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As a gardener, you already know the risks that come with the job – from stolen equipment and smashed greenhouses to members of the public getting injured. Should something go wrong, though, you may end up with a hefty compensation bill.

To remove those seeds of doubt, it’s a good idea to consider gardeners’ insurance. It can protect you and your business, helping to cover the legal fees and compensation costs that might arise.

What is public liability insurance for gardeners?

Public liability insurance for gardeners provides cover in case you accidentally injure or kill someone or damage or lose their property through your business activities. While not required by law, you may find that some customers will ask for proof that you’re covered with public liability insurance before hiring you.

Stray lawn mower? Window smashed with a spade? Whatever the reason for a claim against your business, public liability insurance can help to cover the legal fees and compensation costs.

What other types of insurance should gardeners consider?

As well as public liability insurance, there are other insurance products that a gardener should consider.

Employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement if you employ anyone in the UK who is outside your immediate family. It can help to cover legal and compensation costs in the event that a member of staff is injured, falls ill, or even dies as a result of working for you. Failure to have the correct employers’ liability insurance in place could result in a fine of £2,500 a day.

Personal accident insurance could help towards loss of earnings if an injury puts you out of work, either for a short period of time or indefinitely. Say you trip over a hose while watering plants and break your arm, personal accident cover could help to compensate you for time you spend out of work. It can also provide compensation to your beneficiaries in the event of your accidental death. Insurers usually offer personal accident compensation as a one-off lump sum.

Tools insurance can cover the cost of replacing or repairing your essential equipment in case of damage, theft, or loss. Lost your shears? Sheer bad luck, but it happens. Bear in mind that most providers will have exclusions that you should be aware of – for example, general wear and tear will normally not be covered by your tools insurance policy.

Hired-in plant insurance should be considered if your hired equipment gets damaged, stolen, or accidentally misplaced. For example, if you have hired a digger to complete some landscaping, this insurance could help to pay for repairs or a replacement.

Professional indemnity insurance can provide financial support if your customer is unhappy with your gardening work, or believes you have been negligent – perhaps you gave them poor advice about cutting down a hedge or landscaping their garden. In the event that your client raises a claim against you, this insurance could help cover the compensation and legal fees that arise.

Do I need gardeners’ insurance?

If you employ anyone in the UK who is outside your close family, you’re legally required to take out employers’ liability insurance. You could be fined £2,500 for each day you’re without it.

Other insurance policies – such as public liability and personal accident insurance – are worth considering, but not legally required. However, as you know, there are certain risks involved with gardening work, ranging from tool theft to property damage.

Let’s say your lawn mower spits rocks into a greenhouse, which smashes into costly pieces. Public liability insurance could help cover the compensation and legal fees, helping your client fix their greenhouse without draining your funds.

What does gardeners’ insurance cover?

Depending on your particular business, gardeners’ insurance can include the following types of cover:

  • professional indemnity insurance
  • public liability insurance
  • employers’ liability insurance
  • tools insurance
  • hired-in plant equipment insurance
  • personal accident insurance

Your gardeners insurance may not include all of the products listed above. Most insurance providers will allow you to pick and choose the ones that suit you best.

It’s also worth noting that business insurance policies won’t generally include vehicle insurance – therefore, if you use a van for work, driving materials and equipment to clients’ houses, you’ll need to take out a separate policy.

» MORE: Do I need business insurance?

What isn’t usually covered by gardeners’ insurance?

Generally, it comes down to how much you’re willing to spend on your insurance. For example, if you don’t opt for hired-in plant equipment insurance and you break your rented digger, your insurance policy won’t cover the repair costs.

Meanwhile, tools insurance usually won’t cover general wear and tear or mechanical breakdowns, or if you don’t securely lock away your gardening tools after hours.

Most business insurance packages are also unlikely to cover the vehicle use for work. For example, if you use a van to get to and from jobs, or to carry your equipment, you will need to take out a separate business car insurance or business van insurance policy.

How much does gardeners’ insurance cost?

There are many factors that play with the price of your gardeners’ insurance policy, such as the number of products you take out, the level of cover you need from each option and the number of employees you have.

These factors, and others besides, will determine your premium. Remember that, as no two businesses are the same, costs can vary. For example, a gardener working alone to water flowers and maintain their client’s lawn could expect a different premium than a landscaper using hired equipment to completely overhaul their customer’s garden.

How to choose the right gardeners’ insurance policy for your needs

With so many factors at play, it can feel difficult choosing the best policy. You can find the right gardeners’ insurance for your needs with the tool on this page.

» COMPARE: Gardeners’ insurance

Gardeners’ Insurance FAQs

Do I need insurance to be a self-employed gardener?

If you work on your own, then you’re not legally required to take out insurance. That said, clients may request proof of public liability insurance.

If you employ anyone in the UK who is outside your immediate family, you are legally required to have at least £5 million of employers’ liability insurance.

» MORE: What is business liability insurance?

Do gardeners have to have insurance?

You’re legally required to have employers’ liability insurance in the UK if you employ one or more people who are not members of your family.

However, you should also consider public liability insurance that can help cover the compensation costs and legal fees should someone else get injured, ill or die, or their property gets damaged or lost as a result of your work.

About the author

Dan Barraclough
Dan is an experienced writer of B2B and B2C content, having written for start-ups, small businesses and household name brands. His specialist topics include finance, insurance and business energy. Read more
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