Many people who work with trees — from arborists and tree trimmers to landscapers and horticulturists — call themselves “tree professionals.” This title may indicate a high level of professional knowledge or skill, but in fact it can also be a euphemism for unlicensed, unscrupulous contractors. Unlicensed contractors can pose serious risks to homeowners and commercial property owners, and many homeowner’s insurance policies exclude coverage for damage caused by unlicensed workers.
Licensing requirements licensed tree service vary by state, but most require that a person or company who performs any tree pruning, trimming, cutting or removal within the city limits be a licensed tree service. Some states also require that a tree service be bonded, which means that the company has an official bond with a licensing agency that guarantees quality workmanship and will cover any financial losses due to negligence or improper equipment use while working on a customer’s property.
The City of Eagan recommends that residents hire only licensed tree services for work related to trees on their properties. To obtain a license, a company must provide proof of liability insurance in the amount of $100,000 for any damage to a customer’s property while performing tree care work within the city limits and that at least one employee with an ISA certification or equivalent has a current full-time LTCO designation. The company must also meet other qualifications, including documented evidence of worker safety training and a minimum amount of general liability insurance.
A licensed tree service will be able to show you documentation of its credentials upon request. If a tree service company is unable or unwilling to provide this information, you should consider hiring another company. This is especially important if the company offers to do any tree services that require a ladder or aerial bucket, or if it advises you to cut a tree in ways that could create limbs or roots to fall off.
Tree care work involves working in high places, using power tools and often around live electrical wires. Consequently, there is a significant risk of injury for tree workers, and this work can cause substantial damages to homes and businesses. This is why all tree services are required to be licensed in most states and carry liability insurance to cover the cost of a cleanup, repair or replacement of any damaged property or structures.
Keeping track of license renewals and insurance requirements can be difficult, particularly when a tree service business expands into new markets. Harbor Compliance provides an automated system for tracking and filing requirements, reducing the time and cost of managing these processes and ensuring that all required documentation is submitted to the proper authorities. For more information on our insurance and licensing solutions for tree services, contact us today. We offer a free trial of our Entity Manager software. If you do decide to subscribe, our team of experts will help ensure that all applicable renewals are filed on time and that your company remains in good standing.