The Lawn Care and Landscaping industry has many different risks associated with the work that is done by businesses in this industry. Each risk that is taken on can change what a business pays for commercial insurance, specially for workers’ compensation coverage. Like many industries, there are several different classification codes for lawn care and landscaping. The classification codes are determined by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). These classification codes separate businesses by the type of work they do or do not partake in. That is because of the diversified scope of activities a business can be involved in. For this industry there are a diverse group of businesses that operate and each carries its own unique risks.
This industry includes businesses who simply cut grass, but it also includes businesses who climb 50 in the air with a chain saw to work on trees. It includes businesses that maintain the grounds of an athletic field, businesses that manage cemetery properties and businesses who manage plants in a greenhouse. As you can see, there are many different levels of risk among each of these businesses. Most businesses operate somewhere in the middle of these risks. That is why it is very important for businesses to take a little extra time when purchasing commercial insurance. Take this time to speak open and honestly with an insurance agent about exactly what the business does and does not do on a daily basis. This conversation will prevent two main things: one is to properly classify your business and two is to prevent gaps in your coverage.
On the first point it is crucially important to properly classify your business. If you only cut grass and your agent puts you in a classification code that trims trees high in the air, you will pay far more in premium than is necessary. This usually gets fixed during an end of term audit, but even if it does get refunded it still means you have tied up cash in premium that could be used towards something more beneficial to your business. On the second point, speaking long and hard with your agent will prevent gaps in your coverage where you are not covered. Two common coverages businesses need, but frequently do not purchase are business loss of income coverage and data breach insurance. These conversations can help you determine if you do or do not need this coverage. It is best to determine this long before a claim occurs.
Now in addition to these conversations there are certain coverages that are recommended for all businesses operating in this industry. Those coverages are:
- General Liability Insurance
- Inland Marine Coverage
- Property Insurance
- Commercial Auto Insurance
- Workers’ Compensation
General Liability and Workers’ Compensation are required by law in most states. General Liability covers your liability to third parties where workers comp covers injuries that occur to your employees. Commercial Property Coverage could range from one small building where you store your vehicles and equipment or it can be as vast as covering an entire nursery. Inland marine coverage is usually an addition to a commercial property policy and it is a specialized form of insurance form tools and equipment. It is commonly referred to as ‘equipment coverage’ or ‘floaters‘. That is because the equipment is frequently in transit. In the lawn care and landscape business this would cover all of the equipment your employees take to the properties you are working on. Commercial Auto Coverage can be small depending on if the vehicles are used for maintenance only and they do not supply or transport plants. It can become quite extensive if your business transports plants and other equipment.
Other coverages may be needed depending on the business and the level of risk a business owner is comfortable taking. Taking extra time to speak open and honestly with your insurance agent can go a long way towards making sure you are in the proper classification code and that your business is fully covered for the risks you are taking.
Here are a majority of the classification codes included in the Lawn Care and Landscaping Industry. Each state has its own classification method. Most use NCCI, but some use other standards or they have their own. Check with your state governing board or ask your independent agent when you are attempting to be properly classified.
Business Liability Category: Artisan Contractors
SIC Business Insurance Codes:
• 0781- Landscaping and Planning
- • 0782- Lawn and Garden Services
NAICS Liability Classifications:
• 541320- Landscaper Architectural Services
- • 561730- Landscape Services
Business ISO General Liability:
• Code: 97047- Landscape Gardening
- • Code: 97050- Lawn Care Services
Common Workers Compensation Class Codes:
• 0042 – Landscapers and Drivers
• 9102 – Park Maintenance, Lawn Care, and Drivers
- • 0106 – Tree Pruning or Spraying
• 9182 – This is a specific class code related to the maintenance of athletic parks.• 9220 – Cemetery operations perform similar work as many of these codes.• 9016 – Many specialized park operations utilize this classification those parks include amusement parks, ranges, arenas, concessions, golf, boat rentals, racing, rodeos, tracks, and zoos.