Tree Removal Insurance

Tree Removal Insurance

Whether you run a large tree service company or are an independent arborist, it’s critical to protect your business with insurance.

Zensurance - Arborist

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Tree Removal

Insurance for arborists

For arborists and tree removal companies, your customers rely on you to help them cultivate a wide range of trees, shrubs, and plants. They also often call upon you to remove a tree from their property, which is risky work. Someone could get injured by a falling branch, or a home or vehicle could be damaged by a tree that is being removed.

Having a specialized arborist tree removal insurance coverage is necessary for protecting your company, employees, and customers.

Tree removal insurance (arborist insurance) is a customized liability policy designed for tree removal businesses and contractors that provides financial coverage for third-party injuries, property damage, accidents, or unexpected events.

As an arborist, your work requires physically demanding labour in different weather conditions. Therefore, it is important to have insurance coverage specifically designed for the risks you encounter and the equipment you own.

A comprehensive tree removal insurance policy typically includes:

  •  Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance: CGL provides you with financial support for third-party claims or lawsuits related to bodily injury or property damage. It covers the costs of injuries or damages to a third party resulting from your company’s daily operations. It also provides you with support for your legal defence if you are sued.
  • Tools and Equipment Insurance: Without tools and equipment, it’s not possible for tree removal companies or arborists to do their jobs. That’s why purchasing tools and equipment coverage is necessary. It provides funds to replace or repair your tools and equipment whether you own, rent, or lease them. From backhoes to hand tools, tools and equipment coverage may reimburse you if your tools and equipment are lost, damaged, vandalized, or stolen.
  • Commercial Property Insurance: Commercial property insurance, or business property insurance, protects your business space or office. It provides financial support if the building your tree removal company occupies is damaged by severe weather, fire, theft, or vandalism. It also protects all the contents inside your commercial space including furniture, electronics, and any merchandise or inventory you have.

Additional coverage options:

  • Pollution Liability Insurance: Tree removal company owners also need to protect their employees and their businesses from risks associated with exposure to pollution while at a jobsite. Pollution liability insurance covers third-party bodily injury and property damage as well as environmental damage at a property where you’re working. It includes coverage for clean-up costs, civil fines, and emergency response expenses.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance: The vehicles your tree removal company uses need to be protected by a commercial auto policy against third-party liability and property damage. A personal car insurance policy is not designed to cover damages to a vehicle used for business purposes. Commercial auto coverage protects cars, trucks, vans, and trailers; any vehicle that is used to transport materials, tools and equipment, packaged goods, or people.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: Also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, professional liability coverage protects arborists and tree removal business owners who provide advice or services to their customers in exchange for a fee. It covers mistakes you or your staff make, negligent acts, misconduct, or failure to deliver a service as promised.

Regardless of the tree services provided (residential or commercial), there may still be risks of slip-and-fall injuries and property damage, especially in work locations close to buildings and pedestrians.

Professionals working in the tree removal business who need this type of coverage include:

  • Arborists
  • Commercial, municipal, and utility arboriculturist
  • Landscapers
  • Tree planters
  • Tree pruning and trimming contractors

The cost of insurance for a tree removal business or arborist working on residential or commercial projects typically starts at $540 per year for a CGL policy with a $2 million coverage limit.

There are several factors considered when determining a price for a Tree Removal Insurance program, including:

  • Number of employees you have and their licenses or professional certifications
  • Project type (commercial or residential)
  • Years of experience
  • Type of tree services offered
  • Location
  • Your tools and equipment
  • Annual and projected revenue

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Common claims scenarios

Arborist - tree trimming

Problem: You were contracted to remove a hanging tree branch from a client’s backyard. During the removal, you miscalculated the angle of the cut causing the branch to crash onto the patio destroying the homeowner’s property.

Outcome: Your commercial general liability insurance may cover the cost to repair the client’s patio.

Fallen Tree Property Damage

Problem: After conducting a tree risk assessment on a commercial property, your analysis concluded it was not necessary to have the tree removed.  A couple of weeks later, the same tree fell and significantly damaged a side of the building. Your client sues you for negligence.

Outcome: Your professional liability insurance may cover the cost to defend yourself in court and the damage to the client’s property.

Old tree infested with bugs

Problem: An invasive species was slowly killing a client’s 100-year-old tree, and you were left with no choice but to use pesticides to remove the infestation. During the procedure, you accidentally cause a spill that damages your client’s lawn and property.

Outcome: Your pollution liability insurance may cover the property damage resulting from the pesticide spill.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need additional coverage if I work on commercial tree removal?

Your arborist or tree removal insurance policy must reflect the type of work you do. If you frequently provide tree removal services on commercial properties, speak to a licensed broker about the amount of coverage your small business requires.

Do I need tree removal insurance if my clients have home insurance?

Yes. Even though your clients may have homeowner insurance policies, they are designed to protect their properties and possessions, but not your work, crew, or equipment.

A customer is asking for my certificate of insurance. How do I get it?

Your licensed insurance broker can provide you with a certificate of insurance if you need it. It is a one-page document that proves you are insured should you need to provide it to a partner, customer, or financial institution.

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