What Does A Landscaping Insurance Policy Cover?

Understanding Landscaping Insurance

It really doesn’t matter how much experience you have or how careful you are, there are going to be unforeseeable accidents and mistakes that arise on any job site. This is especially true for landscapers in the Ontario area. Are you truly prepared for these risks? Do you even know what type of protection your current coverage offers? Most landscapers don’t and this puts them even more at risk because they probably aren’t covered to the fullest. This is why it is imperative to understand your risks and what landscaping insurance covers.

coverage provided under landscaping insurance policy protects home owners hiring contractors so they can sue

There really is a lot of confusion surrounding landscaping insurance in Ontario. And, here is where most of the confusion lies. When someone talks about landscaping insurance they aren’t actually referring to one specific type of insurance policy. Instead landscaping insurance is a number of policies that have been combined together. For instance landscaping insurance could be an insurance plan that is bundled with commercial general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and professional liability insurance. You need to understand each individual offering and how it can protect you and your employees.

What Does Commercial General Liability Insurance Cover?

Commercial general liability insurance for landscapers is a specific type of policy that can protect you and your employees in the event that they cause property damage or bodily injuries to a customer. For instance, if one of your employees hit a client with a lawnmower or damages a plant, this policy will kick in and cover the medical and repair expenses. This type of policy also offers protection against advertisement slandering. For instance, if you post an ad saying that you offer the cheapest rates in the area, another competitor might feel like your ad compromised their good name. In return they could officially file a lawsuit against you saying that you slandered their name and hurt their reputation. 

The video below from ehowfinance breaks down contractor CGL insurance.

General liability insurance will not only cover the court costs of the ordeal, but it will pay for a lawyer as well. There are some insurance providers that will go as far to offer coverage in the event that you lose the suit.

What Does Professional Liability Insurance Cover?

Professional liability insurance is often times referred to as malpractice insurance or errors and omissions insurance. Any insurance expert will tell you that this insurance policy is without a doubt necessary for any landscaper in the Ontario area. In fact, law in Ontario requires it. Even though the law requires it, this insurance can offer much-needed protection that you need in a variety of situations. This policy protects you in the event that you or your employees make a mistake on the job and that mistake results in a financial loss to the customers.

For instance, if you spray the wrong chemical on a customer’s lawn and kill half their yard, this policy will pay to cover the repair damages. It also protects in the event that your work causes bodily harm. If a customer claims that a chemical you used on the lawn causes his or her dog to get sick, this policy will kick in and offer the protection that you need. If the dog die the client might even take the case to court.

In this event error and omissions insurance will offer the same protection as general liability insurance. It will cover lawyer fees and court costs.

What Does Commercial Vehicle Insurance Cover?

Landscapers have a lot of equipment that they haul around on a daily basis. Most of this equipment will require special trucks and trailers. In these situations there are always a number of risks that you will face on a daily basis. Not only will you be at risk of being involved in a vehicular accident, but also there is always a chance that a piece of equipment could fly loose and hit a parked or moving car. Commercial auto insurance will offer protection in both of these situations. It will pay to have the damages repaired and it will pay for any medical expenses that the involved individuals experience. Checkout III’s website to learn more about what should and should not be included in your commercial auto policy.

landscaper's truck covered under commercial auto policy to provide protection from collision

What Does Workers Compensation Insurance Cover?

If you are going to have employees under your belt you are going to need workers compensation insurance. This is a specific type of possible that was specifically designed to protect your employees. Your employees handle potentially dangerous equipment on a daily basis and it is not unrealistic to think that they could get be injured on the job. Regardless, of how careful they are or how much experience they have, there is always a risk and this is why it is good to carry workers compensation for all your employees. This type of policy will cover your employees in the event that they are injured on the job.

If an employee is injured by a piece of equipment or is hit in the face with flying debris, this policy will kick in and offer the required protection. It will cover their medical expenses, wages while they are off work, it will settle death suits and disability cases, and it will offer the same kind of court protection as the other polices mentioned above.

Tools And Equipment Insurance

A landscaper’s tools are his or her life. Without their tools they couldn’t do their job and this is why it is extremely important to protect those tools. Your tools are probably at the most risk when you are transporting them from job to job, but this is where tools and equipment insurance can offer the pertinent protection. Tools and equipment insurance will cover equipment damages, accidental loss, theft, and vandalism of your tools while they are in transit.

save money by comparing quotes from multiple landscaping insurance brokers

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How To Detect An Insurance Scam And Fraudulent Broker

Your insurance is expensive, spend your money wisely with a good broker

If you are a business owner in the Ontario area, there is a good chance you are spending hundreds of dollars each month on costly insurance. This coverage is a necessity to make sure you and your business, customers, and employees are properly insured. You may have also put in a good amount of time researching and studying different brokers, before you chose your current provider. However, this does not necessarily mean your insurer is acting with your best interests in mind. Canadian Insurance companies owe it to their policyholders to act in good faith, when it comes to handling claims in a timely and reasonable manner. Whatever this situation is you are spending good money on coverage and you should be treated fairly and with the utmost respect. 

Delayed Investigation

Anytime there is a claim filed in Canada, the commercial liability insurance company is required to send out a shady and not trust worthy insurance brokerrepresentative to investigate. This will determine if the police will cover the claim and how much of the claim it is going to cover. This process should be handled in a quick, timely, and professional manner. If you start to notice that your provider is procrastinating or keep delaying the process there is a good chance that you are dealing with a company that is acting in bad faith. This will not only cost you money in the long run, but it could potentially bring your business to a grinding halt, depending of the type of claim that you are filing.

Unreasonable Requests Of Proof And Documentation

After filing a claim it is highly possible that any insurance broker will ask for certain proof and documentation regarding the incident. However, there are a lot of insurers out there that will attempt to delay paying the claim, by making unreasonable requests for documentation. If you notice that your provider keeps calling your office and asking for more and more documentation, this is a pretty good indication that they are trying to get out of paying the claim.

Quick Settlements

Of course, every business owner wants their claims settled as quickly as possible, so they can get on with their daily business operations. However, anytime an insurer makes a settlement claim right away, this could be a very good indication that you are not getting everything owed to you. The situation needs to be thoroughly evaluated and accessed before a true number can be issued. Providers do this, because they know you want to get the situation over as quickly as possible. If they can get you to agree to a cheaper claim it will save them a bundle of money in the long run.

To avoid an incident like this it is always a good idea not to sign any documentation from your insurer until you speak with a skilled attorney. In fact, the attorney will handle the process for you, while you focus on getting your business operations back on track.

Bullying And Aggressive Tactics

After attempts of delaying the claims process and trying to get you to accept lower payments, it is possible that your insurer might try to force you into accepting a certain offer. If the agent tells you that what you are being offered is the best that you are going to get, or your policy does not cover this incident, there is a good chance that they are trying to swindle you. The best thing you can do in a situation like this is to seek out legal representation. Leave it in your attorney’s hands, so you are ensured you are going to be treated fairly.

Making Unfounded Changes To Your Policies

Anytime you are dealing with an insurance company, it is imperative that you keep all your

fraud policy changes by broker

Review your policy every year. Some fraud brokers can make changes to your coverages without you knowing!

signed documentation and bills on hand and where they can be located easily. Some companies have even gone as far as changing their customers’ polices, in an attempt to avoid paying the claim. As long as you have all the signed documentation that shows what polices you are and are not paying for, you should be covered in a situation like this. If you show the agent proof of your coverage and they still do not listen, just hire an attorney. Insurers will do whatever is necessary to avoid a lawsuit.

Poor Communication

After filing a claim your provider should be in constant contact with you and your office. They should be focused on getting the claim resolved in an expedient manner. If you notice your insurer is not returning your calls, answering your e-mails, or just avoiding you altogether, there is a good chance they are trying to avoid settling the claim.

A reputable insurer will immediately initiate an investigation into a claim as soon as it is submitted. They will do whatever is necessary to ensure their client’s best interest and make sure the process is completed in a thorough and timely manner.

 

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E&O Insurance Claims

Why you need Errors and Omissions Insurance to avoid claims cost

Are you aware of the fact that you’re taking a risk each and every time you work with a new client? In fact, there will always be a possibility that the client will become upset and this could result in a lawsuit being filed against your company. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid every little mistake and frivolous lawsuits can impact every Ontario business. Therefore, it is impossible to completely negate the possibility of ERRORS & OMISSIONS INSURANCE ONTARIO claims. Nonetheless, there are ways to decrease the chance for problems. Below, you will be provided with tips for avoiding disputes.

why you need errors liability insurance

Employee Training

First and foremost, you should realize that your employees will play a big role in keeping your clients happy and content. If your employees are insufficiently trained, the risks will be increased substantially. By only hiring the best employees and by putting each through rigorous training, you will be able to greatly reduce the potential for problems. These individuals will know their line of work better and they’ll be able to serve the client in a more satisfactory manner. Therefore, you should not overlook the importance of a good training routine for your employees.

Create A Quality-Control Protocol

While you’re at it, you should consider creating a quality-control protocol for your company. This can prove to be immensely effective and it will ultimately help to decrease the frequency of problems. A strong quality-control procedure will help to ensure that your clients are being given the best service humanely possible. Think about recalls. Quality-control is capable of detecting problems, before the product leaves the facility. This ensures problems can be fixed, before the product reaches the public.

And of course, a recall will greatly hurt the company’s reputation, while also costing them thousands of dollars. Therefore, companies in all industries should have some type of quality-control protocol in place.

Contract Construction

Another thing to remember is that the contract you force your client to sign could be used to help alleviate the potential for lawsuits. A solidly constructed contract will help to decrease your liability exposure, while also making it less likely that the client will file a lawsuit. If you want to maximize the effectiveness of your contract, you should work with an attorney. They’ll know precisely what words to use and statements to add to decrease your responsibilities. In return, the quality of your contract may also help you get a lower premium for your errors and omissions insurance.

Speak With The Client Frequently

In many cases, the client will file a lawsuit against the company, due to a lack of communication. Consumers want to know precisely what is happening every step of the way. If you neglect the client and fail to tell them about a potential delay, there will be a major risk. By keeping the client up to date, you will be able to quell problems and complaints, before they can escalate to a full-scale lawsuit. With this in mind, it is generally best to consult with the client at least three or four times a week. This will prove to be beneficial for all parties involved in the project.

Proper Documentation

It is also incredibly wise to document each and every action you take on behalf of your client. If a problem arises and the client attempts to pin the blame on you, this documentation could prove to be incredibly helpful. In fact, the problem may not even fall into your lap. Also, remember to always obtain the client’s signature for new contracts, renewals, and policy change requests. This will ensure that the client is unable to claim you made the change without their knowledge!

insurance claim document

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How To Choose A Provider For Your Next Surety Bond

Find the right Surety Broker

Have you recently been notified that you’ll need to acquire a surety bond? This is something that many Canadians will encounter and it can feel like a daunting objective to achieve. The truth of the matter is that the process can be simplified easily, if you’re able to find a worthwhile surety provider. Of course, this process is easier said than done. In fact, it is complicated substantially, by the sheer number of providers within Canada. Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the most notable characteristics to look for, when trying to choose a surety company or you can refer to Wikipedia to get a brief.

Surety Experience

When scouring Canada’s surety market, you will find that there are numerous providers. However, some of these groups will offer insurance and surety. Although this can be convenient for those that require both, it is generally best to look elsewhere. This is the case, because these groups often put more emphasis into their insurance products and focus very little on surety. With a surety provider, who completely dedicates him or herself to sureties, you can rest assured knowing they’ll be thoroughly knowledgeable in the field.

This will give them the ability to serve you better than the alternatives.

surety company experience

Business Longevity

One thing that should help you determine if Surety Company is a suitable option for you is the length of time that the company has been in the surety industry. This factual data will definitely tell you something about the way the company conducts business, fulfills contracts, and addresses issues that may occur between the principal and obligee.

While, the company’s time in business does not only reflect their ability to provide outstanding service, it does help. Of course, you should not always rule out a surety startup business, because it may still be a suitable candidate.  

Excellent Customer Service

Dealing with surety bonds can be confusing. The surety company that you choose should be willing to work with you and answer any questions that you have in a timely manner. Remember that it never hurts to test a surety company. For instance, you can ask them a question when you already know the answer just to see how they respond. This will automatically let you know if the company is trustworthy or not.

customer service from brokerage

Knowing Your Bonds

Some surety companies only have experience dealing with certain types of bonds. When choosing a surety bond company, it is imperative that you make sure that the company has experience with the type of bond that you are looking for. This will ensure that you save yourself a little bit of time and hassle. The provider should also be familiar with your company’s industry and line of work.

Contact

Eventually, you’ll need to make contact with the potential issuer. During this conversation, you can learn a substantial amount about this group or individual. First and foremost, you’ll want to ask them for references. If they’re unwilling to provide you with a reference or two, you should take notice and go elsewhere! At the same time, you should make sure that you feel comfortable with this individual. Have they put your mind at ease? If so, you’re well on your way!

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Examining The Diverse Selection Of Surety Bonds

How These Surety Bonds really work and a bit about the fundamentals!

There are thousands of different surety bonds, which are commonly used within the country of Canada. At the same time, there are numerous companies and brokers that offer these bonds. As someone, who is unfamiliar with surety bonds, the diverse nature can be fairly frightening. However, once you begin to delve into the basics of each type, you will find that surety isn’t entirely complex. Below, you’ll discover a breakdown of some of the most common surety bond types.

The Fundamentals

Regardless of the specific type of surety bond that you’re interested in, there are some fundamentals, which are fairly universal amongst all bonds. First and foremost, the Canadian government requires many bonds in various situations. Secondly, these bonds are typically put in place to provide protection to the consumer. Thirdly, each bond has three parties. These will be examined in greater depth below.

  • Surety – The surety is the issuing company. They put their name on the line for the principal, who receives the bond. If the principal and obligee wind up in a dispute, the surety will be responsible for determining the outcome.
  • Principal – The principal is the person, group or company that must purchase the bond. Within the surety bond contract, the principal will be responsible for meeting demands, living up to expectations and fulfilling duties in a timely manner.
  • Obligee – The obligee is the group that is protected by the surety. If the principal fails to fulfill their duties in any shape or form, the obligee will be able to file a claim with the surety provider in an attempt to acquire reimbursement for their losses.

Although the surety remains the same, the principal and obligee are interchangeable and depend solely on the type of bond in question.

Construction Bonds

When most people think about surety bonds, they immediately focus on Canadian’s construction industry. This is the case, because construction bonds are amongst the most commonly used surety bonds in Canada. Within this specific category, there are several different types of construction bonds, including bid, performance, supply, and maintenance bonds. In this specific scenario, the construction contractor is responsible for acquiring the bond, which will then protect the developer, supplier, or laborer.

construction bonding

Court Bonds

Court bonds are another type of surety bond, which is frequently used in Canada. Individuals and companies can use this type of bond. The court bonds are incredibly important, since they help to keep the court system from being overwhelmed with unnecessary lawsuits from unreliable individuals. Within the court environment, there are two main categories of bonds, including probate or fiduciary bonds and judicial bonds.

Appeal bonds and bail bonds fall within the judiciary category. The appeal bond is required, when you wish to appeal a court ruling. Fiduciary bonds and probate bonds go hand in hand. They’re used when someone wants the court to appoint them as a guardian over another individual. The bond is set in place to protect the minor, elderly or incompetent individual from being swindled by the appointed party.

court surety bond

License Bonds

License bonds are another type of surety bond, which is prevalent in Canada. Professionals and businesses that desire to acquire their license use this bond. Before submitting the application for the license, these individuals will need to obtain the bond for the specific amount required by their provincial or the federal government. Furthermore, it is always encouraged to refer to the CCDC to know exactly who the right company is for your bond. This not only limits risk, but educates the reader.

licensing bonding canada

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