Insurance of Tree Care Professionals and Property
Obviously, insurance is essential in tree care because of the risks involved with cutting trees. All tree care companies claim to be insured, but it is important to you, the customer, to know that the insurance coverage is right for the work. Let’s go over the essentials.
Insurance coverage will be presented in the form of a certificate of insurance (or COI). This document should be sent to you directly from an insurance company, not from the tree care company. It should list you as the client and must specify tree cutting as the service being provided.
The COI needs to include three separate policies:
- General liability is the policy that covers your property if it is damaged in the process of tree work. A classic example of this is a branch or tree striking your house or car.
- Worker’s Compensation covers any injuries to the crew members working on a project. This is often left out of a COI because it is expensive coverage in the tree care industry, but if your provider does not have it, you could be liable for any injury on the project.
- Commercial auto insurance should also be included on the COI. All trucks and trailers used to haul equipment must be properly insured and included on the certificate of insurance.
So when inspecting the insurance coverage of your tree care professional, remember to look closely at the COI, or certificate of insurance, for three items: general liability, worker’s compensation, and commercial auto insurance to insure the safety of you and your property.