The landscaping services industry in Canada has performed very well despite instability in construction markets in past years, with residential and commercial interests seeking to improve upon the aesthetic and functional features of existing properties (versus new builds). That being said, the forecast for the new construction market predicts continued increases, with BC’s Greater Vancouver leading the way, creating an even more consistent demand for landscaping services in the province.
To date, there are more than 180 Better Business Bureau Accredited landscape contractors in British Columbia, with exponentially more non-accredited landscapers throughout the province, working to meet the increasing demand. Long story short, landscaping is a great field to be in, but it does not come without its fair share of liability concern.
A landscaper is charged with managing outdoor spaces for homes, multi-residential complexes, and commercial properties and may also find themselves securing contracts for municipal parks and public squares. All of this equates great responsibility, given that the success of a job not only rests upon discriminating client tastes but occupant/resident and public safety alike. Many claims can be made against a landscaping business, many of which are addressed below.
Common Liability Concerns for Landscapers:
- Residential property damage
- Commercial property damage
- Third party injury – Clients and public can be harmed if they are able to access the space before it has been completed. For example, sharp tools and dangerous equipment on the grounds can pose a significant safety threat.
- Hazards created by use of pesticides and fertilizers
- Equipment loss and damage – including (but not exclusive to) theft and vandalism.
- Water damage (interior/exterior) that can occur from poorly installed irrigation systems
- Automobile accidents – You’re using a vehicle to transport, tow, and haul tools, equipment, machinery, plants, trees, soil, and other items that can inflate safety risk on roads and highways.
The list above may detail some of the primary liability concerns for landscapers, but there are many other vulnerabilities to contend with. You must take every measure to protect your clients and your own interests with the most comprehensive coverage possible.
Insurance Resources Available to Landscapers in BC
- Small Business Insurance
- Commercial Property Insurance
- Commercial Liability Insurance
- Equipment Breakdown Insurance
- Business Interruption Insurance
- Builders Risk Insurance
- Automobile Insurance
Consult with an independent insurance broker to ensure that you have a policy that considers everything addressed above, and more. If your landscaping operation is based in BC, contact Park Insurance in Greater Vancouver today.