News and Blog Articles
News and Blog Articles
Classic City Arborists is proud to be both Licensed and Insured. We spend a lot of time and effort ensuring we remain in compliance with those two statuses at all times, for your protection as much as ours. But what do those two things actually mean?
What is “Licensed”?
Being “Licensed” means obtaining a business license and any additional licensing required for you to legally operate a business in your county. Having a business license means that your business is registered with the appropriate authorities and in compliance with the local regulations. Certain businesses are required to obtain additional licenses; for example, a liquor store has to have a license to sell liquor, and a sales tax license to be able to collect taxes on sales.
Licensed businesses can file taxes as a business, which makes them eligible for the tax benefits and breaks associated with business costs. Licensing is also required before a company is allowed to purchase any kind of insurance, liability or otherwise.
Additionally, you can register with the Better Business Bureau, or the BBB. Registering with the BBB adds some accountability to business owners, as any customer of theirs can file a complaint that will then be displayed on the company’s profile on the BBB’s website. Businesses cannot take down these complaints, but they can respond to them. The dialogue between an unhappy customer and the business, as well as the measures the business takes to help right the wrong, can tell you a lot about a company, and highly influences a lot of customer decisions.
You can view the Classic City Arborists profile on the Better Business Bureau by clicking here.
Finally, licensing gives your company more credibility to your customers. In our free market, there are an endless number of companies, giving customers an endless array of choices of where to take their business. Having a license says to the customer that you are serious about what you do, and gives you a leg up on companies that have not done so.
What is "Insured"?
Being “Insured” means obtaining insurance that is either required or necessary for your type of business. Business insurance comes in many different forms, but all are designed to protect the business, the employees, and the customers in any situation.
Probably the most widely recognized form of business insurance is Worker’s Compensation (or Worker’s Comp). This insurance is designed to protect employees who are injured while doing their job. Though this insurance is required by the state of Georgia, it is especially important to us at Classic City Arborists, as we value each and every individual in our employ, and the work we perform can be extremely dangerous. We are, of course, certified and trained to do what we do, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t risks, and that doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong. Worker’s Comp helps protect our employees in the event of an accident or unforeseen incident, and also protects our customers from any and all liability should an employee be injured on their property.
Another important business insurance to have is General Liability Insurance. This blanket policy protects our customers from any kind of incident that can happen on a job, from a tree falling on your house to the destruction of a small fence. While safety is always our top priority, and we do everything we can to prevent these kinds of incidents, accidents do happen. That is why we proudly maintain our General Liability Policy to protect our customers from any potential incidents that could occur.
Classic City Arborists also maintains Auto Insurance – not only on our vehicles, but also on the equipment and trailers that we are towing. If any of our equipment or vehicles cause damage at a job site or while traveling to and from jobs, our auto policy covers that.
What about Bonding?
You might have heard the phrase “Licensed, Bonded, and Insured” coming from other businesses. A Bond is additional insurance that a company can purchase to cover circumstances beyond the general liability insurance. The bond is similar to a certified check - it guarantees that a certain amount of funds is available to cover an incident. It is similar to using PayPal to pay for your transactions. The bonding company (PayPal, in this analogy) pays the customer the insurance money and then works with the service company to collect payment.
Bonds are more popular when it comes to construction companies, where work is scheduled to be completed over a long period of time, and you want a guarantee that they are going to finish everything they were contracted to do. They are also more popular for companies that are working in the home such as a carpet installer; this additional insurance covers if an employee damages something inside your home.
At Classic City Arborists, we are not bonded, as we do not enter our customers’ homes, and our contracts are generally completed in one day’s time. We do have an Umbrella Policy to cover any incidents not covered by the General Liability; this policy is for $1,000,000 of Umbrella coverage, and is required by the state of Georgia in order to do work for state entities. We obtained this policy and were subsequently able to do work for the University of Georgia and for the University of North Georgia in the last year.
What does all this mean?
We have put extra effort (and lots of money) into keeping our Business License up to date, and maintaining our Worker’s Compensation Policy, our General Liability Policy, our Auto Insurance Policy, and our Umbrella Policy. We choose to maintain these policies for the protection of our customers and of our employees.
Whenever you select a tree service company (even if you don’t choose us), we strongly recommend you pick a business that is licensed and insured for your protection. Don’t be afraid to ask for a copy of their license and insurance policy!
Rebekah Rushing is a mother of two under four and the co-owner of Classic City Arborists. When she isn't dealing with snotty noses and dirty diapers, she manages customer service, accounting & finance, marketing & advertising, and human resources. If you have worked with us on a project, then you have undoubtedly spoken with her on the phone at least once! Check out our website, which she designed, or give us a call to speak with her directly.
Emily Casuccio is sister and sister-in-law to Rebekah and Scott Rushing, and has over half a decade of contract experience in copy editing, proofreading, and developmental story boarding. She's worked with both published and undiscovered authors on both fiction and nonfiction, and takes pride in supporting local businesses. Her passion lies in the written word and helping authors of all capacities realize their dreams and achieve their fullest potential. To learn more about her, read samples of her work, or contact her, visit her online portfolio.