Business Insurance for Botanical Gardens

Business insurance is designed to protect a business owner's financial assets and is an essential investment for a botanical garden.

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About General Liability Insurance

All businesses, regardless of industry, face risks that should be covered by insurance. The most common and comprehensive type of policy business owners invest in is general liability insurance (or CGL).

Some of the risks CGL insurance covers are:

  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Medical payments
  • Legal defense and judgment
  • Personal and advertising injury

While businesses aren't legally required to carry general liability insurance, operating without it is extremely risky. If your business is sued, you could end up facing fees totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more). Having a sufficient CGL policy in place to help compensate for these damages is the only way to prevent this type of event from devastating your business.

Learn more about the risks covered by general liability insurance.


Example 1: A guest trips over a stray rock left in the middle of the path and sprains an ankle. General liability insurance is likely to cover the medical costs of their injuries.

Example 2: When hosting a fundraiser for endangered plants, a guest’s belongings are stolen from the coat check and this results in severe identity theft. General liability insurance will help cover any legal claims that are filed against the botanical gardens for negligence.

Example 3: A potential donor visits your facility and comes into contact with a rare plant. They experience an allergic reaction several days later and sue the gardens for the resulting injury. General liability insurance may help with the costs needed to either fight or settle the claim.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of perils a general liability insurance policy will cover, and some conditions may result in a particular peril not being covered. It's always best to talk to your agent in-depth about the specifics of your policy to avoid blind spots in coverage.

Cost Of General Liability Insurance

On average, botanical gardens in America spend between $400 - $1500 per year for $1 million in general liability coverage.

Check out the chart below for a snapshot of average CGL expenditure across a variety of industries:

Graph showing average price of general liability insurance prices per industry

Several factors will determine the price of your policy. These include your:

  • Location
  • Deductible
  • Number of employees
  • Per-occurrence limit
  • General aggregate limit

You may be able to acquire general liability insurance at a discounted rate by purchasing it as part of a business owner's policy (BOP) rather than as a standalone policy. A BOP is a more comprehensive solution that includes multiple forms of coverage, such as business interruption and property insurance.

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Other Types Of Coverage Botanical Gardens Need

While general liability is the most important type of insurance to have, there are several other forms of coverage you should be aware of. Below are some other types of insurance all botanical gardens should obtain.

Commercial Property Insurance

You will need commercial property insurance to protect both the plants and the structures located on the premises against natural and man-made disasters. This form of insurance will cover damage to the grounds and the facilities, including greenhouses, guest check-in booths, and information centers. A botanical garden is largely exposed to the elements, so owners need strong property insurance to keep their plants safe.

Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption insurance will cover loss of income in the event the botanical gardens must shut down for a covered reason. For example, if a large storm destroys the greenhouse, this insurance will compensate for the lack of revenue experienced while you remain closed for repairs.

Workers Compensation Insurance

Workers compensation insurance covers your employees in the event they are injured on the job. If your employees will be working with large tools, potentially dangerous plants, or performing tasks that may result in injury, you may want to purchase coverage beyond the minimum amount required by law.

Professional Liability Insurance

This insurance covers mistakes made by employees while on the job, including negligence to guests, investors, or business partners. The staff of botanical gardens will work with any number of associations, including community and commercial interests. If they report the wrong information or mislabel plants, it can result in a serious lawsuit.

Commercial Auto Insurance

If you use commercial automobiles to transport plants and equipment, you’ll need commercial insurance to cover both the vehicles and their contents.

Types Of Coverage Some Botanical Gardens May Need

In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your botanical garden may require depending on certain aspects of your operations. Some of these might not apply to you, so be sure to ask your agent which policies are right for your business.

Commercial Umbrella Liability Insurance

This form of insurance will cover additional costs stemming from liability claims that exceed the limits of general liability. Extra costs may come in the form of medical bills, legal fees, or reputation restoration campaigns.

Additional Steps To Protect Your Business

Although it’s easy (and essential) to invest in business insurance, it should not be your frontline defense. Yes, insurance will compensate for your business’ financial losses after an incident occurs, but it’s much better to avoid losses altogether.

With this in mind, here are three things you can do to better protect your business:

  • Use legally robust contracts and other business documents. (We offer free templates for some of the most common legal forms.)
  • Set up a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation to protect your personal assets. (Visit our step-by-step guides to learn how to form an LLC or corporation in your state.)
  • Stay up to date with business licensing.
  • Streamline your business’ internal processes. This will remove unnecessary variables from common tasks and create a safe, consistent environment for conducting business.

Steps After Getting Business Insurance

Depending on where you are in your business building process, here are some other actions you may need to take before getting started:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in a business owner’s policy?

A typical business owner's policy includes general liability, business interruption, and property insurance. However, BOPs are often customizable, so your agent may recommend adding professional liability, commercial auto, or other types of coverage to your package depending on your company's needs.

What is the difference between business insurance and general liability insurance?

"Business insurance" is a generic term used to describe many different types of coverage a business may need. General liability insurance, on the other hand, is a specific type of coverage that business owners need to protect their assets.

Do I need insurance before I start a business?

You should invest in coverage for your business before your first interaction with a customer. Although the cost of insurance may seem high for a brand new business, it's best to be proactive when it comes to protecting your assets. After all, you can't buy insurance to cover a loss that has already occurred.

Will insurance protect my business from everything?

Not necessarily. Certain exceptions may be written directly into your policy, and some perils may be entirely uninsurable. Be sure to discuss the scope of your policy in-depth with your agent to avoid being blindsided by holes in your coverage.

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