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Reminder of why insurance is necessary.................

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by 75, Feb 1, 2002.

  1. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    ................................. while true, this isn't a "bad news" story: I've mentioned in some other posts that the contractor I sub for services a few lots belonging to a marine sales/service company, both the parking lots on the outside of the fence and the ones where the boats are kept on the inside of it.

    Many boats on trailers are parked there, and have to be plowed around as best you can. Needless to say, carrying proper insurance is a must and I was reminded of that last night when backing up beside one of the boats to line up for the next push: About half a dozen times, each time I stopped to drop the blade and shift into "D" I was at eye level and just a few feet away from the price sticker - all $155,750 worth! :eek:

    Wish I'd had the camera to take a pic, pretty effective reminder.

    Not quite sure of the math, but I do know that $155,750 = mucho plowing hours............................
     
  2. Mick

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

    Every once in awhile we get a little(?) reminder. Last year at the first driveway I ever plowed for money, I was backing up for another pass. Looked ahead to see where I was and when I looked back again, I was about fifteen feet from their car. Managed to stop before I hit it, but I realized it doesn't take very long to go fifteen feet. Thought I'd learned a lesson, but no, I did the same thing again this year at an apartment building. Stopped in time, but it was close - too close. That's why I try not to plow driveways with cars in them or at least keep them in front of me.

    Stay sharp out there.

    Best bet is good insurance - Commercial Vehicle and General Liability whether you're a contractor or a sub.
     
  3. Dockboy

    Dockboy Guest
    Messages: 0

    Rob,

    LOL!:D I know what you mean.

    I plow the marina where I live and work as a part-time salesman.

    The next storm, I'll take some pics to show you. I plow around and sell boats that cost $500k to $1.5M:eek:

    And people ask why I have a $2M liability policy;)

    Greg
     
  4. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    Five or so years ago one of our guys hit a door. One of the big rollup types that an 18 wheeler can pass through. Not quite as expensive as those boats, but they're not cheap either....
     
  5. MDDMAX

    MDDMAX Member
    Messages: 38

    Dock,

    I agree w/ your 2 M that's what I carry on my general policy, when I first strarted driving I wanted to lower it, then there was a freak accadent on the news, someone hit a house or something to that effect, next day I was on the phone, for the extra few $$$ a year, it's worth the piece of mind.


    Lenny
     
  6. PAPS Landscape

    PAPS Landscape Member
    Messages: 51

    Last snow storm for us here in NJ, 1/20/02., one of my guys was backing out of a driveway and trashed the back-right quarter panel on our 98 GMC 2500. $3300.00 worth of damage. I am not gonna even bother fixing it. The catch.... the guy brought a friend along for "company"... and i told him to take him home after he plowed that driveway because i dont deal with that company nonsense.... turns out i should have made him take him home BEFORE he went to that house to plow. You live and you learn apparently
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 2, 2002
  7. 75

    75 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,382

    Uh-oh, sounds like "company" may have been a "distraction".............................crunch. :eek:

    Greg, Lenny - I have 2M coverage as well.

    Bryan - I guess I'm the opposite of the fellow who did in the 1/4 panel: I don't want anyone in the truck with me!
     
  8. HD61CUIN

    HD61CUIN Senior Member
    Messages: 173

    How much extra is insurance like that? I wouldn't want that all year coverage either...2M sounds a little excessive for what I plow, I can see 1/2 mil... Granted what does something like that cost what are the terms and what does it cover?
     
  9. Mick

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

    HD61CUIN - This is part of something I'm developing as a "public awareness" effort. As far as the cost, it will vary by your region. I'm probably on the low end of the scale and I think my GL is around $1200/yr and CV is around $800 for a 1/2t '90 Dodge and 1 ton '96 Chevy.

    If anyone disagrees with any point or has comments/feedback, please post.

    ...Commercial Vehicle insurance with a snowplowing "rider" - it will have the words "Commercial Vehicle" at the top of the policy. This replaces regular vehicle insurance, so if they show you a current insurance policy without "Commercial Vehicle" they do not have it. Many people operating plows do not have this and are basically an "Uninsured Motorist". The policy must specify "snowplowing". Regular insurance will not cover a vehicle to which a snowplow is attached. You can plow snow at a property you own, but coverage will generally be through your Homeowner's Insurance, not your vehicle insurance. Double trouble is accepting money for snowplowing. By accepting money, you are declaring yourself as a "professional" snowplow operator and you are liable for making professional judgments. Regular vehicle insurance also will not cover a vehicle to which a plow is attached while being operated on anything other than the owner's property (ie: road/street). Some insurance companies will except transport for fuel or repair. Commercial Vehicle insurance covers any damage done by the vehicle while the vehicle is on-site. It will usually also cover damage done by the plow as long as it's attached to the vehicle (but not always - then the General Liability will take over).

    Commercial General Liability insurance (also called Business Insurance or GL)- This will specify General Liability at the top of the policy. A "must have" for plowing snow at businesses, organizations etc because most of these will require proof of insurance with the bid for plowing. Should have for residential but most don't because homeowners either don't know or are too shy to ask/require it. This insurance covers "completed operations" such as slips and falls after the plow guy leaves and damage to the property such as to landscaping. Most people will pay small stuff , such as a claim of damaged lawn "out of pocket" to avoid policy increases. This is completely acceptable as long as the owner is satisfied that the damage has been repaired.
     
  10. Mick

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

    I should have specified that GL figure is for $300,000 - which is really the minimum for anywhere. 2M will be substantially more. For most metropolitan areas, 1M would be enough for most small businesses with one or two trucks. If you work around high dollar items (like $155,000 boats) or have a larger company (like many others here), the higher limit would be well worth it. Depends on your level of risk exposure.
     
  11. PINEISLAND1

    PINEISLAND1 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 664

    Many of the bid specs we deal with require at least a 1 mil policy, especially schools and municipal and large commercial.
     
  12. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Ive never had any commercial account want less than 1 million.There are a ton of guys plowing here without proper insurance.
     
  13. HD61CUIN

    HD61CUIN Senior Member
    Messages: 173

    Wow never really knew this I have my regular insurance and never really gave this any thought. So this amount is on top of my regular insurance or the cost in place of. Can I just go into my agent and show him what I have and what I do and let them help me? My agent is a familymember.
     
  14. Mick

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

    Yes, any insurance agent can steer you in the right direction. Being a family member, you might want to call him/her before pushing any more snow.
     
  15. Big Todd

    Big Todd Senior Member
    Messages: 126

    A couple of weeks ago, I was plowing an apartment complex. I came around a corner and the snow was packed down by all the cars riding over it and it was a glze of ice. Even though I was going relitively slow, the truck wouldn't turn and I smacked into a parked car. There was, thankfully, no real damage, but I moved the car a good six inches. That was my reminder of why I have good insurance. Luckily, noone saw me and I never heard anything about it. That was, honest to God, the first time in almost 10 seasons of plowing, that I have ever hit anything other than a rock, curb, or parking bumper while plowing. Now, let me find some wood to knock on...:D
     
  16. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Big todd,Im not trying to tell you how to run your business,but in addition to good insurance,in the future you might want to pre treat that apartment complex,especially since its a high traffic area.If you had put down just a small amount of Magic salt,straight salt,or ice ban treated salt,the ice never would have formed,and you never would have hit the car.Other benefits are it scrapes up clean,and is much ,much safer for the tenants,as you found out.It is also very profitable.Glad to hear the damage wasnt to bad,and no one got hurt.
     
  17. Big Todd

    Big Todd Senior Member
    Messages: 126

    I hear ya John, I've been trying to tell these people that for a while, but they insist on doing their own salting...:rolleyes:
     
  18. SCL

    SCL Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    Todd,
    You need to explain to them that they need to salt this area oryou will not be responsible for any damage or death youcause due to THEIR lack of attention to this dangerous situation. What if this had been two kids on a sled instead of a car? I know, I'm all doom and gloom, but control is everything, and this is no way to try out your insurance. I got to try mine out when I backed into the support piller of a carport for a commercial property. Munched my salter like a pancake. Point is avoid what you can cause someday you can't.
     
  19. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Todd,if it were my account,i would talk to the manager,let him know that it needs to be done,it's not an option with high traffic areas,its necessity.There are many reasons to worry,one you might be sued,you will be brought into any suit against them,even if it wasnt your fault.Id also worry about someone getting hurt,or worse yet killed.I would lay down the rules,now,dont let them call the shots,your the pro,not them.They are not in the snow removal business,you are.Here;s the options, you can use at this point,talk with the manager,tell him they are not properly salting the complex,this is causing unsafe,and dangerous conditions that not only affect his tenants,but your saftey as well,how you going to plow when its a sheet if ice.Tell him,that you will salt,if they do not do it on time,and heavy enough,this way they either have to get of their butts and do it,or your going to and bill them for doing it.I would replace the account next year,if unless they let me handle all salting,and plowing,to be down at my descretion,or they took a seasonal contract for full service.Your cutting yourself short here,your missing out on ice control money,which around here,is up to 1/2 the income a lot of times.I wonder if their insurance company knows that they are not maintaining the complex,and refusing to perfrom needed services?Good luck what ever you do,but you need to do something about this,IMO.
     
  20. JD PLOWER

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    Todd, I would try what john has posted above. If that does'nt work you might try a waiver stating that they are salting at their own discretion and you are in NO WAY responsible for any slip and falls or incidents involving ice control. If the owner decides he won't sign it then I would look to replace them next year. Each person must do their own risk assessment and decide what risks they wish to take and what they won't. IMO