Tree surgeon insurance
Because of the nature of the work carried out by a tree surgery, business insurance can be essential for protection. There may be a number of things that you desire to protect, such as your tools and equipment, your staff, and yourself.
It’s likely you’ll find that a standard tradesman insurance policy does not cover tree maintenance, felling, or the use of pesticides – unless it’s on a small domestic scale. This makes it especially important to ensure you have an adequate tree surgeon insurance package to fit your specific needs.
The following forms of cover may be offered as part of a tree surgeon’s insurance package:
- Public liability insurance:
Public liability insurance is a key policy for all tradespeople – particularly ones that regularly operate in the public space such as a tree surgeon. This cover can provide financial assistance if you are accused of having caused injury to a third-party, or damage to their property, as a result of your business’s activities. Incidents you may encounter include debris from wood chippers causing injury to passers-by, or falling branches causing damage to parked cars.
Click the link for more info on what else public liability can cover.
- Professional indemnity insurance:
Any business that provides professional advice or services can benefit from professional indemnity (PI) insurance. Whether you carry out tree surgery for clients, or offer advice as a consultant, PI insurance can protect your business if your clients claim your service has resulted in them experiencing physical, material or financial loss.
- Employers' liability insurance:
If you employ people or labour-only subcontractors, you will be legally required to purchase employers’ liability as part of your tree surgery business insurance. This policy does not apply to you if you solely engage the services of self-employed subcontractors or only employ members of your own family.
- Tools and equipment insurance:
As you no doubt rely on tools to run your business, tools and equipment insurance can prove to be vital additions to your tree surgeon insurance package. These covers can help with the costs of replacing or repairing tools and equipment in the event of damage, loss or theft.
You can purchase this cover on an ‘indemnity’ basis, which accounts for wear and tear, or on a ‘new for old’ basis, which provides a brand new replacement for your damaged items. It is important to avoid under-insuring or over-insuring your tools and equipment – keeping all receipts can help you when valuing your items. Cover can apply for items in transit, in storage and in overnight storage, whether at your business premises or on-site.
- Plant and machinery insurance:
If you use machinery such as chippers, shredders or splitters, it may be worthwhile purchasing separate plant and machinery insurance. Often offered on an all-risks basis, this cover can provide financial assistance if your plant or machinery is damaged or stolen. This cover can apply for plant and machinery you own, have let out or are renting, and can provide cover while the items are in use, in storage or in transit. It may help your insurance premiums if you can prove that you’ve taken extensive security measures to guard against damage or theft.
- Contractors' all-risks (CAR) insurance:
If you’d prefer to protect the property you are working on and the tools, plant and machinery you use under one policy, you may prefer contractors’ all-risks insurance. This cover can provide financial assistance on an all-risks basis for your business.
- Motor cover:
It's likely that your work as a tree surgeon depends on you being able to travel to different locations. Tree surgeon vehicle insurance can help to protect your van or car while on the road. Motor cover or van insurance can provide protection for your vehicles and its contents while on the road. You may need to purchase specific covers for plant or machinery that you drive on the road.
- Business interruption insurance:
If you find yourself unable to trade due to an insured event, business interruption insurance can provide compensation for any loss of revenue you subsequently suffer.
- Personal accident insurance:
For a tree surgery, accident insurance can be one of the most important forms of cover that you put in place. Recommended if you’re self-employed, personal accident insurance can provide financial assistance if you are unable to work due to illness or injury occurring due to an accident. Cover can apply 24 hours a day and include accidents at home and at work. A similar policy is serious illness cover, which can provide financial aid if you are diagnosed with a serious illness or injury. You may find this particularly relevant if you’re regularly exposed to sawdust and fumes from pesticides and fertilisers.
Included within personal accident insurance is income protection insurance which can reimburse the income you lose during this time, or until you retire. Insurers may also provide you with access to specialist care, if applicable.
Things to consider
If you use a chainsaw for your tree surgery work, your insurer may need to see your chainsaw license before being able to grant you an insurance policy. Insurers may also impose a limit on the height and depth to which you can work, although many do offer a ‘no height limit’ policy. If you carry out heat work or burn debris on site, make sure to let your insurer know and to follow fire safety guidelines.
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