Arboricultural Insurance- what do you need to know?

All businesses need insurance and it is an important factor in helping to manage risk.  It enables business owners and operators to transfer the cost of a potential claims and losses to an insurance company in return for paying a premium for the risks insured.  In the event of a major insurance claim it is essential you have the right cover in place to protect your business, your employees and members of the public.

Policy Types

There are a variety of insurance exposures that individuals and business within the Arboricultural sector face such as:

  1. Employers Liability Insurance
  2. Public & Product Liability Insurance
  3. Tools & Plant Insurance
  4. Hired in Plant Insurance
  5. Personal Accident Insurance
  6. Professional Indemnity Insurance
  7. Commercial Vehicle & Fleet Insurance

What are the legal requirements for insurance?

There are two types of insurance which are legal requirements in the UK; Employers Liability and Third Party Road Risks (RTA)

Employers Liability

Employers Liability insurance provides indemnity for compensation for employees who are injured or made ill at work as a result of the employer’s negligence.

Businesses with employees must have Employers’ Liability insurance and almost all insurers provide a £10m limit as standard.

Businesses must carry this insurance if they have:

  • direct employees
  • Directors
  • Volunteers
  • work experience students
  • apprentices
  • self-employed labour only sub-contractors (these are people who do work for you, where you tell them what to do and where you provide the tools and/or the materials to do the work)

Third Party Road Risks (RTA)

Under the Road Traffic Act, if vehicles are driven on UK roads, obtaining third party insurance is the legal minimum. This provides cover for the insured if they have an accident causing damage or injury to any other person, vehicle, animal or property.

Clients who may have forestry equipment that is not necessarily licensed for road use, but will cross public highways to get to contract sites must also purchase this type of insurance.

Plant and Hired in Plant cover

Plant insurance covers equipment against loss or damage, including theft and it is important that to make sure equipment is insured for the correct values, as depending on the age of the items, cover can vary.

Some products cover equipment for the full replacement cost known as “REINSTATEMENT” (new for old).  The sum insured must reflect the total new replacement cost of the item(s) at current new prices.  


If your cover is not stated as being on a reinstatement basis then cover will be on an “INDEMNITY” basis.  The sums insured must reflect the current market value, (second hand), of tools, plant and equipment allowing for age and condition.


Arboricultural insurance schemes may provide “REINSTATEMENT” cover for items which are up to 2 or 3 years old.  Anything over 2 or 3 years old will be automatically placed on an “INDEMNITY” basis of cover.  


It is therefore important to check and understand the basis upon which you are insured.