Arborist Insurance

What You Need to Know About Arborist Insurance

Canada is well known for its abundance of diverse foliage and forest area. As such, numerous Canadians have their properties landscaped with trees, shrubs and other plants. And many of these Canadians rely on arborists to trim and maintain their foliage year after year.   

As an arborist, you likely already know that there are many risks and dangers associated with your field, as arborists often spend most of their time up in trees using power tools to trim, shape or cut down large, heavy branches. One could fall incorrectly, land on a pedestrian, or damage a nearby vehicle. This is where a comprehensive business insurance plan is necessary to protect you from these risks. 

Insurance Coverage Options

Every new tree removal job brings a unique set of risks to the table. As such, whether you are an owner-operator contractor or you own a large tree removal company, you need arborist insurance to protect your business from unexpected risks and liabilities. 

By partnering with Insurance Hero, we make finding arborist insurance in Ontario simple. We know how costly insurance can be, which is why our expert insurance brokers go to great lengths to find you the best insurance policies for your business at an affordable price. 

What is arborist insurance?

Arborist insurance, also known as tree removal insurance, is a customized insurance portfolio tailored toward tree removal companies to provide financial protection in the face of third-party injuries, property damage, accidents or unexpected perils. 

What does arborist insurance cover?

Your insurance needs will vary depending on the type of work you do. For example, the requirements for a tree planter will likely vary from commercial arboriculturist. However, all contractors in Ontario must have commercial general liability insurance to protect themselves from financial loss. 

Commercial general liability insurance safeguards you from legal responsibility if a third party injures themselves or third-party property damage occurs on-site. This insurance policy covers the costs of incurred medical bills, legal fees, and repairs or replacements. You are also protected should the above happen on your company’s premises (e.g., your company’s office or storage building) or against any advertising and reputational injuries (e.g., slander, libel, copyright infringement).

What isn’t included in an arborist insurance policy?

While having arborist insurance can protect you from many risks that come with tree removal, it does not cover everything. While commercial general liability insurance will protect you from legal liability in the event of third-party injuries or damages, it will not protect you from things like:

  • Lawsuits due to missed deadlines or grave errors/oversights
  • Repairs or replacements due to commercial vehicle accidents
  • Property damage to your office
  • Lost or stolen equipment and tools
  • And more

As such, we strongly recommend you consider adding the following policies to your comprehensive arborist insurance policy:

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance, is essential for arborists. It protects your business and employees against the total cost of customer claims of negligence or inadequate work. For example, if you happen to cut down the wrong tree or fail to complete the job by an agreed-upon deadline, you could suddenly find yourself facing a lawsuit. Professional liability covers:

  • Errors, mistakes and oversights
  • Failure to meet deadlines
  • Failure to deliver your product to a customer
  • Professional negligence
  • Failure to meet a standard of care
  • Breach of contract

Commercial Auto Insurance

As personal auto insurance is not designed to cover vehicles used for work, you need commercial auto insurance to protect your company vehicles. This policy will cover any vehicle used to transport materials, tools and equipment or people to and from job sites, such as cars, trucks, vans and trailers. This policy includes the following protection:

  • Third-party liability: If you or an employee are found to be at fault in an accident while driving a commercial vehicle that leads to a third party’s property damage or injury/death, this policy will cover legal fees, repairs and medical expenses.
  • Accident benefits: This policy covers the driver, passengers, or pedestrians if injured in a vehicle accident, regardless of who is found to be at fault. These benefits include:
      • Income replacement, non-earner and caregiver benefits
      • Medical rehabilitation and attendant care benefits
      • Death and funeral benefits
      • Miscellaneous benefits
  • Uninsured automobile coverage: Should the occupants of a commercial vehicle be involved in an accident with an underinsured at-fault motorist or a hit-and-run driver, this policy covers medical expenses, lost wages and more.
  • Direct compensation-property damage: If you are found not at fault while using a commercial vehicle, this policy covers the cost of repairs or replacement of your vehicle, its contents and a rental.

The following additional types of coverage are strongly encouraged for your comprehensive arborist insurance policy:

Commercial Property Insurance

If you have a brick-and-mortar office, or a building where you store equipment, this policy protects it and the contents inside by covering your financial loss from such perils as:

  • Property damage due to natural disasters, flood, fire, vandalism or theft.
  • Property damage or theft of electronics, equipment, company documents or employees’ personal belongings.
  • Inventory theft by employees.

Commercial property insurance can also include business interruption, which protects your business should you be unable to work due to an illness or injury and have to shut it down temporarily. This helps offset ongoing costs from income losses, such as bills, employee wages, etc.

Pollution Liability Insurance

Even if the level of pollution exposure is extremely low, pollution liability is essential for contractors. With today’s environmental regulations, contractors need coverage to protect them against claims of pollution caused by their operations. So even if the pollution risk is low, this insurance is often required for many contractor jobs.

Pollution liability protects you in the event of sudden and gradual environmental damage occurring at the job site that results in third-party bodily injury or property damage. It includes:

  • Transportation exposures during loading and unloading
  • Environmental damage and clean-up costs 
  • Emergency response costs
  • Civil fines, penalties and assessments

Equipment and Tools Insurance

There is nothing more essential to a contractor than their tools. Without them, you cannot complete your job. Equipment and tools insurance covers reimbursement costs for tools and equipment that need repairs or to be replaced if lost, stolen or damaged due to theft, vandalism, fire or flood. This policy includes tools and equipment owned, leased or rented and provides coverage whether in storage, transit, or left at a job site.

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What impacts insurance rates for arborists?

When building an arborist insurance portfolio, several factors can affect the price, including:

  • How many employees you have
  • Their licenses and professional certifications
  • How much experience your company has
  • What tree services you offer
  • Your tools and equipment
  • Your annual/projected revenue
  • The project type, such as commercial or residential
  • The project location

Get an Arborist Insurance Quote Today

The type of insurance you need will depend on several variables, such as how large your arborist business is and how many employees you have. Let Insurance Hero help manage your risk and insurance cost by conducting a full commercial insurance policy review to determine what kind of coverage is best for you!

For reliable, affordable Ontario arborist insurance, please request a quote online or call us at 1-855-777-4376. Our team of insurance heroes is happy to answer any questions you have!