Logging Insurance Guide: Types, Cost, and Coverage

man sawing tree in forest with blog title

The logging industry repeatedly makes the Bureau of Labor Statistics list of the top three most dangerous occupations. In the past 20 years, around 1,700 logging industry workers have died because of their employment.

Physically demanding work in remote areas far from emergency medical facilities increases risk. Injuries frequently result from falls or by being struck by falling logs and branches. Workers also suffer from accidents involving dangerous machinery including chainsaws and harvesters.

Despite the best efforts to keep loggers safe, accidents happen. That is why logging insurance is a must-have for your logging business. If you are wondering about the benefits of purchasing logging insurance, keep reading for everything you need to know.

Company Logging Insurance

When you operate a logging business there are four types of insurance you need to consider purchasing. These include:

Workers’ Compensation

Workers Compensation protects you from paying an employee's medical expenses for work-related injuries. Without this insurance, you will have an obligation to pay these costs out-of-pocket.

The high risk of injury or death to your loggers is why you need the security this coverage provides to both you and your workers. Because of the high risk to loggers, the cost of this type of insurance can be quite high in some states.

Vermont is taking proactive steps to reduce the cost of this insurance. The Vermont Logger Safety and Workers’ Compensation Insurance Program is modernizing safety training available to logging contractors and employees. This reduces the number of injuries and insurance claims, allowing them to receive a lower insurance rate.

Those logging contractors that become safety certified receive lower insurance premiums. Contractors and their employees take verified safety training programs to reduce the risk of worker injury.

Auto Insurance

Trucks and tractors are a “must-have” of the logging industry. Auto insurance for loggers needs to cover both trucks and equipment. This includes your feller bunchers, sliders, processors, and slashers.

Cargo Insurance

In addition to coverage for the vehicles you use in the logging business, you also need insurance for the logs you are transporting. That cargo is worth a lot of money as you move it from the job site to other locations. Give yourself peace of mind in knowing that if the product is lost, damaged, or destroyed during transport you will have insurance to cover the loss.

Pollution Liability

There are approximately 24.7 million acres of commercially planted forests, called fast-wood plantations, throughout the world. Approximately 2.5 million acres of land undergo a conversion into a fast-wood forest every year. The goal is to take the pressure off natural forests to meet the demand for wood products.

The logging industry benefits forests by opening up the ecosystem to allow for new growth. Logging removes litter and reduces the risk of forest fires by decreasing the fuel load. At the same time logging negatively impacts things such as the natural habitat for birds and other animals that rely on trees for food or nesting.

Logging along streams increases flood and erosion risks. The large trucks that transport felled trees increase that erosion. Logging generates a significant amount of non-point pollution.

Of further concern for liability are the toxic chemicals indicative of the timber industry. This includes herbicides and rodenticides applied to plantation forests and clear-cuts. Chemicals that impact the environment are always a concern and may leave you open to lawsuits or extensive cleanup costs.

Pollution liability insurance provides protection if an accident, damage, or contamination occurs. Pollution liability is a type of gap insurance that covers what is not provided for in standard liability policies.

Pollution liability coverage protects your logging business. The insurance covers claims of bodily injury, cleanup, and property damage alleged to be the result of logging.

With the driving concern over environmental issues, every business is at risk. Having insurance coverage helps mitigate the losses. Pollution liability insurance protects your business, its reputation, and its ability to remain profitable.

General Liability

This provides coverage in the event you lose in a lawsuit against a customer, employee, or vendor who suffers injures. The injury may be a physical injury or it may be a financial loss. When shopping for business insurance it is important to speak with an agent who will put together a risk management plan for your company.

Individual Insurance

If you are a logging industry employee, do not rely 100% on your employer to supply you with the insurance you need. It is always a good idea to have some individual insurance to cover your needs. One good insurance to consider when working in a high-risk occupation is disability insurance.

This insurance provides you with income when you suffer injuries that require extensive recovery. This insurance will provide for you during the first two years after the accident. If a determination is made that you are unable to return to work, this insurance will continue to provide you with benefits.

Factors to Consider

When you are planning to purchase logging insurance coverage you want to consider several things, including:

  • Risk factors of your business
  • Pricing
  • Choosing the right type of coverage
  • The number of employees to insure

The most important step is to select a company that is reputable and provides high-quality service. One of the key factors is to determine whether they are simply pushing their “latest and greatest” product or if they are listening to your needs. The company's focus should be on building an insurance plan around your company's needs.

When being presented with a policy ask yourself if what they are offering provides a benefit to you and your company. Does your agent behave in a professional manner? Do they appear honest and forthcoming with answers to your questions?

If you can say yes to these questions, then you are likely working with an insurance provider that will put your interests above their own.

Get Insurance for Loggers Today

Hummel Group has been providing logger insurance and risk management services since 1994. We have two certified master loggers, Dave Coil and Brock Hostetler, on staff. Experience and knowledgeable experts are the reason we were able to provide one of our clients with premium rates that were 30% of the rates they were previously paying.

We handle all types of logging industry businesses. This includes loggers, sawmills, and wood product manufacturing. We also cover land clearing, portable band mills, and log truck operations.

Pallet shops and other lumber-related industries also fall under logging insurance. Contact us for a logging insurance quote today at (800) 860-1060.