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Insurance question's

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by awgolasplowing, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. awgolasplowing

    awgolasplowing Member
    Messages: 52

    So I,m looking to cover my a$$ this year. I have 6 regular driveway customers and I may be adding a small parking lot this year (no contract its on a per storm basis). I'm not sure what I'm going to need. I will be calling my agent but wanted to get your opinion's. Also I was told that if I don't have a contract with this parking lot I'm not liablile for slip and fall. Does any one have an experince to say other wise?

    P.S it goes without saying (but I will anyway) cost of coverage is a big concern.
  2. Wilnip

    Wilnip Senior Member
    Messages: 583

    Is best to just see what you agent recommends. The standard General Liability policy has $1 million coverage. If you only have residentials as of now, that may be overkill. My understanding is if you don't have a signed contract, your insurance company may not cover any claims, but that doesn't mean you won't be sued. You will still be liable for slip and falls. You can draw up a contract on a per plow basis just as easy as a seasonal contract.
  3. procut

    procut Senior Member
    Messages: 902

    Technically you'll neeed commercial auto on your truck and then an additional general liability policy.
  4. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    Right. Comm auto covers damage done by the truck and plow while you are or were actively plowing. Don't even bother driving down the road with the blade on until you have this policy. My 04 Ram with full comm auto was $104 a month. I don't have a plow for my new F250, so I just have reg auto on it.

    GL covers your slip and falls and anything else.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  5. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,512

    If I might ask,

    Where did you read this ? Is this in your policy ? What company is your Snow Policy with ?

    I read my entire snow policy, and there's nothing indicated in it to support this in my policy, as in NJ, contractual obligations can be verbal or written to be legally enforceable. There is a paragraph, in the "exclusions section" under "contractual liability" that isn't perfectly clear:

    "bodily Injury" or "property damage" for which the insured is obligated to pay damages by reason of the assumption of liability in a contract or agreement. This exclusion does not apply to liablity for damages:

    (1) that the insured would have in the absence of the contract or agreement or

    (2) Assumed in a contract or agreement that is an "Insured Contract", provided the body injury or property damage occurs subsequent to the execution of the contract or agreement. ...... (more and more legal mumbo jumbo)

    For me a contract can be verbal or written to be legal and binding, as long as it's under $500 in value, otherwise it's required under state law to be in writing.

    I did find a passage that specifically states:

    Temporary Worker Bodily Injury Exclusion.

    This insurance does not apply to any claim arising from:

    1. "bodily injury" to any "temporary worker" or

    2. Loss sustained by the spouse, child, parent, brother or sister of that "temporary worker" aas a consequence of item 1. above.

    Thanks for making me read my policy Thumbs Up
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  6. leigh

    leigh PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,968

    My general liability covers snowplowing.I asked my agent if I needed extra snow coverage and he said no,it's covered in gl policy.He mentioned unless it's specifically excluded in the policy, it's covered.As far as contract,not having one actually helped me on a 200k claim.I was basically plowing on a per storm basis and did not assume 24/7 responsibility for property. All i was doing was moving snow and salting to speed the melting of snow/ice.Only extra coverage I might consider/check out is a personel umbrella policy.And of course commercial coverage on trucks.
  7. jasonv

    jasonv PlowSite.com Addict
    from kannada
    Messages: 1,114

    A contract consists of OFFER ("I will plow your drive for XX with terms YY"), ACCEPTANCE ("I agree to your price and terms"), and CONSIDERATION (something valuable exchanged -- you operating plow, client paying money, at SOME point, does not have to be in advance). It does not need to be in writing to be legally binding or enforceable, it is still a contract.

    The reason why it is good to obtain a WRITTEN contract, is because without that it is difficult to PROVE that there is/was a contract should the need arise. Just how do you enforce a contract if you can't actually prove that one existed?

    One way, of course, is to have the client pay by CHEQUE, or to keep a duplicate of the client-signed receipt. Proof of consideration implies a contract.

    Now, the instance where you do NOT have a contract with the client, is if you do the unthinkable: plowing random driveways without authorization. This can sometimes happen through ACCIDENT, i.e., you plow the wrong driveway by mistake. Hopefully you pay enough attention that this doesn't happen. And ABSOLUTELY hopefully you don't go plowing driveways and then demand payment from someone who didn't agree to the service. Unfortunately, some people do this, especially to old people. IF they choose to pay you, then this could retroactively create a legal contract.

    Edit: The point!!!
    The point of this is as follows; IF you plow without PROVABLE contract, and get sued for something related to that, then the insurance company WILL NOT COVER YOU. Remember that the insurance company is in the business of NOT PAYING. They'll take any opportunity they can come up with to not pay. If you do something that you aren't supposed to do, they won't pay.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  8. Ben/Insurance

    Ben/Insurance Sponsor
    Messages: 149

    It makes no difference whether you have a contract or not. If you are performing the service, you will be sued if someone gets hurt at the site. You need a comml auto policy for the plow truck and general liability (GL) for your snow operations but make sure it doesn't exclude snow removal. It's a very common exclusion here in NY. A local independent insurance agent is your best resource in this area.
  9. woodchuck2

    woodchuck2 Senior Member
    Messages: 304

    X2, i went over my policies with my agent to be sure i was covered properly. It cost me $2k a yr for the commercial policies for the two trucks and i have general liability for $3mil right now but that may get bumped to $5mil for some extra coverage. The $3mil is mandatory for the gas "propane" company i keep cleaned.