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Insurance help needed in Ontario

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Hamster360, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. Hamster360

    Hamster360 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Hey everyone, I have a frustrating stupid story.

    Last fall, I started a snowplowing/lawn maintenance company. I was hoping to plow last winter, but started a little late and was too busy with my day time job. This spring I called my broker for an insurance quote. She found me insurance, 2M$ liability, CGL, my truck, some equipment etc, for about 3500$ per year. ONLY restriction was no gas stations or roads (no big deal). She just told me go out get my contracts, and we'll write the policy then. About 2 months later (2 weeks ago) I call in saying I have a few year round contracts I want to get my insurance going. Turns out shes on maternity leave now, so I'm dealing with another guy. He goes through her notes, and tells me that what she quoted me was residential driveways only, yet on the phone, she told me I could plow a Walmart if I wanted. At this point, I'm pissed because I know my rate will be higher, but 3500 was the number I carried for my overhead numbers. Turns out, best he can get me is about 5000$ per year, and that only 40% of my revenue can be snowplowing. This doesn't work for me.

    I have a few other brokers looking for me still, and some have tried and failed. Can anyone in Ontario tell me who they are with? I could really use the help

    State Farm and cooperators have both turned me down so far as I don't have previous snow plow insurance.

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,414

    You need to state your revenue
    Your biggest problem that I see is by the sounds of things your have have another job which will make them wonder how you would be able to fullfill your contractual obligations in regards to daytime snow

    The cost of 5 million probably isnt much more. Look into it
  3. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,106

    I feel your pain, insurance for snowplowing sucks. I've been with the same company for 20years without so much as a windshield claim. This year they hit me with a 19.75% increase in premium.
    They know quite well that's certain % of clients will leave and their actuaries have probably figured out that the premium that they lose from those clients will be offset by the premium increase that they push through. So little or no loss in income and less expense as fewer clients to manage...
    When you ask any snowplowing company out there their biggest challenge and biggest shift in the industry now it has little todo with labor/equipment/finding work/ managing storms...it has more to do with the hoops we jump through in contract wording ,documentation, and double dipping the insurance companies do between service providers and property owners.
    It has gotten bad in trucking too, where I know trucking firms that actually have cooperatives with their industry between competitors to self insure their fleets.
    Good luck sorry no recommendations, but I don't recommend people I'm not happy with...
  4. Hamster360

    Hamster360 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Aviva was the company I was originally quoted from.

    My day time job is not an issue at all as I am a sales manager for a paving company. I make my own hours, and I'm more or less laid off from mid November to mid March.

    Right now my biggest fear is I have actual signed contracts, bought equipment, and I'm not going to be able to fulfill them. Or I could sub them out, which makes no sense.

    SHAWZER PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,119

    Trillium , Intact are 2 more . The more money you make , the higher your insurance . Good luck .
  6. Hamster360

    Hamster360 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    I think intact was one that would only go 30% of gross revenues. I've never heard of trillium, I'll look them up.

    I have no problem paying for insurance, I'll even pay high rates at this point just to get it.
  7. allagashpm

    allagashpm Senior Member
    Messages: 700

    Just curious how much is the insurance without plowing on there?
    I know my gl policy covers plowing, and it's not like I said I need snowplow insurance. Good luck
  8. Hamster360

    Hamster360 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    How does it cover plowing without you telling them you need snow plowing insurance? I can get $2M cgl for landscaping for 800-1200$ per year all day long. I'm also plowing commercial accounts while you may be doing just residential?
  9. FredG

    FredG PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,644

    In the states, You have to add completed snow operations to your Gl policy. Without that I don't think your covered. Don't take it to the bank I'm in NY, Could be different. Good Luck
  10. Hamster360

    Hamster360 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    It's been a while, but just a quick update. I was able to get 5M$ CGL insurance to cover snow plowing and landscaping. It's about 6000$ for the year, and does not cover any equipment. A little high, but I was told it would go down if I get more landscape revenue (HA, I doubt it).

    So far year 1 of landscaping is going fine, starting to think about some snow plans as I have had a few companies say they do want me to quote some work for them. Not sure how big I want to get, but there is a 1.4 million square foot lot I can get if I want it. Don't think I want something that big yet tho.
  11. HadiCoop

    HadiCoop Member
    Messages: 58

    I was told about $700/yr for $2mil liability just for cutting grass and as soon as you add snow to the policy it goes up a lot! Another $2-3k on top of the $700 is what I was quoted through intact.
  12. Hamster360

    Hamster360 Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    I could have got around 4500$ for 2m$ but my contracts required 5m$ I could have also got it cheaper if I had any prior commercial insurance.
  13. Doin_It

    Doin_It Senior Member
    from Mt.
    Messages: 127

    Interesting, as I use State Farm,which of course was bought out in Canada by in Quebec, though they still call it State Farm. I'm getting 5 mill for roughly 1/2 your quote. We use 2 skids,1 P/U, 3 tractors. Make your snow a subsidiary company of you main company then your snow can be how ever much. Company 1 can rent your truck to company 2 for whatever you want, who cares if #2 shows a loss.