A chainsaw is an empowering tool, it makes difficult jobs look easy, can make you feel a bit like Superman.
So, do you need chainsaw insurance? Homeowners insurance will normally cover all the risks associated with using garden tools, but be aware it may not cover cutting timber that’s not on the insureds property.
Not all insurance policy’s are the same, it depends which type you have and what exclusions are listed, read them carefully.
In this guide, we’ll cut through insurance speak and shed some light on the subject.
Does My Policy Cover Chainsaws?
That’s a great question, and without reading your policy you won’t know for sure. Most standard household insurance policy’s cover garden tools, which includes a garden chainsaw. The HO3 is a common household policy, but it’s a basic plan. It will likely cover open perils for the house but named perils for the contents, that means your contents risks will be limited.
The policy will typically cover, loss, theft and liability. Policy’s are usually divided into Open Perils and Named Perils.
Open Perils, covers all homeowners risk. All insurance policy’s will have listed limitations, if it’s in the excluded section, it’s not covered.
Named Perils will list about 16 common homeowner losses that they will cover.
It’s not commonly known, but you may void your insurance by using your garden tools while not on your property. That means you may void your insurance by moving off your property boundary, to cut overhanging branches, or helping out on your neighbors property, using your own garden tools.
If by chance your equipment caused an injury to you, your neighbor, pet or property. Costs could run into thousands, and possibly more in medical, legal and repair bills that your insurance company might reject.
This strange circumstance has come about by the wording of a commonly used ISO insurance form.
What Is An ISO Form?
ISO is an insurance industry standard form. ISO stands for Insurance Services Office, they’re an insurance advisory organization and offer services such as standardized text for insurance forms.
There’s a good chance that your insurance provider uses these forms, however they are not obliged to. There are a few variations of these forms, each has a slightly different but important interpretation of cover.
It appears if you wish to have full insurance cover (who doesn’t), then some of these forms will limit your operation of your garden tools, specifically, where you can use them.
The policy document will have the ISO form code at the top of the document, check yours for the following numbers:
HO 00 03 04 91
HO 00 03 10 00
HO 00 03 05 11
Policy’s written on the 1991 forms don’t limit the liability of lawn equipment.
“We do cover vehicles or conveyances not subject to motor vehicle registration which are: a. Used to service an “insured’s” residence; or”
Policy’s written on the 2000 forms moved things in favor of the insurance company.
“We do cover “motor vehicles” not required to be registered for use on public roads or property which are: a. Used solely to service an “insured’s” residence; or”
If you have ever used your saw off the boundaries of your property, i.e. cut a neighbors tree, your saw is no longer covered by the policy.
Policy’s written on the 2011 forms moved backwards a little in favor of the insured.
“Motor vehicles” not required to be registered for use on public roads or property which are: (a) Used solely to service a residence; or
This means you can cut the neighbors tree with your saw and your cover is still in tact. But your cover will be extinguished if you cut a tree at the local base ball field, as it’s not a residential property.
So, what does this mean? Check your insurance policy and know what limitations you are set. The risks associated with uninsured tools include, not being able to recover the cost if lost, stolen or damaged, but more significant maybe not being covered in the event of damage caused by your chainsaw.
Chainsaws are now so compact, easy to use and inexpensive that every homeowner with pride and a yard to tame, has one. You already know they’re dangerous, lack of knowledge or carelessness around chainsaws will result in injury eventually, and statistically to the left leg or hand.
It can be avoided by first taking the time to get to know your saw, read the manual. Pay particular attention to the safety systems and the proper maintenance of the saw. I would encourage all saw owners to enlist on a training day, your local hardware store will likely know where these type day courses are held.
If knowledge and training are the belt, then wearing safety gear could be described as the braces.
Having the right kit is really important, hoodies with dangling strings or torn clothes can easily be grabbed by the blade, wear tight clothing. Cut resistant jacket and chaps are recommended. Sturdy pull on boots work best and work on level ground where possible. A hard hat if you working under possible falling branches, if not wear a hat to help protect the head. Long hair should be pinned up.
Eye protection and ear muffs, though I confess I find ear muffs blunt my senses a little, I much prefer ear plugs.
Common accidents include: slipping on uneven or slippery ground while saw running, saw kickback, one handed cutting, reaching across the moving blade, starting without chain brake.
Enjoy your saw, but do use common sense.
If you need help troubleshooting a saw check out the “Chainsaw troubleshooting page” here.
What is the easiest chainsaw to start? The easiest chainsaw to start is an electric saws, if a corded saw is not suitable, try a lithium battery powered cordless chainsaw.
Are battery chainsaws as good as gas? Gas saws are the most powerful and flexible. Corded saws and battery operated are cheaper and by far easier to use and maintain, ideal for the occasional user.