Gardeners Insurance: What Do I Really Need?

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What is Gardener Insurance?

If you run a gardening business, you really need to consider buying business insurance. Gardening businesses big and small face a wide range of risks, which can leave you facing real financial difficulties if you don't have the right insurance in place.

Want to learn more? Here's what you need to know about the different types of gardening insurance, costs and who needs to buy it. For quick definitions of each type of cover, check out the blue boxes below. To get insurance quotes for your gardening business fill out a quote form—it takes just a few minutes.

Keep in mind that if you're self employed your insurance needs may be slightly different than if you own a company. For more information please refer to our resources on popular business insurance for the self employed and types of limited company insurance.

Popular Types of Insurance for a Gardener

Most businesses in the UK require some form of insurance to operate, and gardening businesses are no exception. Here are some types of insurance that you should consider if you're a gardener, whether you own a company or are self employed.

Common Types of Gardener InsuranceWhat it Covers
1Public Liability insuranceLegal costs and compensation payments due to accidental injury or damage claims made by third parties
2Employers' Liability insuranceEmployers' Liability insurance protects against illness or injury claims made by employees and is required by law
3Professional IndemnityProfessional indemnity insurance protects against claims made by clients that your advice or service was negligent
4Tools and Equipment insuranceTools cover can protect your equipment against accidental damage, loss or theft
5Personal Accident/Income Protection/Critical IllnessPersonal accident insurances can provide money if you're off work due to a job-related injury or illness

Public Liability Insurance

Public liability insurance is critical for gardeners because it covers legal costs and compensation payments due to accidental injury or damage claims made by third parties.

Public Liability Insurance for gardeners covers gardening businesses against accidental injury or property damage claims made by members of the public such as clients or other third parties (other gardeners you work with that aren’t with your company, for example). Public liability will cover you both for the cost of any compensation and your legal expenses.

While not required by law, many businesses and projects will ask for it to make sure you can afford the cost of any potential damages. And seeing as you’ll often be working on other people’s property, with other gardeners and around the general public/your clients, it’s worth considering if you can afford the cost of an expensive legal case—the average public liability settlement was £13,500 last year, but costs can be much higher. Some clients may require your liability insurance to cover up to a certain value, so it’s worth making sure you’re well covered ahead of time.

Public Liability Examples

  • A member of the public trips over a cord for a lawnmower stretched over a public walkway, injuring themselves.
  • While carrying work materials through a client’s office, you damage their walls while turning a corner.

Employers’ Liability Insurance

Employers' Liability insurance protects against illness or injury claims made by employees and is required by law.

Employers' Liability Insurance is a requirement for any business that employs staff. It ensures you are protected against any claims made by employees that include compensation as part of the settlement. It will also cover the cost of your legal expenses if you need to defend against a claim.

  • Employers’ Liability Example: An employee falls from a step ladder, and claims bad equipment caused the accident. They sue for the wages they lost while injured and the damages of their expenses.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Professional indemnity insurance protects against claims made by clients that your advice or service was negligent.

Professional Indemnity Insurance will protect a business in the case somebody is unhappy with the service provided. In many cases, claims against you will be for the value of your work and the additional value to repair/fix the issue created. Professional indemnity covers you irrespective of the reason for the clients unhappiness, whether a genuine error, misunderstanding with the client, or if they’re simply not happy with the outcome.

  • Professional Indemnity Example: After designing and building an expensive pond, it begins to leak just 3 months after completion. The client claims an aspect of your design is at fault.

Tools Insurance

Tools cover can protect your equipment against loss, damage or theft.

Tools Insurance, or Portable Equipment Insurance, protects the tools of your trade if they’re damaged or stolen (whether they’re your own or hired from a third party). Some coverages will include public and product/tool liability as standard, so keep a lookout for these if you’d like to keep your policies from one provider.

You can save money on your tools insurance by not keeping your tools in your van overnight (where they’re more likely to be stolen) if you have access to an alternative, secure storage location.

It’s also worth considering how you move your goods from A to B. If you’re responsible for taking your own/others tools from site to site, a form of Goods In Transit insurance might also be appropriate. You can read more in our explanation of Goods In Transit coverage.

  • Tools Insurance Example: An expensive chainsaw is accidentally dropped and broken while you’re working, and you need to replace it urgently to finish the work on schedule. Your tools coverage protects you for the full value of the equipment.

Business Use Van Insurance

Business Use Van Insurance will be required if you own and drive a van to carry your gardening tools. This will also cover for personal usage outside of work. As with traditional car insurance, a number of optional extras are available, such as courtesy replacements, breakdown cover, windscreen cover and misfueling cover. Some providers may offer these products as standards.

If you or your business operate 3 or more vans, you can also consider a form of Fleet insurance to more efficiently insure your vehicles. Insurers will typically offer a discount on their ‘per vehicle’ insurance cost, and many fleet owners find it convenient to keep their insurance policy from a single provider.

  • Business Van Insurance Example: while driving home after working one evening, your van breaks down with your tools inside it. Your breakdown cover provider insurer offers you a replacement vehicle in the meantime while your van is being repaired.

Income Protection and Critical Illness Insurance

Personal accident insurance can provide money if you're off work due to a job-related injury or illness.

Income Protection and Critical Illness Insurance are designed to help protect against loss of income if you can’t work due to illness or injury. Income Protection will cover you to receive part of your regular income until you can start working again, and Critical Illness will pay out a one-off, tax-free lump sum if you have a long-term illness.

  • Income Protection Insurance Example: you trip and fall while working on-site, and are unable to return to work for 4 weeks. You’re covered for part of your regular income until you’re able to return to work.

Business Life Insurance will protect a business if a key person within the company dies or is diagnosed with terminal illness. It will also, typically, cover you for any outstanding debts/loans that may be impacted.

Contractors All Risk Insurance (CAR)

Contractors All Risk Insurance (CAR) is designed to cover you for the largest risks associated with gardening work. As a gardener you’re likely to be working with expensive tools, on other people’s property, and often with other companies/clients on-site with you. A CAR policy will cover you for many of the risks you’re exposed to while working as a gardening contractor.

While typically more popular in construction/building work, gardeners who typically work on more expensive projects/gardens can find a value in an all risks policy. Every policy is different, but you can typically expect to find these protections automatically included or as an optional extra:

  • Protection against unforeseen loss or damage during work (e.g. extreme weather)
  • Public Liability
  • Tools
  • Business interruption
  • Plant hired-in/plant owned coverage (for any equipment that needs to be left on site overnight/unattended)

CAR can be expensive, however, given the wide variety of risks it can cover you for, so consider whether or not you’ll get value from each part of the coverage.

Do Gardeners Really Need Insurance?

Yes, almost all gardeners will need some form of insurance. While the costs initially are by no means cheap, it’s worth considering the potential costs of something going wrong, whether the issue is with your tools, your own/employees’ health and well-being or any issues with clients, other gardeners or members of the public. You should evaluate whether or not you feel confident working with little to no coverage, and if your business could survive a potentially expensive case against it.

Whether you’re a contractor or are starting a company with employees, many clients will require you to have a form of public liability before considering working with you, to make sure you can afford to cover the costs of damages to their properties or members of the public. If you are starting a company, then employers’ liability is required by law (even if the employees are family friends, part-time, or paid cash-in-hand), so failing to sort this out in time exposes you to a huge legal risk.

Tools/equipment cover, and an appropriate business van insurance safeguard you against any potential issues with your gardening tools and vehicles, allowing you to resume business as usual as efficiently as possible in the case of damage or theft. While tools and equipment cover is not a requirement, consider if you can afford the cost of replacements and the potential impact on your client if you can’t get a replacement sorted quickly.

Those working on bigger projects should consider professional indemnity, especially if you’re involved in designing, blueprinting or planning. It’ll cover you make an error that leads to a fault, whether immediately or later down the road, irrespective of whether you made a mistake, there was a misunderstanding with the client or they’re simply unhappy with the end product you’ve produced.

Plant hired-in/plant owned insurance would be appropriate for any gardeners who leave tools on-site overnight or that need to be “set-up” for use and are left on site—a cement mixer for a patio, for example. Your traditional tools/equipment cover may not include this by default, so make sure you talk to your policy provider to make sure you’re appropriately covered.

What are the typical Insurance costs for a Gardener?

In the table below you can find a breakdown of different insurance packages that are likely to be most popular amongst gardeners.

graph showing the average salary for farm workers in the UK
Average Cost of Gardening contractors (excluding tree felling) insurance
£2m Public Liability (PL)£88
£5m PL£119
£2M PL, £2,000 Tools (not left in van overnight)£145
£2M PL, £2,000 Tools (left in van overnight)£192
£2M PL, £10,000 Tools (left in van overnight)£485
£2M PL, Personal Accident£170
£2M PL, Personal Accident, £2,000 Tools (left in van overnight)£274
£2M PL + 1 Employee + £2,000 Tools + Personal Accident£870

What additional extras are available for gardening insurance?

Above, CAR includes some less popular forms of insurance that can still be applicable for gardeners that you may want to consider. You can also include legal expense cover (if your insurance doesn’t already include it) for around £6 per month, especially worth considering if you work on expensive projects.

Why does hiring an employee add so much cost?

Adding employers’ liability to cover you against potential claims from your employees doesn’t come cheap. Additionally, if you provide personal accident coverage that also goes up with the number of employees, due to a higher statistical likelihood of something going wrong.

How much is Public Liability Insurance for a Gardener?

You can expect to pay around £88 per year for your public liability insurance for self-employed gardeners (you’ll likely have to pay more in total if you opt for a monthly payment package). This is more than the average cost of public liability in the UK, as gardeners often work with dangerous tools that can easily cause injury or damages to other people or property.

Insurers also want to encourage you to take out larger policies, so the cost doesn’t grow as you might expect. Using our example above, you can gain an additional £3M of Public Liability coverage (from £2M to £5M) for only an additional £20. If you’re working on larger projects, with more dangerous tools, or are often around members of the general public, consider the extra coverage for the year.

What about larger gardening businesses?

Most of the insurances above are still relevant to those operating as a business as opposed to a sole trader. However insurance costs for a larger limited company can be higher, and keep in mind the additional costs of employee liability insurance, a legal requirement for anyone employing others.

Many clients, especially larger ones or those in public areas, are unlikely to work with you if you do not have, at minimum, public liability insurance—high value jobs may even require you to have your own professional indemnity policy, so keep this in mind ahead of time.

Where can I get gardener insurance quotes?

Compare gardener insurance quotes here—after filling out a short form you'll receive quotes from up to five insurance providers. You'll have the chance to talk on the phone if you have questions that you want to discuss. Then choose the cover that offers the best price and features for your needs.

Gardening Pay and Market Statistics

graph showing the average salary for farm workers in the UK
RegionAverage Salary
UK Average£21,169
East Midlands£18,264
West Midlands£19,223
South East£20,861
Yorkshire and The Humber£21,388
South West£21,729
North West£21,915
North East£22,052
  • UK citizens collectively spent roughly £7.5billion on goods and items for the garden and £2.4billion on gardener/landscaping services in 2017
  • In 2018 around 570,000 jobs in the UK were provided by gardening and landscaping
  • A UK household with a garden will typically spend £150 on their garden every year.
  • 83% of UK gardeners are male
  • 98% of UK gardeners have no access to health benefits
  • Average Gardener pay per hour in the UK is between £8 and £17


What insurance does a self-employed gardener need?

Most clients/customers will require you to have some form of public liability insurance before they hire you, although this might not be the case for smaller pieces of work (like mowing someone’s lawn or trimming a hedge). Do consider the potential cost of damages if something does go wrong, however.

If you’re using your own tools, it’s worth considering coverage for them as well, especially if they’re expensive or difficult to replace.

And if you choose to hire any staff later down the line, whether full-time, part-time, or even just for one piece of work, you legally require employers' liability insurance before you can employ them.

Outside of that, make sure your pay is correctly accounted for and tax is paid correctly and on-time. You can do this by yourself or hire an accountancy company to take care of it for you.

Does a gardener need professional indemnity insurance?

A company involved in garden design should consider professional liability insurance to protect against getting sued by their client for negligence. Any professional paid for their advice or design should do so. For example, if an element of the garden design leads to runoff that causes flooding in the home, the client could sue the garden designer for poor design to recoup the costs to repair damage and put the garden right.

Why is gardening public liability more expensive than other industries?

Many other industries don’t involve working with dangerous tools around members of the public, so insurers charge more to cover you against the potential injury/damage claims that can arise from the use of sharp/dangerous tools.

Do gardeners need tools/equipment cover?

Gardeners aren’t legally required to have their tools insured, but considering their high value it’s worth giving some serious consideration. Before deciding, you should consider if you could afford to have your tools damaged/stolen and still be able to continue to work or replace them quickly and affordably.

Whether or not you carry your tools in your own vehicle, make sure you’ve informed your insurer that you’ll be using the vehicle for business uses, so they can appropriately cover your vehicle. Failing to do so leaves you liable to having your policy voided.

How can I save money on my gardener insurance?

The same ways you could save money on other insurances are still applicable in the gardening industry. Below are a few examples:

  • No previous claims/convictions
  • More years worked in the industry
  • Lower levels of cover
  • Storing your tools securely overnight (not in your vehicle)

Quotes were gathered for a gardener brand new to the industry who might need the help of an article like this to get an idea of costs. Our sample profile lived in the outskirts of London and was covered for all gardening activities excluding tree felling (which would increase the cost if cover was required). No fewer than the four cheapest quotes were averaged to give us our results. Our sample profile had no prior convictions and had never been denied insurance.

Your costs may be higher or lower depending on the difference in variables your risk profile is measured by.

Luke Masters

Prior to NimbleFins, Luke studied economics at Brunel University and worked at FreshMinds, Investigo and BMW. His work in data analytics, pricing, strategy and business development helped him write business insurance content to support SMEs at NimbleFins. He now works at DataPOWA, a sports & entertainment data analytics company. Read more on LinkedIn.


The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.