5 Tips for Lawncare and Landscaping Businesses when purchasing Workers Compensation Insurance
Spring is the time of year when most people start thinking about the condition of their lawn. For this reason, it is a very busy time for businesses in this industry. When business picks up in this or any other industry, with that extra business comes extra risk. The risks your business faces need to be protected with adequate insurance. Here are 5 tips to consider the next time you are considering workers compensation insurance for lawncare businesses.
Choose your equipment wisely
If you are a wise business man, you wouldn’t take a knife to a gunfight, right? The same concept applies to operating a successful lawncare business. When deciding which types of equipment to buy and how many, it is important to first consider the types of services you are going to offer. Target the equipment that will help you get the job done fast, first. Considering equipment that requires minimal maintenance is crucial. It is equally important to consider the total cost of ownership as opposed to the initial price. Just because a mower has a cheaper purchase price doesn’t mean it’s the best solution.
Take Hiring Seriously
Replacing employees is expensive. Taking additional steps to get the right people in place can save you immensely in time and money later when you do not have to rehire employees. Finding the best fit is most important. Sometimes an employee with a less desirable resume may be the better fit because they are committed to you and your business.
Implement a Safety Program
Safety programs can help your business in a number of ways. First and foremost, it will limit the amount and severity of injuries you and your employees experience. Even if a safety plan addresses something as simple as getting in and out of a landscaping truck it can benefit your business in the form of less accidents and less workers comp claims. Also, it can be used by your insurance agent to get additional credits and discounts when purchasing workers compensation insurance. Additionally, a well-documented safety program can help your agent negotiate on your behalf when you have a year in which you have several claims or one large claim. The safety program can be used as a way for your agent to show the insurance carrier you have a plan to prevent these claims from becoming a recurring habit. Without a safety program in place, your insurance carrier is much more likely to raise your rate of premium or drop you from coverage altogether.
Include a Return to Work Plan
Including a return to work plan as part of your safety program can be an enormous cost saving measure. More than half of all injured employees who are out of work more than 12 weeks never return to work. This is when a small claim can turn in to an enormous cost for your carrier and have damaging result to your experience modification rating. This rating is one of the key components insurers take in to consideration when deciding to offer you coverage. Not controlling this rating can have disastrous effects on your business. A thorough return to work program can prevent a claim from moving from a slight hiccup to something that has disastrous impact on your businesses bottom line.
Consider Pay as You Go Workers Comp
Because of the seasonal nature of the lawncare and landscaping industry it is difficult to forecast a businesses yearly revenue or man hours. Because of this seasonal nature to the industry, pay as you go workers compensation insurance may be an excellent way to pay your insurance premium. This program allows a business to pay their workers comp premium each month based upon the previous months payroll. This is instead of paying an estimate based upon previous years payroll. This prevents you from over or under paying premium and prevents the need for most mid-term audits. This can save you time, money and a few headaches when dealing with your insurance carrier.