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Does my landscaper need to be licensed and insured?

3rd Nov '22 • By

Are you thinking of doing a landscaping project in your yard? Among the things you should think about before hiring a landscaper includes the budget, landscape designs, and the qualifications and skills of your potential tradies.

In addition, you may be wondering, ‘Should my landscaper have insurance and a licence?’. In most states, professionals such as landscapers ought to have insurance and some kind of licensing. These are two legal aspects you as a customer must not ignore.

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Should a landscaper have a licence?

Yes, a landscaper should have a licence. The licensing varies from one state to another because each has its respective rules and guidelines. However, the difference is relatively small since the states are under one jurisdiction. 

For instance, states such as Queensland and NSW require professional landscapers to have a Structural Landscaping Licence. In contrast, those located in South Australia should have a Builders Licence and Supervisors Licence. In Victoria, the state requires landscapers to have a Domestic Builder Limited Registration Card. Conversely, in Western Australia, a landscaper does not need a licence if the project is below $12,000 but they need one if it surpasses that cost. 

Who is a licensed landscaper? It’s simply a professional who has undertaken training and gained skills and knowledge on landscaping works. However, the relevant agencies must formally recognise the training for the trainee to be certified or licensed. Also, it involves undertaking apprenticeships and examinations related to landscaping training or courses. 

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Should a landscaper be insured? 

In most states and countries, this is a legal requirement. Landscapers are involved in many activities and are prone to accidents; thus, insurance is essential. The insurance policy may also cover the property damage and product liability, depending on the package. 

What varies is the types of insurance one should have depending on the specific landscaping activities a professional is undertaking. Additionally, the insurance policies offered by insurance agencies differ widely. 

Each registered landscaping professional or business ought to have the right insurance for the respective services offered to clients. So, what are these specific services or areas of business? They include: 

  • Mowing 
  • Structural designing 
  • Tree trimming 
  • Landscape maintenance
  • Weeding and pest control 
  • Turf installation and seedling 

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What are the different types of insurance a landscaper should have? Below are common insurance covers individual landscapers or companies need depending on their specific services to their customers.

1. Public Liability Insurance 

This kind of insurance covers injury to a third party and damages to a third party’s property that a landscaper and their employees are responsible for while undertaking their duties. It also covers the legal fee incurred in case there is an event of a claim. Depending on the insurance company, this package might also cover product liability. 

2. Workers Compensation Coverage 

A landscaper with employees under them ought to have this specific insurance. In some states, subcontractors may be classified as employees as well. This insurance policy covers employees and provides medical care, disability, rehabilitation, and death benefits for workers who get killed or injured while undertaking their landscaping activities. 

3. Business Property Coverage 

This particular insurance policy covers your place of business (as a landscaper) and things used to run that business against theft, fire, and repairs. These things include the tool and equipment used to run the landscaping business. However, each insurance company has its respective packages highlighting what they specifically cover. 

Above are the main insurance policies a landscaper ought to have. However, some landscapers might have other insurance policies in addition to the three listed above. 

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No doubt, various landscaping insurance policies are significant to the landscapers themselves and their clients. The client is assured of compensation in case unforeseen things such as damages and injuries occur on their property will be compensated for. Also, the landscaper will be at much peace knowing that his business, equipment, tools, and employees are protected as well.

Please note: When hiring an insured landscaper, you should verify the specific insurance they have. Does it protect your property, incomplete work, and workers’ medical bills, among other things? As a client, the point is for you to know at the initial stage of hiring what precisely the landscaper’s insurance(s) covers in your landscaping project. Additionally, it’s good to verify the validity of the insurance(s) of your selected landscaper before getting into a landscaping contract. 

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Insurance and licence are among the key things you should consider while hiring a landscaper. Ensure a landscaper holds a licence or certification as required by your respective state, county, municipality, or local laws. Secondly, ask for proof of insurance. If a landscaper does not have one, avoid hiring them. Suppose they are licensed and have insurance, check its validity and what it covers. 

Checking the above two requirements is one way of ensuring you hire the right professionals for your landscaping project. It applies to individual landscapers and landscaping companies. 

If you need help with your landscaping and are wondering how much a landscaper costs, find out more in our cost guide. Consider getting multiple landscaper quotes before you choose what works best for you. 

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