We here at PaySimple are excited to introduce, Ask the Advisor, a weekly column featuring your small business questions answered by our panel of business professionals. If you would like to submit a question, or become a PaySimple business advisor, please continue to the bottom of the article.

This week’s small business question is answered by Whitney Smith, commercial insurance agent with Signature Select LLC – an IMA Company.

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“I want to start my own landscaping & lawn care company. What kind of insurance coverage do I need for a landscape contractor business?”


Whitney-Smith-IMAGreat question. Starting a new business is a great opportunity to work as your own boss. We see a lot of start-up companies and are here to help. It’s best to put together a business plan so you know all the different business expenses that will be part of your operations, including your insurance.

If you are just starting out, underwriters will ask about your relevant past work experience. How many employees will you have? How much will they be paid? Will you need to hire sub-contractors? What will those costs be? Do you use a contract with your sub-contractors? Do you own any work-related vehicles?

In construction, insurance is rated on the payroll of your employees and based on the class of business in which your operations are most closely related. For example, as a landscape contractor, you could be rated as Lawn Services, Landscaping NOC, Plumbing, or even a combination of all three. Each of these class codes have different characteristics, plumbing of course being chosen for any sprinkler work. Sub-contractors are rated separately.

Think about your physical assets and then your operations. Do you have trucks and trailers? How much equipment do you have that needs to be insured? Coverage is provided on your physical property and then the general liability for your ongoing and completed operations. Example: As a landscaper, you build a retaining wall for a client. The wall fails and causes damage to the surrounding area. “Your work” is not covered (the cost to fix the retaining wall) but the cost to fix the damage caused by the failure would be covered.

Understanding your exposures and how to best protect yourself from losses are most important in choosing the right insurance program for your business. I am happy to review your current insurance program and/or help get your insurance program put in place.

About the Advisor

Whitney Smith is a Commercial Insurance broker with Signature Select LLC, an IMA Company. Signature Select specializes in property and casualty insurance, including worker’s compensation and professional liability, for small and mid-sized companies. You can contact her directly: 303.615.7645 www.imacorp.com

Contact Info:
Do you have a small business question about taxes, legal structure, insurance, social media or general business issues? If so, please email it to pjones@paysimple.com and we will have one of our advisers answer it for you.

If you would like to become one of our small business advisers and answer questions pertaining to your industry, please email your resume and qualifications to pjones@paysimple.com for consideration.

The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor should it be viewed as legal advice. No one should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information in this website without seeking the appropriate professional counsel on his or her particular circumstances.

Patrick Jones

Patrick Jones

Hello world! My name is Patrick Jones and I'm a search engine optimization associate at PaySimple. When I'm not crafting witty blog posts and tweaking AdWords campaigns here at PaySimple in downtown Denver, you can find me trout fishing, paragliding, mountain biking, or tinkering with my fitness marketing project. You can find him on

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