Landscape & Irrigation

September 2017

Landscape and Irrigation is read by decision makers throughout the landscape and irrigation markets — including contractors, landscape architects, professional grounds managers, and irrigation and water mgmt companies and reaches the entire spetrum.

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20 September 2017 Landscape and Irrigation BUSINESS MANAGEMENT BY RAKESH GUPTA S eventy-five percent of small-business owners are underinsured, and 40 percent of small businesses have no insurance at all, according to Marshall & Swift/Boeckh. More than 9,000 on-the- job accidents happened in the landscaping industry in 2015 (Bureau of Labor Statistics), so it's frightening to think that so many small-business owners are leaving themselves vulnerable to an accident that could destroy their whole business. A business owner's policy, or BOP, is an insurance coverage that combines general liability and property coverage into a single policy. Each business is unique — with different numbers of employees, different services and different locations. These differences mean that each business also has unique risks, meaning the coverage can't be one-size-fits-all. Furthermore, as the enterprise evolves, so should its coverage. A standard BOP for a landscaping and irrigation company needs to provide the following protection: General liability General liability coverage protects the business from costs incurred through third-party claims or lawsuits if the business is responsible for bodily injury, property damage or personal injury. Considering the high amount of physical labor required in the landscaping industry, this coverage is critical for owners to hold. Building If the company operates out of a building that it owns, the business owner will need to purchase property coverage for that building. In addition, some lease contracts require the company to insure the business space. It's important to note that insuring the building for at least 80 percent of the replacement cost is typically required in order to avoid a penalty at the time of a loss. This is the section under which the company's irrigation tools or an arborist's equipment are covered in case of a fire, for example. Business personal property In addition to insuring the building, a company would also need coverage for the contents of the building. Business personal property coverage insures the "stuff " used to run the business. For a landscaper, that could include office furniture, seeding and mowing equipment, and the like. Business income and extra expense In the case of a covered loss like a fire or natural disaster, there could be additional expenses incurred if the operation must shut down for a time. Examples of this include payroll or rent. Business income and extra expense coverage replaces lost income, and also covers other costs required to get the business back up and running. In addition to these typical coverages, a business owner's policy can be customized. Adding endorsements addresses the needs and circumstances of the specific industry and policyholder. Endorsements, also known as riders, amend or add to an existing policy — like the base BOP — to change the terms or scope of the agreement. They can be added or changed at any time with the help of your insurance provider. A landscaping or irrigation business owner should consider the following endorsements in their BOP: Equipment breakdown Losing time due to equipment breakdown or malfunction can be incredibly costly. An equipment breakdown endorsement provides coverage for the failure of mechanical equipment used to conduct business, as well as the breakdown of electrical systems, air conditioning and office computers. Professional liability Professional liability coverage is also referred to as errors and omissions insurance, or E&O. This endorsement covers claims that a company caused damage by committing an error in performing Don't Let Improper Coverage Uproot Your Business Why every landscaping and irrigation company needs a business owner's policy

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