Our Tree Service Insurance Stands Out
- Specialized coverage options specifically for the tree care industry
- Risk control, claims management, and compliance & safety resources
- We handle crane and boom exposures, snow & ice removal that many of our competitors ignore
Working in the tree care industry is inherently dangerous and, as a result, tree service companies are faced with large risks and potential liability. Don’t let an accident, injury, property damage, or theft put you out of business. The right tree service insurance policy can help you manage the legal and financial burdens if the unexpected happens.
A standard insurance policy issued to businesses to protect them against liability claims for bodily injury and property damage from out of premises, operations, products, and completed operations.
Example: A client hires your tree care company to take down a tree and remove a stump from their property. After the job has been completed, the customer claims you significantly damaged another tree and its roots, causing it to die. General Liability coverage would most likely cover this type of claim due to it being related directly to your work done for the client.
This type of insurance protects the insured against financial loss because of legal liability for automobile-related injuries to others or damage to their property by an automobile.
Example: One of your employees is driving a work van back from a tree care job. While traveling, your driver rear-ends another vehicle at a stoplight. Your commercial auto liability insurance would cover the vehicle, as well as, any property damage incurred during the accident. A personal auto insurance policy will typically not cover your work vehicles – even if the driver is off duty.
An insurance policy for businesses that insures against damage to their buildings and contents due to a covered cause of loss, such as a fire. The policy may also cover loss of income or increase in expenses that result from property damage.
Example: The warehouse you use as the main office for your business is severely damaged by a fire. Additionally, some of your work equipment was damaged while being stored in the warehouse. Your property insurance would cover the physical structure itself, as well as, the property you have stored inside of it.
An Inland Marine insurance policy covers the loss or damage to any transport by which the property is transferred, acquired, or held between the point of origin and the final destination.
Example: On the way to remove a tree, you make a stop before getting to the job site. While away from the vehicle, some of the tools you were transporting are stolen. In this instance, Inland Marine insurance would cover the cost to help replace the stolen tools and equipment that was in transit.
Umbrella liability insurance covers claims in excess of regular homeowners and auto policy coverage with the main purpose of protecting assets from an unforeseen event, such as a tragic accident in which the business is liable. Although similar, umbrella liability coverage should not be confused with excess liability coverage.
Example: While working at a jobsite, a tree falls and destroys a large portion of the client’s house and must be repaired. The cost of the repairs and lawsuit exceed the limits set by your General Liability policy. In this case, your Umbrella policy would provide the extra coverage needed to handle the expenses incurred from the accident.
A commercial crime insurance policy typically provides several different types of crime coverage including employee dishonesty coverage, forgery or alteration coverage, computer fraud coverage, funds transfer fraud coverage, kidnap, ransom, or extortion coverage.
Example: Several your employees work onsite at the main office of your tree care company. At some point, you discover that one of your employees has been stealing company tools and selling them. Your Crime policy would cover the items the employee has been stealing.
Contractors Pollution Liability
Contractor-based insurance policy, offered on a claims-made or occurrence basis, that provides third-party coverage for bodily injury, property damage, defense, cleanup, and related defense costs as a result of pollution conditions arising from contracting operations performed by or on behalf of the contractor.
Example: A corporate office client hired your tree service company to prune some trees and spray pesticide around the perimeter of their building. While performing the pesticide application, one of your employees accidentally overturns their spray rig, dumping pesticide on the client’s lawn. Several of the office employees claim that they are feeling ill after being in contact with the area where the spill occurred. A pollution liability policy will cover not just area damaged from the pesticide spill, but also any injuries caused by pollution.
Employment Practices Liability
Employment practices liability insurance protects employees against resulting litigation, including claims of sexual harassment, discrimination, and wrongful termination.
Example: An employee of your tree service company is terminated due to their work performance. However, the employee claims wrongful termination on the grounds of discrimination. In this instance, an Employment Practices Liability policy would protect you against a potential employee lawsuit related to this claim.
Cyber liability covers exposures when communicating or conducting business online. Potential liabilities include the internet and email. Online communication tools could result in claims alleging breaches of privacy rights, infringement or misappropriation of intellectual property, employment discrimination, violations of obscenity laws, the spreading of computer viruses, and defamation.
Example: Your arborist company launches a new website to highlight the services you offer for customers in your area, book appointments, and make payments. Within a few weeks, you discover that your website has been hacked and your business is now being extorted to pay money in order to release the website. A cyber liability policy would cover lost income due to business interruption, extortion, data loss, and more.
Workers’ compensation provides no-fault statutory benefits prescribed in state law by an employer to an employee (or the employee’s family) due to a job-related injury (including death) resulting from an accident or occupational disease.
Example: While removing a tree, one of your employees is accidentally struck by a falling branch and sustains an injury. Your Workers’ Compensation policy would cover the work-related injury to your employee. Workers’ Compensation is required in all states, the laws of which vary from state to state.
Tree Care Insurance - Frequently Asked Questions
The tree care industry has the highest annual risk of any sector in the green industry. Work-related accidents, damages, and injuries are a common occurrence in the tree care industry simply due to the nature of the work being performed. Professional tree service companies should always carry the proper tree care insurance to protect themselves from these incidents. All it takes is one incident to ultimately destroy even the largest tree care businesses if they don’t have the proper insurance coverage.
- See the details and examples of the types of risks faced by tree care professionals that can hurt your business >>
There are many lines of insurance coverage that your tree service company will benefit from. So how do you choose the types of insurance coverage that are right for you?
To help you make the best decision, check out these details and examples of the various types of tree service insurance you should consider to help protect your business.
A quick summary of the most essential types of coverage is below.
- At a minimum, general liability coverage is the most essential type of tree care insurance an arborist should have for their day to day operations. General liability coverage will protect your business in the event you or your employees cause any property damage or bodily injury while working.
- Workers’ Compensation coverage is required for all tree care businesses, but the terms of this requirement vary on a state by state basis.
- If your tree care business has a vehicle fleet, you should consider a commercial auto policy to cover you in the event of any vehicle accidents or damage to your fleet.
- Commercial property insurance will help cover your business location (whether home-based or a physical office), as well as your tree care equipment, tools, etc.
- An inland marine policy will protect any of the tree care equipment you are transporting to and from jobsites.
- In some cases an umbrella or excess liability policy may be required if you’re required to have coverage limits that exceed your standard general liability policy. Although very similar, umbrella and excess liability coverages differentiate in how they provide additional coverage.
The amount of insurance you carry is largely driven by the type of work you do. If you mainly do utility line clearing, for example, the state may require that you carry a specific minimum amount of insurance coverage. Commercial tree work customers often have detailed insurance requirements for all contractors. For residential work, homeowners will want to know you are adequately covered in the event there is an incident due to your work. It is best to have more insurance than you feel is needed because, in the unfortunate event a claim occurs, you won’t risk the business you’ve spent years building.
The cost of tree care insurance varies from company to company. The cost is dependent on a variety of factors, including:
- the size of your business,
- the assets you want to protect,
- the area you work in, and
- the type and scope of work you perform.
For example, tree care insurance costs may be higher if your tree care company generally performs more risky work or uses heavy equipment (such as cranes or lifts). In these cases, your premium will likely be higher due to the increased risk (exposure) of your work.
The most common tree service insurance claims seen by insurance companies include:
- property damage,
- injuries to others caused by tree work,
- commercial vehicle accidents, and
- workers’ compensation claims from work-related injuries.
The most common accidents tree care professionals encounter in their work include:
- falling from heights,
- struck-bys, or
- equipment related injuries (chainsaws, climbing gear, cranes, etc.).
In more severe cases, some utility line clearance companies have been charged with multiple counts of involuntary manslaughter as a direct result of wildfires caused by faulty equipment and improper vegetation management.
Becoming or employing a Certified Arborist establishes your business as being a top tier professional tree service company. Additionally, arborist certification can help you acquire desirable contracts that are not open to general tree care professionals.
While a Certified Arborist distinction does not directly influence your tree care insurance rates, it does establish a culture of safety and risk management which will help reduce your claims.
Certified Arborists are also required to have both general liability and workers’ compensation coverage in order to perform any tree care-related work.
In the event of a tree care related incident caused by your work, the first step is to document the incident in as much detail as possible. Make note of the following:
- who was involved,
- the work being done when the incident occurred, and
- any injuries or damage that occurred.
Next, contact your tree care insurance carrier to report the incident and provide them with as much detail as necessary. As a TreePro client, you’ll be able to use our expert claims center to help you manage your claims and ensure your business continues operating without interruption.
TreePro offers every client the premier service they need to keep their operations running. We provide you with the coverage and protection you want and expect from your tree care insurance. In addition, TreePro helps you reduce claims by providing access to our world-class risk management services, expert claims assistance, and more.
With over 30+ years of industry experience, TreePro knows exactly what tree care professionals need out of their insurance coverage.
Experience Modification Rate (EMR), also known as eMod or mod rate, is a critical component of an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance premiums. What influences an Experience Modification Rate? Your tree care company’s losses over the prior year are examined in order to determine potential future losses. An insurance underwriter then uses this information to price out your arborist insurance premium.
What’s the best type of insurance for an arborist or tree care pro? What coverage do you really need? Here's how to protect your business...Read More
Why is it so difficult for tree care companies and arborists to get Excess Liability coverage? Here are some of the obstacles you may face when looking for tree service insurance.Read More
August 23, 2021Understanding Commercial Auto Insurance for Arborists
Your auto fleet is vital to your arborist & tree service business operations. However, if your commercial auto insurance isn't up to snuff then you could be risking your a large portion of your investment. Read this article to learn more about finding commercial auto insurance coverage that is suitable for your business.Read More
May 11, 2021Fire Prevention Through Property Preparation
Fire prevention is becoming an increasingly sought after service for both public land and private-homeowner land management. As a tree service company, your business can help your clients create a line of defense from wildfires. Learn more in this article...Read More
TCIA publishes annual accident briefs detailing incidents within or related to the tree care industry. These briefs are a great resource to understand common workplace hazards that tree care professionals face on a daily basis. You’ll find details about accidents and injuries related to tree climbing equipment, fall hazards, utility line clearance hazards, electrocution fatalities, crane operation accidents, and more. Tree care professionals can leverage this data to raise awareness and develop safety training guides or tailgate safety meetings about the potential dangers arborists face.
TCIA’s list of ten things every tree care professional should know about working around electricity (not just utility line clearance crews and arborists!). Electrical hazards are the leading cause of fatalities in the tree pruning and utility line clearance industry. The information provided by TCIA helps to debunk myths surrounding utility arborist work and provides case study examples of accident incidences that have occurred in the tree care industry.
TCIA’s Certified Tree Care Safety Professional (CTSP) Program offers arborist training for tree care professionals looking for credentialed safety knowledge and experience. TCIA’s Certified Treecare Safety Professional program is the only safety credentialing program in the industry and is designed to address several of the safety challenges that tree care companies face.
TCIA’s business management guide provides a list of credentialing requirements for various tree care business roles and job types. The guide explains the roles of tree care apprentices, tree climber specialists, crew leaders, aerial lift specialists, and more. It also details the required training needed for each role, whether it’s tree pruning basics, aerial lift maintenance, arborist crew safety, and more.
Information on how to host Electrical Hazards Awareness Program (EHAP) or Tree Care Academy workshops through TCIA. Tree care business owners or organization leaders can set up EHAP workshops to provide training sessions for utility line clearance arborists and tree service professionals who commonly face workplace electrical hazards. Additionally, TCIA offers the opportunity to provide tree care professional certification opportunities through its Tree Care Academy training programs and workshops. Organizers can use the association to provide TCIA-Approved instructors to help conduct events.
A collection of the International Society of Arborculture’s tree climbing and arborist rigging related podcasts. This ArborPod™ series offers videos that can help an arborist identify parts of a line; select and use the appropriate knots; and learn about other tree climbing equipment, resources, and techniques valuable in a variety of climbing and rigging scenarios.
ClimbingArborist.com offers a free comprehensive video library of knot tying, tree climbing equipment, and rigging techniques (basic and advanced). Novices, advanced climbers, and all levels in-between, can use Climbing Arborist’s site as a resource to practice and master your Arborist skills. Tree pruning business owners can use the resources available on the site to keep their crews up to date on the latest techniques.
OSHA safety standards and publications concerning tree care worker safety and health protection. In tree care, just as in other professions, effective management of worker safety and health protection is a decisive factor in reducing the extent and the severity of work-related injuries and illnesses. Effective management addresses all work-related hazards, including those potential hazards that could result from a change in worksite conditions or practices. It addresses hazards whether or not they are regulated by government standards.
OSHA publications detailing the hazards tree care professionals and arborists commonly face throughout the industry. Many hazards in the tree care industry are potentially fatal. Overhead power lines, falling branches, and faulty safety tree climbing equipment are just a few of the dangers. These OSHA references can help you quickly recognize some of the hazards that may be encountered by tree care professionals.
Free on-demand webinars available through the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA). Topics include arborist insurance, marketing tree care services, and more. ASCA provides online learning to help Consulting Arborists learn and earn CEUs without having to leave their offices. Let experts lead you through timely topics and compelling lectures while you learn new skills and techniques you can immediately put to work for your clients.
The official magazine of TCIA has monthly updates on trends in the tree care industry, issues, and arborist news. As the largest tree care association in the nation, TCIA is the proclaimed Voice of Tree Care. The publication includes insight into common arborist issues, tree climbing equipment, safety standards, accidents, and much more. Tree care business owners looking to stay on top of the latest arborist news can find all the information they need in the magazine.
This article by TCIA explains tree care business insurance for arboriculture professionals, including the types of tree care insurance, the coverage they provide, and why they are important for any business. From general liability to Workers’ Comp, the article is a great resource for business owners who are unsure of what business insurance they need to protect their business. The tree care industry has many risks so business professionals will benefit from the types of coverage that best fits their needs.
Quick TCIA article covering how and why tree care businesses can utilize social media for their companies. As digital marketing becomes more prevalent in today’s world, social media has become a necessity to sell your tree care services to potential clients. In this brief, tree care professionals can learn about the different types of social media platforms and how to utilize them for their business efforts.
The TCIA Accreditation Checklist is a valuable tool for tree care business owners who would like to become accredited TCIA members. The checklist details all the necessary standards your tree service company needs to meet in order to earn accredited status. In addition, the checklist provides links to the guides, forms, and standards that should be consulted in order to properly meet each standard.
Powerpoint presentation slides detailing the benefits of operating a TCIA accredited tree care company.
Application form for tree care business owners looking to sign up for the TCIA Accreditation Program. The accreditation process helps to benefit arboriculture businesses by assessing their operations and providing them access to bid on contracts requiring accreditation. Tree care business owners looking to establish themselves as top tier professionals who value safety and provide quality service should consider the program.
TCIA publication detailing the importance and parameters of the Tree Expert Company Licensing Act. While some states do offer tree care professional licensing, they often fall short of requiring that the individual is a tree care expert in the field. TCIA aims to influence legislation that allows only qualified companies to use the title of “Licensed Tree Expert” after certified training in order to ensure public health, safety, and welfare.
A useful checklist to help formulate tree care and arborist business employee and personnel policies. Tree care business owners should work to develop employee guidelines and policies to avoid personnel issues. The checklist will help keep track as you develop arborist safety, sexual harassment, and accident-related protocols for your business.
A directory provided by TCIA for various tree care industry suppliers. The directory provides business owners with the best collection of vendors in the tree care industry. Tree service companies can utilize this information to find tree climbing equipment, arboriculture products, and services designed specifically for the tree care industry.
A collection of International Society of Arboriculture’s tree care business-related podcasts. Sharpen your knowledge of arboriculture topics with ISA’s informative, entertaining, and free podcasts! Each series has its own format but they all provide educational arborist industry content. ISA also provides CEU credits for listening to certain podcasts and completing their respective quizzes.
Continuing education opportunities for tree service business owners and employees available through the International Society of Arboriculture. With the goal of improving the level of knowledge and standard of practice within the tree care profession, one of the options for ISA certification holders in maintaining their certification status is to fulfill mandatory Continuing Education Unit (CEU) requirements. ISA qualification holders must take specific training and assessment(s) in order to renew their credentials.
OSHA additional resources fo tree service professionals covering everything from tree care fall protection, crane safety, arborist equipment, and more. As the federal standard for occupational safety and health, tree care businesses and professionals must comply with OSHA’s safety mandates. Utility line arborists and tree care experts should be familiar with the hazards they face and the standards that help to prevent them.
Small business resources compiled by OSHA available for tree service companies.
Resources for tree pruning professionals compiled by the University of Florida. The publications cover an array of tree care related topics from post-storm cleanup relief to urban pruning standards, tree health, and more. Tree care business owners will benefit form the research, safety tips, and fact sheets provided by the University of Florida.
TCIA’s Best Practices & Safety Programs information manuals for tree care professionals. TCIA’s safety educational programs seek to provide tree care companies with the tools and information needed to improve safety and professionalism on the job site while complying with OSHA and ANSI requirements. These programs are designed and written by arborists and are full of useful information specific to running a tree care business.
Useful driver qualification checklist for tree care business owners. A valuable resource for remaining compliant & reduce arborist insurance claims. An often overlooked area in almost any tree care business, auto policy claims due to negligent drivers are an all too common occurrence. Tree pruning service business owners should ensure their drivers meet the proper safety criteria to help avoid potential claims.
Accident claims report list for your tree care business fleet. Keeping an accident report on hand is lucrative for reporting claims to your tree care insurance company. Tree care business owners should ensure all vehicles in their fleet are equipped with an accident reporting list.
Checklist for tree service business owners to remain compliant with OSHA hazard safety standards. Business owners utilizing this checklist will help prevent being hit with OSHA violations or encountering tree care insurance claims.
State and regional tree ordinances compiled by the American Society of Consulting Arborists. A tree ordinance establishes authorization and standards for addressing a wide range of issues regarding trees. They should be developed and implemented as part of a broader effort to identify and address a community’s tree-related goals.
OSHA safety standards for tree care and arborist industry hazards. Tree care hazards are addressed in specific OSHA standards for record keeping and general industry. This section highlights OSHA standards and documents related to the tree care industry. Businesses that have been hit with OSHA violations have more difficulty acquiring the tree care insurance coverage they need.
|99777 – Tree Pruning, Dusting, Spraying, Repairing, Trimming or Fumigating|
|97047 – Landscape Gardening|
|95410 – Grading of Land|
|99310 – Snow and Ice Removal-Contractor|
|97050 – Lawn Care Services|
|16291 – Construction operations contractor (not railroads)|
|16292 – Construction operations owner (not railroads). Excluding operations onboard ships|
|91590 – Contractors Permanent Yards-Maintenance or Storage of Equipment or Material|
|99303 – Street Cleaning|
Utility arborists & tree-care professional often working at heights run the risk of fall hazards.
Utility arborists & tree professional working in cold climates can prevent hazardous working conditions. Check out these helpful tips!
Utility arborists & tree-care professional working in close proximity to power lines contend with a wide variety of occupational hazards.
Utility arborists & tree-care professional working in close proximity to power lines contend with a wide variety of occupational hazards. Read more about the hazards arborists face
Over the past five years, California has experienced numerous wildfires caused by power lines, creating concern over utility line clearing practices.
Before determining the proper crane safety protocol, a tree care professional should determine if the job even requires one.
Using a crane for a tree care job is a dangerous activity. If proper safety protocols aren’t followed, they pose a risk to arborist workers and pedestrians.
Read more about the varied types of chokers and slings for crane safety, the best use for each & how to stay safe throughout the process of fastening them.
In this article, we discuss proper chainsaw repair, maintenance, and how to sharpen a chainsaw for your professional arborist business.
In this webinar, Craig Bachmann provides a detailed overview of OSHA’s tree climbing gear inspection requirements arborists need to comply with.
In this webinar, Kevin Myers of ACRT explains changes to the ANSI Electrical Safety Standard & how it applies to utility line clearance arborists.
In this webinar, Dave McQuaid of IBEW Local Union 1919 talks changes in the tree care industry & why training an arborist replacement is crucial to success.
In this webinar, John Bertoli & Marissa Weidenborner explain how your small or medium sized business can navigate COVID-19 relief resources.
Here are the most frequent claims that we see related to green industry professionals in the tree care, tree pruning, & utility line clearance arborists sectors:
|Loss Description Code||Business Classification|
|Collision or Sideswipe With Another Vehicle||Tree pruning|
|Collision with Other Vehicle||Tree care professional|
|Damage To Property During Operations||Utility line clearance arborist|
|Breakage of Glass||Utility line clearance arborist|
Here are the most severe claims that we see related to green industry professionals in the tree care, tree pruning, & utility line clearance arborists sectors:
|State||Coverage||Loss Description||Total Incurred|
|CA||Auto Physical Damage||Overturn/Rollover||$179,000|
|CA||Auto Physical Damage||Other||$70,000|
|CA||Auto Liability||Struck or Injured By Motor Vehicle||$60,000|
|GA||Auto Physical Damage||Collision with Fixed Object||$48,532|