When customers hire a professional tree service, they will often ask what your insurance covers. Though public liability insurance for tree surgeons may not be a legal requirement, it is a common contractual requirement. Having inadequate liability insurance can cost you a big job, putting the money into the pockets of your competitors. Not to mention the risks of not being insured should an accident were to occur.
A single tree can literally weigh tonnes; and many of the tools and equipment used for tree surgery services can themselves be extremely heavy and/or have sharp edges. So the risks associated with the profession are not unimaginable. Tree surgeons and arborists have one of those professions where the more experience and skill you gain, the more challenging and risky the jobs you’ll be undertaking. These jobs are also often the most financially rewarding. Luckily, the more experience you have in your field, the cheaper your insurance premium will be. (With Ashburnham, liability insurance starts from as little as £245.30 a year.)
Tree services may include tree felling, crown reduction, tree trimming or tree pruning, amongst numerous other arboriculture services for domestic, commercial or environmental jobs.
You will need to sit and thoroughly measure all potential risks your business may face based on every service you offer and what could possibly go wrong in every scenario – no matter how unlikely they may seem. If there’s even a tiny possibility, then it’s still a risk that needs to be taken into account. For example, the removal of a branch may result in the break of a garden ornament, a smashed window or considerable damage to a car parked beneath. A tool falling from the top of the tree can also yield the same unfortunate results and the damage to other people’s property. If you take on work in public spaces, then liability insurance will also help to financially protect you should a member of the public become injured (for instance: a chunk of wood flies out of the chipper, causing injury), and demand compensation from you.
Being an arborist can involve using safety tools and equipment to scale the tree, using the Single Rope Technique or the Double Rope Technique. It can sometimes mean wearing harnesses and spurred chainsaw boots to dig the spikes into the tree as you step up. Tools cover is available as an extension to your liability insurance, to protect you against the loss, theft or damage of your climbing equipment, chainsaws and other handheld tools. Plant cover, on the other hand, will insure your wood chippers, mulchers, spitters and shredders.
Perhaps your line of work doesn’t deal directly with the trimming or removal of trees and you purely provide a consulting service. Professional liability insurance would then be highly recommended. Arborists are often consulted to assess tree hazards and tree values. As an arborist, you may be confident that a tree’s roots will not disturb or damage the building’s foundations but, at some point, perhaps even years or even decades in the future, you are held liable for your professional advice that led to the damage of the property. If you provide any kind of consultation service, solely or in combination with other tree services, landscaping services or hardscaping services, then it is certainly something worth considering.
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