Liability/responsibility: damage to invisible fencing
A nuts-and-bolts dilemma: This season we have damaged several "invisible fence" underground wires while planting thousands of fall bulbs at various properties. The wires are black and very fine-about 1/16th". Although the wires were flagged, the flagging is often 6"-12" off - not very precise. I give a reminder when we start work at such a site; the flags are visual reminders; my employees are very careful, remind each other to be sure to watch for the wires, keep a good distance away from the flagging -- and still this happens.
Do any of you have a policy in your contract regarding this problem? Do you just pay the home owner's repair bill (have your insurance pay)? Have you ever assumed/presumed that the homeowner would pay?
I think that planting in a mine field is rather difficult and that if you ask your gardener to do so, you should assume or perhaps share responsibilty for any damages.
However, rather than wrangle with my clients about who should pay, or write a clause into the contract about not taking responsibility for damaged wires, I am considering just charging "invisible fence" (and perhaps drip irrigation tubing) clients an increased hourly to cover any costs if the system is damaged.
Do any of you charge extra for PITA factors like this one or others? Any other ideas or thoughts?