to us over and over – we know what it is, we’ve played with it, we’ve been up in bucket trucks, we go to the conferences… we’re truly part of the industry.”
Anderson adds that he’s been able to attract best-in-class clients because of that understanding of the risks and industry and you can be a true partner/advisor to the customer rather than just a vendor. In today’s world, it’s all about building relationships and specializing is one of the best ways to do it in the insurance industry.
Watch the entire webinar to hear more about specific coverages and listen to the entire discussion on-demand here.