First, seek a company with a certified arborist to ensure the tree care company you choose is knowledgeable in either removal or pruning.
Second, insist the company carries proper insurance to protect you from potential liabilities if an accident would occur during the completion of the work.
It is not uncommon for tree care companies to not carry the proper liability (personal and property damage) and workers’ compensation insurance, if any.
A reputable arborist carries personal and property damage insurance as well as workers’ compensation insurance for tree work. When hiring an arborist, ask for proof of insurance and then phone the insurance company if you want to follow up with the information you were given.
Workers’ compensation insurance in the tree industry is very expensive due to the inherent dangers of the work and required by many states for companies of three or more employees. Often, some companies will claim the individuals working for them are not “employees”, but rather “subcontractors” to avoid paying for workers’ compensation insurance. This “subcontractor” classification is an enormous gray area and in most cases will leave you un-protected.
Most replicable and fully insured tree company bids will be close in price, leaving you to pick the one you feel comfortable with. Beware of the low bids, you may get just what you paid for.