Tree care companies provide services such as pruning, removal, plant health care, cabling and bracing, transplanting, consulting, fertilization, and lightning protection. With the use of dangerous tools and equipment and the exposure to a variety of hazards, these types of operations are among some of the riskiest for both employers and employees. While the implementation of various workplace safety programs can reduce the risk of injury or death, accidents can and will occur, even with the highest standards in place. It is important that tree care companies establish a risk management program that considers a variety of methods to reduce risk exposure, including those stemming from workplace injury and loss.
Workers’ Compensation Protects Employees and Employers
Business can purchase workers’ compensation insurance to protect the company and its employees from financial loss as a result of workplace injury or work-related illness. Typically, workers’ compensation covers an employee’s medical expenses, rehabilitation costs and at least some portion of their lost wages. If an employee is killed on the job it also pays a funeral benefit.
Workers’ compensation coverage is important for any tree service company due to the hazardous nature of the profession. Coverage is a benefit for both workers and employers. Workers receive guaranteed, no-fault benefits for injuries, illnesses, and deaths while employers receive protection from lawsuits and other large financial losses.
Find the Best Policy for Your Tree Service Business
It is important for tree care companies to ensure that workers compensation policy is tailored to cover the specific risks of business operations. The following items should be considered when selecting a policy:
- Coverage terms, limits, and deductibles
- Premiums and fees
- Exclusions and conditions
- Availability within the state of business operations
- Options to cover subcontracted work
- Injury prevention standards and claims management procedures
Use the Correct Class Codes
Obtaining the right coverage and accordingly, paying appropriately priced premiums, is highly dependent on the classification codes used to identify the type of work employees do. For examples, a company that excavates trees will carry different risks from one that plants them. The following are some of the most commonly used National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) classification codes for tree care companies:
- 0005: Tree Planting
- 0106: Tree Service and Removal
- 2702: Tree Removal- Logging
- 6217: Tree Excavation
Avoid Ghost Policies
Ghost policies are only available to sole proprietors with no employees. An individual business owner may decide to purchase a ghost policy, or one that provides coverage to no persons, to satisfy proof of insurance requirements at job sites. These policies do not offer any workers’ compensation protection, and it is important to understand the type of coverage purchased when looking for workers’ comp. If a business owner has employees, they should avoid ghost policies.
How to Learn More
A comprehensive and appropriate workers’ compensation policy is critical for tree service companies to reduce risk of loss for both employees and employers. To learn more about workers’ compensation for tree service professionals, get in touch with our team at NIP Group today. Our licensed professionals will be happy to answer any questions you have.