NAICS CANADA CODES:
541320 Landscape Architectural Services
561730 Landscaping Services
Description of Operations:
Landscape contractors design, install, and maintain the exterior land or plot finish. This can be not only the installation of sod for a lawn or grass foundation, but also the placement of trees, bushes, shrubs, flowers, and other plants. Some landscape contractors will install underground water or sprinkler systems. Others will provide a lawn or grounds maintenance service. Additional operations may include nurseries or lawn and garden shops.
Property exposures can be simple office and vehicle or equipment storage. Whenever vehicles are maintained or repaired within buildings, fire potential increases.
Other property exposures unique to this type of operation may be the use or sale of live and growing plants, shrubs, bushes, trees, or flowers. These may be in a structure such as a greenhouse or on the outside of the building in a yard exposure. If either of the exposures exists, loss from wind, rain, or other natural elements needs to be carefully evaluated. Specialty coverages or those designed specifically for this type of operation to cover the loss causes of natural elements may be needed.
Greenhouses themselves can present a unique set of exposures. Older structures of glass may be subject to frequent glass damage losses. Newer structures are simply frames with plastic coverings. These plastic coverings need frequent replacement as they tend to yellow or cloud in the weather and block out the necessary sunlight.
Special programs and coverages are available to protect the structures and the growing plants or crops. What kinds of back-up systems or generators are available for freezing or other temperature losses?
Fire hazards can be high from the flammables used in the repair operations, such as solvents and degreasers, as well as the chemicals in fertilizers and insecticides. These must all be well controlled, labelled, and separated, with proper storage in the appropriate containers and storage facilities.
Inland marine exposure includes the transporting of live plants, trees and shrubs to the customer’s property and the contractor’s equipment used to care for lawns, trees and shrubs. The transport exposure will vary based on the size of trees transported. While most landscapers will only use young trees, some transport mature trees. This is a very difficult move and requires specialized equipment for both removal and transport. Contractor’s equipment will vary and may include mowers, sprayers and even cherry pickers for tree trimming.
Occupier’s Liability hazards exist during installation and control of the job site. Limiting access to outsiders is important but very difficult. An awareness of persons prior to working and keeping a working distance is important to protect others. A major concern is the application of lawn chemicals. Chemical applications produce premises and completed operations hazards that could result in serious long-term injury, illness, or disease to customers and passersby. The controls in place during application, the warnings used, and the protection afforded are all important items to evaluate. Proper licensing and certification is vital in chemical applications. Tree trimmers must also be aware of passersby as well as power and communication lines.
Environmental impairment has significant concerns. Any type of chemicals will result in significant disposal and waste treatment hazards. Controls are imperative, as is compliance with all government standards. Employees who handle chemicals must have the appropriate licenses and certifications.
Automobile liability can be very limited if the service is maintenance only and does not supply plants. However, the more plants and large trees transported the heavier the exposure. Some may be oversize transport and all consideration must be taken to avoid damage to property during the transport.
Workplace safety exposures come from the operation of machinery and equipment, including some at height situation. Since power-cutting equipment is used, there are also potential cuts and possible amputations. Back injuries, hernias, sprains, and strains are all common claims. Chemical applications may cause lung problems along with allergic reactions and other more serious complication. Precautions must be taken with the chemicals and careful attention given to label warnings.
Minimum recommended insurance coverage for Landscape Contractors:
Business Personal Property, Contractors’ Equipment, Dishonesty, Disappearance and Destruction, General Liability, Umbrella, Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-Ownership Automobile
Other Insurance coverages to consider for Landscape Contractors:
Building, Business Income with Extra Expense, Accounts Receivables, Computers, Goods in Transit, Installation Floater, Employment Practices Liability, Directors and Officers – for profit, Environmental Impairment