What insurance does a self-employed gardener need?

A gardener using a pair of shears to trim a hedge.

From pruning bushes and trimming trees, to cutting and scarifying lawns, there’s no doubt that your gardening business keeps you busy. However, even if you’re exceptionally good at what you do, there’s always a risk that something could go wrong.

But do self-employed gardeners really need business insurance? Let’s find out.

Do gardeners need insurance?

As a gardener, it can be important to have various types of insurance, but which policies are best suited to you and your business? Below, we take a closer look at gardeners’ insurance to help you make sure that you’re suitably covered from the get-go.

Do gardeners need employers’ liability insurance?

If you are planning on employing anyone else to work for your gardening business, you are legally required to purchase employers’ liability insurance. Even if you try your best to ensure that your employees are safe during their working day, accidents can happen. In fact, according to data from the Labour Force Survey that was conducted for the period 2021/2022, 565,000 workers in the UK experienced non-fatal injuries at work. This highlights why it’s so important to have this policy in place.

You’ll need this type of cover to account for both full or part-time staff, as well as any temporary employees or apprentices you hire. Employers’ liability insurance provides you with financial cover in the event one of your workers becomes injured or unwell as a result of the work they do for you.

It’s important to note that your employer’s liability insurance policy must cover you for at least £5 million and come from an authorised insurer, such as Markel Direct. Without having this in place, you could be fined £2,500 for every day that you’re not properly insured.

Do gardeners need public liability insurance?

While public liability insurance is not a legal requirement, it has the potential to save your gardening business from the financial difficulties associated with compensation and legal costs in the event a person is injured or experiences property damage because of your work.

Even if you’re extra careful with every gardening job you carry out, you never know what might happen next. For example, you could be trimming back a tree when a branch unexpectedly falls and damages the client’s car while it’s parked in the driveway, or your client might trip over the wire of your heavy duty scarifier or cut themselves on a sharp tool that’s been left lying about. You may even accidentally damage a supply cable while digging during a landscaping job - something that can be a common occurrence for gardeners due to the fact that before 1970, supply cables were not covered by any depth regulations.

Either way, you’ll be responsible for covering any costs if legal action is taken against you and your business, meaning that it’s a good idea to ensure you’re suitably insured.

Should gardeners have equipment insurance?

Since your tools play an essential role in the operation of your business, it’s worth considering taking out cover to protect them in the event they are damaged, lost or stolen. There’s no denying that the loss of or damage to your gardening equipment would be bad news for your business. It could leave you unable to carry out work for your clients, which could harm your reputation and result in a loss of earnings for you. This would also make it difficult to pay your employees, if you have any. What’s more, you’ll be faced with the expense of buying replacement tools, and you won't be able to operate until you’re able to get your hands on your new equipment.

Tools insurance takes away this inconvenience and makes sure that you’re able to replace your tools without this hitting your bottom line.

Do gardeners need professional indemnity insurance?

If you offer gardening advice or designs, such as landscape blueprints, as part of your business, you should consider taking out professional indemnity insurance. This type of cover protects you against any negligence claims made against you by your clients.

For instance, if you’ve recommended a specific garden design which then leads to water runoff flooding the client’s home, the client may take action against you to claim compensation for poor garden designs and to recover the costs involved in repairing the damage to their property and rectifying the problem to put the garden right again.

Instead of pouring all of your hard earned money and precious time into dealing with this sort of legal action, you can have added peace of mind that your insurance policy will take care of the matter so that you can focus your attention on continuing to run your gardening business.

How much is gardening insurance?

The cost of your gardening insurance will depend on a range of different factors, such as the size of your business, the type of work you carry out and whether or not you have any employees. At Markel Direct, we believe that we offer excellent value insurance, offering tailored policies for gardening businesses that want to ensure they’re fully protected, no matter what happens.

Business insurance from £5 a month