As a homeowner, you are potentially liable for accidents that take place on your property. If you neglect your trees and they hurt someone, you are going to be held responsible for that person’s injuries. You may even be liable for the injuries sustained by tree care companies working on your property, if their paperwork is not in order.
Do Your Homework
Before contracting with a tree service company, ensure they meet all the following standards:
- Proof of Insurance. Ask for current certificates of liability and workers’ compensation insurance, if applicable. Be aware that if the tree care company you hire doesn’t have insurance or is not a legal company, then you, the homeowner, could be held responsible as a contractor.
- Good References. Ask for local references, and check on the quality of their work and level of service. Don’t be rushed by a bargain, and don’t pay in advance.
- Solid Reputation. Verify professional affiliations the company might have, such as membership in business and/or professional organizations such as TCIA or the Better Business Bureau.
- Comparisons. Get a second opinion and quote. Make sure these estimates are in writing!
- Up-to-Date Knowledge. Ask if they follow ANSI Standards. A professional arborist will be aware of the current safety, pruning, fertilizing and cabling standards.
- Contract. Insist on a signed contract as to cost, dates when work is to be performed, and exactly what is to be done.
If you want to get rid of the guesswork in finding a reputable tree care business, click here to find Tree Care Industry Association accredited companies in your area. TCIA accredited companies are required to meet stringent criteria for professionalism, state and federal safety regulations, business ethics, and consumer satisfaction. They are also all required to carry insurance, guaranteeing your assets will be protected.