Insurance for Gardening and lawn maintenance

If you’re in the business of gardening or lawn maintenance, there are several different types of business insurance that could be worth considering. This article will cover some of the main policies that may be relevant.
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Being properly insured can provide peace of mind, so you can concentrate on building your business and not worry about the unexpected.

This article will outline four common types of insurance which may be relevant to those in the gardening and lawn maintenance business, what they help cover and the benefits they could offer.**

Public Liability Insurance

Public Liability insurance helps cover the cost of legal fees and compensation if a customer, member of the public, or a supplier claims against you for injury or damage to their property as a result of your alleged negligent business activity.

‘Negligence’ is a strong word, but it’s surprising how easily things can go wrong. You might puncture a client’s underground sprinkler system during some routine maintenance work or accidentally run a piece of machinery too close to a fence. Either way, it could cost your business money.

Public Liability insurance may help provide protection for you and your gardening or lawn maintenance business in circumstances such as these. However, it’s important to be aware of what may or may not be covered. The below provides a guide on what may or may not be covered (depending on your chosen policy).

What’s typically included?

  • Compensation costs for personal injury suffered by a customer, supplier or member of the public (up to policy limits). .
  • Repair or replacement for damage caused to property of a customer, supplier or member of the public, due to your negligent business activities (up to policy limits). .
  • Your legal costs in defending a covered claims (up to policy limits). .

What’s typically not covered?

The thing to remember, is that Public Liability insurance covers the public, not you, your employees or your property.

In general, the following things may not be covered by public liability insurance:

  • Damage to your own property or your business property
  • Injuries to your business’ employees
  • Fixing bad workmanship
  • Professional negligence
  • Contractual liability

You should always check the policy wording for exclusions and limitations and of course, you also won’t be covered for any events occurring before or after the policy period.

Portable Equipment Insurance

Portable Equipment insurance (also known as General Property insurance) helps cover for loss and damage to items of portable equipment associated with your business. These can include tools of trade and items of stock.

When taking out a policy of this type, you will generally need to specify exactly the items you wish to insure otherwise items that are not specified could either have limited cover or not be covered at all. You’ll generally be expected to secure the insured property against theft—this will be outlined in your policy document terms and conditions.

When equipment and tools of your trade are central to your business, as with gardening and lawn maintenance, your business could be vulnerable to theft. Even a locked vehicle can be a target for a tool thief if left unattended while you’re working on a job.

But before you rush in and take out a policy, make sure you’re aware of what you’ll be covered for, and what you won’t. The below provides a guide on what may or may not be covered (depending on your chosen policy).

What’s typically included?

  • Accidental damage
  • Loss or damage caused by fire, water, storms, explosion, impact or malicious
  • damage
  • Theft from locked vehicles or buildings after forced entry
  • Theft of equipment secured to a vehicle with locks or padlocks

Note: coverage will generally be limited by the policy and you should check policy limits

Specified portable equipment may include such items as:

  • A mobile plant
  • Photographic/video equipment
  • Mobile phones/radio equipment
  • Computers, electronic diaries, GPS units and other electronic equipment
  • Associated accessories for equipment listed above

What’s typically not covered?

Loss or damage caused by:

  • Wear and tear
  • Cracking, scratching, breakage of glass or fragile items
  • Rust, mildew, mould, insects, vermin, dry rot, contamination or pollution
  • Any process of heating, drying, cleaning, dyeing or alteration to any insured item
  • Faulty materials or workmanship
  • Theft by employees
  • Unexplained inventory shortage

Tax Audit Insurance

If your accounts are audited by the Australian Tax Office, you may need to hire external accountants to assist in the process. Tax Audit Insurance helps cover a business for specified costs in responding to an official tax audit.

Tax audit insurance can help cover you against these unexpected charges. As with all insurance, read your policy carefully to check what’s covered and what’s not.

What’s typically included?

  • Accountants' fees
  • Tax agent fees
  • Other professional fees incurred in response to a tax audit

Note: coverage will generally be limited by the policy and you should check policy limits

What’s typically not covered?

  • Fines or taxes imposed as a result of the audit
  • Costs for your time, salary or lost opportunities whilst dealing with the audit
  • Your employees’ time or wages

Personal Accident and Illness Insurance

No matter how professionally run your gardening and lawn maintenance business is, accidents may happen. Injury or illness can mean you’re unable to work and that could mean a loss of income.
Personal accident and illness insurance cover can include a weekly benefit for loss of income if you are unable to work as a result of an unexpected injury or illness (even if it occurs outside of your employment) up to any policy limits. Optional extensions can help provide cover should you become permanently disabled or pass away as a result of an accident.

What’s typically included?

  • Loss of income as a result of injury;
  • Loss of income due to illness; and
  • Loss of income because of injury or illness (combined).

Note: coverage will generally be limited by the policy and you should check policy limits

In some cases, optional extensions could include:

  • Death benefits;
  • Disablement benefits; and
  • Business expenses.

What’s typically not covered?

Most personal accident and illness policies will not cover injury or illnesses as a result of the following:

  • Pre-existing conditions;
  • Pregnancy and childbirth;
  • An act which is intentional, criminal or caused by you;
  • Alcohol or drugs;
  • Professional sports; and
  • Motorsports.

If you’re in gardening or lawn maintenance, iSelect and BizCover are here to help

We can help your gardening and lawn maintenance business by helping you compare from a range of policies and providers*.

BizCover’s comparison service makes checking insurance policies a walk in the park (or garden). Their online platform takes the drama out of shopping around for your insurances, delivering quotes from a range of leading Australian insurers in minutes. Get started online now or call 13 19 20 and speak to one of our friendly team members—they’re the green thumbs of the insurance world and are ready to help you start comparing insurance policies for your gardening or lawn maintenance business.

Last updated: 29/09/2021