Landscape professionals in New Jersey may soon be paying less for their malpractice insurance, if Assembly Bill A-1982 passes. More than a dozen contractor and professional associations, including thousands of landscape contractors, landscape architects, dentists, opticians, electrical contractors and CPAs, have joined forces with the state’s Bar Association to support passage of the bill.

A-1982 would stabilize the cost of doing business for licensed professionals--including landscape contractors--by bringing the statute of limitations for filing a malpractice claim down to two years. This is similar to the statute that applies to doctors in the state, and professionals in New York and Pennsylvania.

The bill would also eliminate fee shifting, which allows a successful plaintiff to win payment of his attorney’s fees in addition to any damages. Neighboring states don’t allow this.

Only five companies out of the 25 authorized to issue malpractice insurance in the state actually do, because of its high rate of claims.