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What Types of Insurance Does a Pest Control Business Need?

What Types of Insurance Does a Pest Control Business Need?

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What Types of Insurance Does a Pest Control Business Need?

Pest Control Business Insurance Quotes

Costs for business insurance can vary greatly, and getting insurance quotes from multiple companies is recommended in order to get the best pricing.

Coverwallet and Hiscox offer easy business insurance quotes at affordable prices.

Homes and businesses require regular maintenance, and often, pest control are one of the more common services. Whether ants make their home on a customer’s kitchen counter or mice roam the basement of a local store, pest control is the owner’s answer to keeping a building clean and maintained. As a result, many customers become repeat customers with year-long contracts.

A pest control business is exposed to risk while working with a wide variety of customers, buildings, and chemicals. Accidents and mishaps can lead to costly claims; however, with sufficient insurance coverage, the business is protected from expensive lawsuits and financial harm.

Related: Guide to starting a pest control business

What Are Some Risks for a Pest Control Business?

Some of the risks that a pest control company is exposed to include the following:

  • Car accidents
  • Employee injuries
  • Fumigation injuries
  • Chemical spills
  • Fire damages

Car Accidents

Since the work is completed at a customer’s location, the business’s technicians will be driving to numerous worksites daily, increasing the chance of a car accident. Unfortunately, a car accident can disrupt the flow of business, delay appointments, cause employee injury, and cause damage to the company’s vehicles.

Driving in unfamiliar locations, poor weather, and congested traffic are hazards that can increase the risk of an accident. In addition, although most customers will be seen during business hours, some commercial clients may require after-hours pest control services when patrons are not present. In this case, fatigue and visibility are issues when driving at night or early in the morning.

Employee Injury

Pest control operators are at risk of injuries from slips or falls—especially if their work requires them to climb onto a roof or into an attic. Additionally, some of the chemicals used for treating pests are harmful. As a result, the technician’s health can be negatively affected with constant chemical exposure. Other workplace hazards for pest control technicians include insect stings and bites, animal bites, muscle strains, or joint injury.

Fumigation Injury

One of the more significant risks to others is poisoning from fumigation chemicals. When fumigation takes place, the building must be evacuated and sealed to prevent accidental exposure to the toxic chemicals.

If an individual or animal re-enters the building before it is safe, the chemicals can cause severe illness or even death. Also, an incorrectly sealed building will leak the fumigation chemicals, affecting neighboring areas. Fumigation chemicals can irritate the eyes, skin, and respiratory system.

Chemical Spills

The pest control business will have a variety of chemicals it uses to treat different pests. Storage, transport, and the use of hazardous chemicals and pesticides introduce a risk of environmental damage if the chemicals spill. For example, chemicals are transported in a business vehicle between job sites. These chemicals can harm the surrounding environment and air quality if they are spilled due to a car accident.

Likewise, spills are a hazard at the business’s location where the chemicals are stored. For instance, uncontained leaks and spills can contaminate adjacent soil and water quality. Additionally, the air may become polluted if the chemicals catch on fire.

Fire Damage

Fire is a threat to the business’s building and property. A building fire can be particularly damaging if flammable or combustible chemicals are involved, as they can increase the fire’s devastation. Typical sources of building fires include defective wiring, failing electrical equipment, and smoking.

Costs for business insurance can vary greatly, and getting insurance quotes from multiple companies is recommended in order to get the best pricing.

Coverwallet and Hiscox offer easy business insurance quotes at affordable prices.

What Types of Insurance Should a Pest Control Business Consider?

Insurance is essential to protect your business from experiencing financial hardships after an accident or loss. Since there are various layers of risk, a pest control business should consider the following policies:

  • Commercial automobile insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • General liability – premises and operations
  • Environmental impairment liability
  • Property damage insurance

Commercial Automobile Insurance

Commercial automobile insurance covers business-owned vehicles driven by its employees. This type of automobile policy also covers specialty vehicles—such as modified vans—and fleets of vehicles. Although business-owned vehicles are not covered under a personal auto policy, the coverages on a commercial auto policy are similar.

A commercial automobile policy offers coverages such as:

  • Liability
  • Physical damage
  • Medical payments
  • Uninsured motorist
  • Rental reimbursement

Liability and physical damage are the core lines of coverage on an automobile policy. Liability protects the business from expenses following an at-fault accident. On the other hand, physical damage covers the company’s vehicles for at-fault damage and comprehensive damages, which include claims of hail, falling objects, vandalism, and theft.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

A pest control business with employees should consider a workers’ compensation policy. Not only does this policy benefit the employee, but it also protects the business from potential lawsuits. Without coverage for its employees, a business could be held liable for the employee’s costs following an injury.

However, when an employee is injured, a workers’ compensation policy offers coverage for costs including lost wages, medical care, disability coverage, and funeral expenses. Since injuries from chemical exposures can be severe and costly, coverage for employee injury is especially significant for a pest control business.

General Liability Insurance – Premises and Operations

A general liability policy offers coverage for bodily injury and property damage claims resulting on the business’s premises or due to the business’s operations. Many of the liability claims will occur at the customer’s location.

Arguably, the most significant liability risk to the business is fumigation. In the event that a person re-enters a fumigated home before it is safe to do so, the individual may suffer severe illness or death. Moreover, fumigation chemicals that leak or spread to unintended areas can harm the well-being of others in their surroundings—leading to liability lawsuits against the pest control business.

With proper safety measures and training, the business can reduce the likelihood of a claim. Nevertheless, if an accident occurs, a liability policy covers the following:

  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Legal defense costs
  • Settlements

Environmental Impairment Liability

Coverage for pollution damage is important for a pest control business that uses and stores hazardous chemicals. When chemicals or pollutants are accidentally spilled or leaked, the business can be held liable for the resulting damages.

A general liability policy typically does not cover pollution damage, but an environmental impairment liability policy will. This line of liability insurance offers coverage for bodily injury, property damage, clean-up, and legal fees associated with the accident.

Commercial Property Damage Insurance

Coverage for property damage is normally offered in a business owner’s policy that also packages in general liability. Property insurance covers business-owned buildings, equipment, supplies, and materials. For example, if a fire burns down a portion of the building, office furniture, and supplies in that area, this policy will pay to rebuild the structure and replace the lost items.

As a note, the insurance policy has stipulations on how items are replaced; commonly, the items are covered on an actual cash value (ACV) basis or a replacement cost basis. The difference between these two levels of coverage is that an ACV policy pays for the value of the items minus depreciation. In contrast, the replacement cost policy will pay for what it costs to replace the lost item.

Unless it says otherwise, a property damage policy protects the business from hazards listed within the policy. Some commonly covered hazards include:

  • Wind damage
  • Fire damage
  • Theft or vandalism
  • Water damage from leaking pipes

Hiscox.com

How Much Does Insurance Cost for a Pest Control Business?

Insurance is a great tool to protect your business from lawsuits and financial hardships. So, how much will it cost? The answer is, it varies. Insurance costs will change based on the needs of your pest control business. For example, insurance is costlier for a business with a large fleet of vehicles, numerous employees, and a broader customer base than it would be for a sole-operation business.

Some key factors influencing the cost of insurance include:

  • The size and condition of the business’s building
  • The number, type, and condition of vehicles to be insured
  • The number of employees on the payroll
  • Any hazardous chemicals used or stored
  • Any past or current claims or lawsuits

The best way to determine pest control insurance policy costs is by calling an insurance agent for a quote. The agent will provide you with details on coverage limits and annual premiums. Bundling can undoubtedly save you money, and it is always beneficial to call multiple companies.

What Types of Insurance Does a Pest Control Business Need?

What Types of Insurance Does a Pest Control Business Need?

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