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Just Starting Out

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by theguynextdoor, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. theguynextdoor

    theguynextdoor Senior Member
    Messages: 307

    Hey guys, I just had a couple questions. Im just starting out in the plowing business. I just bought a 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 (got a great deal on it, with brand new brakes, all terrain tires, and shift kit) and a 3 year old 7ft 9in western plow (wierd size because it used to be 10 ft but was too long for the guy who had it before me). I still need to get an amber light bar, which ill probably get from whelen. Im repainting the plow and this might be a dumb question, but does it have to be red? Also, im trying to find the best insurance for plowing, Im going for 20-30 residential contracts (no commerical yet), i'm 18 years old in college. I already have about 15 contracts. What kind of insurance rates am i looking at and what companies are good for it. Im in the western new york area and pumped for it to start snowing.


    thanks for the info
     
  2. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    You can paint the blade any color you want. Use a good primer and a good Rustoleum paint. I always spray a clear coat over the paint. The snow doesn't stick. Make sure you change all fluids and check electrical connections. You may have a hard time getting insurance to plow because of your age. Start out with your carrier now and just shop around. Good luck.
     
  3. EaTmYtAiLpIpEs

    EaTmYtAiLpIpEs 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,607

    I got a good price on having my old plow sand blasted and powder coated for $200.
     
  4. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    For a lightbar look for a target tech highlighter, very bright and affordable. You can pick one up for around $100. As for insurance, Im with Erie insurance. My auto insurance (commercial) is around (if I remember right) $1600 and my General liability policy with 1 million in coverage is around $1400.
     
  5. theguynextdoor

    theguynextdoor Senior Member
    Messages: 307

    If i'm only doing residential, wouldnt i only need 300,000 liability? If so, would that be cheaper?
     
  6. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,882

    Im 21, I pay through the nose on my commercial auto, because I was dumb when I was younger and got a few tickets. I pay 400 a year general liability, 2 million coverage, for landscaping and plowing through nationwide. 300,000 would be cheaper than 1 million or 2 million, maybe
     
  7. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,737

    Check federal signals (target tech) webpage. They usually have reconditioned ones for about $45.
     
  8. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Maybe cheaper, but be sure and ask your agent for a rate comparison. I thought so for quite a while, until I decided I really needed to increase the liability. The difference between $300,000 and a million was something like $40/yr. The amount of coverage needed isn't dependent on the type of accounts, but rather the amount of risk exposure or how much are you likely to get sued for and judgement awarded. How much coverage you have is not a factor in the judgement. But, say the judge grants an award of a million dollars and determines you and the homeowner are equally liable. Your portion of the award is $500,000. Your coverage has a $300,000 limit, so you will still be liable for $200,000. Now, if you'd just paid that extra premium, it would have covered your portion of the award and you would not have to sell your house and everything else you own to satisfy the judgement against you. But, if you don't need the insurance, you could have saved $40 and gone out to dinner.
     
  9. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609




    a million dollars? short of running over the customers kids what could you do for damage that would cost anywhere near a million dollars? just curious. ive seen ruined lawns, ruined sidewalks, decks ripped off houses, garage doors caved, loading docks ripped apart, houses bashed into,

    but i honestly have never seen anything, including all the above that couldnt be fixed for a few thousand dollars so im wondering short of death what would be a million dollar judgement from plowing snow.
     
  10. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    That would be what it IS for. The "little stuff" like you are noting, I would pay out-of-pocket and it would never be turned into insurance because rates will increase more than the claim was worth. Reason is this and I have discussed it with my insurance agent who agrees: Insurance companies are not required to issue General Liability policies. If you have enough claims (and for some that is ONE - regardless of the dollar amount) your insurance will pay the claim and cancel your policy. Once a policy has been cancelled "for cause" (or "excessive" claims) no other company will issue you a policy at any price, so you are effectively out of business. So most people will pay the stuff like turf damage and garage doors; saving the insurance for something like - you pull into a gas station, lose control and hit the pump which starts a fire. The convenience store burns along with three cars. Two people suffer burns and big medical bills. One guy has a heart attack and dies. His family brings a wrongful death suit. Or someone falls on a site you plowed the day before and was in the hospital for a broken arm and ensuing loss of income. Those are going in on insurance.
     
  11. DaySpring Services

    DaySpring Services PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,065

    I couldn't agree more. There are too many unknown circumstances that can happen and way too many sue happy people out there. Now days if someone gets hurt, they sue. The insurance isn't so much for property damage as much as the threat of getting sued. Plowing is a high risk job. Pulling in and out of streets, plowing around hidden objects, dealing with cars in parking lots (people do some dumb things in parking lots when your plowing), people falling. Well I think you get the point. All my commercial accounts require a minimum of 1 Million in coverage.
     
  12. theguynextdoor

    theguynextdoor Senior Member
    Messages: 307

    YOU ONLY PAY 400 A YEAR for plowing and landscaping? How and from what company?
     
  13. Ole Tower

    Ole Tower Senior Member
    from MAINE
    Messages: 210

    Hes 21 & Paying $400 for 2 Million insurance--the Insurance B/S! getting pretty DEEP! His Insurance CO is Nation Wide--I*D Like to Know? What? He been Smoking??--OleTower--
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2007
  14. hydro_37

    hydro_37 PlowSite Veteran
    from iowa
    Messages: 3,790

    I would guess he meant $400 a month.
     
  15. Crusis

    Crusis Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I pay $438 a year for 1 million, but not sure if that covers my intent to snowplow yet. It's possible that my agent, who makes granite look smart, might have only covered my lawn business even though I must have said "snowplowing" 20 times in his office.
     
  16. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    You really want to make sure "snow plowing" is listed as a "covered activity" on your policy. I doubt it is; $438/yr really sounds more like an annual Lawn Care premium. I just got my renewal today and it's $817 for next year. That's in a very low rate state and rural area, for some someone with no claims record, seven year history in the field, 58 years old with a very good credit record (FICO in the 700s).

    That's a favorite trick of many insurance agents when the company won't write a policy for plowing snow or won't write a policy because of reasons specific to that person. The problem comes in when you file a claim. It's the Underwriter who will approve and pay/deny the claim - not the agent. If you ever have a question about your policy, demand a written outline from the Underwriter. If the agent doesn't want to do that, then demand a letter with his/her signature showing exactly what he/she just said (never happen).

    And, yes, I did go to the Underwriter for clarification one time when I had a question. The agent said I'd be covered for some commercial with a Residential policy. I wanted to have it spelled out. Got a letter from the Underwriter that I'd be covered for Commercial accounts as long as the number of Commercial accounts did not exceed the number of Residential accounts. Now, technically, I can plow one driveway and a WalMart shopping center on my Residential policy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2007
  17. TwistedMetal

    TwistedMetal Member
    Messages: 48

    nobody in my area will insure if you snow plow...found one company with crappy coverage and 1000$ deductible. wanted 3000$ a year for insurance.I'm still building my business, only doing residential{ for now}.
     
  18. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Then I would suspect that you are not covered for any damage nor is your vehicle while you are plowing or going from one account to the next. Before I got my GL and CV, my personal use policy would only cover the truck with a plow mounted on it while it was going from my residence to the nearest gas station. That's why I got GL/CV before I ever plowed my first driveway.
     
  19. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo Senior Member
    from nw ohio
    Messages: 115

    thanks

    very inlightening....
     
  20. TwistedMetal

    TwistedMetal Member
    Messages: 48

    Mick you have no idea how screwed up NY is.