Insurance Rates/Needs

Jay ALC

Senior Member
Location
Saint Joseph, MO
Hey everyone,
I talked to my (maybe) soon to be new insurance agent today and would like advice/assistance. Here is the background: I will be plowing this coming winter as a subcontractor for one of my friends. We will be doing all kinds of commercial and some residential. There will be several large commercial ones, Lowes, Ryan's Steakhouse(I believe thats the full name), Department of transportation, Perkins and a few other large ones.

Here's the deal the agent quoted me:
He said I would need 1 million in auto liability and 1 million in general liability. Wrapped up so that my truck and trailer are covered this would cost $4329.00 a year(BTW I'm 17, with no tickets, record or anything). The 4329.00 would just be for the auto and trailer with the auto having 1 million liability($500 deductable). Then for all my equipment and for 1 million in general liability he said $851 per year($100 deductable). Any ideas or advice? Anyone plow large corporate businesses? Any ideas on their insurance requirements or your own coverage numbers?
 

GeoffD

PlowSite.com Veteran
When Ya turn 21, your rates should be much lower.

You are a single male, under 18. Highest insurance risk on the market.

You get the highest rates, may not be fair, but its the truth.

Geoff
 

SlimJim Z71

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Cary, IL
Ouch....

That's pretty steep... but like Geoff said, you're young. I was getting hit with rates like that a few years ago (not for plowing though). It will get better. I would call around to a few other companies before signing with him. Try American Family. That's who I have. Mine is right around $300 a year for liability, and maybe $900 a year for commercial auto.

Good luck!

-Tim
 

plowking35

2000 Club Member
Location
SE CT
While that is a very high price for the auto insurance, like others stated you are in a high risk group.
All three of my trucks have comp and colision, and that policy is about 2K a year. My general liability is around 800.00 a yr.
Does your price include comp and colision, and what yr truck is it?
That will make a difference in your rates.
Dino
 
OP
J

Jay ALC

Senior Member
Location
Saint Joseph, MO
Hey Dino,
That auto policy is for full coverage but with a special 1 million for the plowing in the liability part. Again this million is in addition to 1 million in gen liability. My truck is a '93 F-250 Reg Cab Long Bed

Thanks everyone for all the responses so far.
 

Chuck Smith

2000 Club Member
Location
NJ
To answer your first questions Jay....
Typically $1 million is the norm as far as Commercial General Liability insurance goes. Also, $1 million coverage commercial auto liability. Sometimes a $2 million umbrella policy over the CGL and CAL policies is required. With that kind of coverage, you should have no problem getting commercial work.

I don't know how the laws are in your State. I know here in NJ, my plow and trailer would be covered under my auto policy. Actually plowing, is covered under my auto policy. If I hit a building while plowing and damaged it, then it would be covered by my auto policy.

If someone slips and falls, that would be covered by my Commercial General Liability insurance.

It's kinda sneaky, but most contractors downplay exactly how much plowing they will be doing, when talking to their agents. If they think you are plowing half the town, you'll be paying more than if they think you only do occassional plowing. Make sure you tell them you will be plowing, but don't tell them exactly how much. You might want to mention that it is your first year, so you are unsure of how much plowing you will be doing.

Everyone else is right, your age plays a HUGE part in your rates. Each year from age 17 - 25, your rates go down. The only other thing that will lower them, is if you get married.

On the flip side, there are many things that can raise the rates too, such as moving violations, and accidents.

You also want to use a good contract, that protects you. The less claims you get, the lower your insurance will be.

~Chuck
 
OP
J

Jay ALC

Senior Member
Location
Saint Joseph, MO
Thanks Chuck,
That info reasssures what I thought and have been told. This agent is the agent of many other lawn/plow/landscaping companies here so that is why I talked to him. He also would know what I need for the subcontracting because he insures the main cintractor. Finally, yes I know that my age plays a major factor its just right now I have insurance through American Family and it is around 1500.00 a year for full coverage with only 300,000 in liability and no trailer coverage. Not sure what my laws here in MO say about the trailer either but current isurance guy at least made it sound like it would not be covered. Not to sure on that one. Thanks again.
 

plowking35

2000 Club Member
Location
SE CT
This is just a thought, but put the truck in your parants name, that will drop the rate through the floor. As a 17 yr old younge male driver, you will see no breaks at all. Unfair yes, but you are paying for all the mistakes of the people who have come before you.
Dino
 

wxmn6

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Claverack, NY
I got the quote from my insurance company and it is about the same price as Jay's, and that's for just downsized '89 Toyota pickup. I am 18 with no tickets and no violations. Paying that much money for just plowing 10 residential driveways is going to make me no profit. Plus I would need to pay for plow and other parts that I will need if I put the plow on my truck. So I feels that it is not worth it to plow. I am soon to be a college student and will be attending at community college for two years. So it is not a good thing for me to have a large number of accounts to be able to make some profit. Also I will need that truck to drive to college each day (30 miles each way). So I will have to stick with large snowblower and do the sidewalks & driveways. It would be nice to have a plow to clear the driveways faster and easier, but it is just not smart to spend the money when you can't make some profit. But in future after I finish in college, I am sure that I will get a snowplow when I should be able to take more accounts. Right now I am thinking of maybe doing some salting service, probably also sanding (if I get the proper spreader). It seems that this service is very profitable and faster. But if you do this service, would you still need insurance? Snowplowing insurance is necessary, but I have not heard of anyone with insurance for spreading service.
 

75

PlowSite.com Addict
I'm no expert when it comes to the insurance question myself, but I am certain that insurance will be required for salt/sand service.

As far as that goes, I'm not sure the insurance companies make a distinction between snowplowing and salt/sand apps.
 

Rob

PlowSite.com Veteran
I would definitely think that this type of service would need to be covered by insurance. Think about it this way. You are providing a service to sand / salt a walkway. Joe Blow walks down the walk and slips on some ice. The homeowner / business is going to point the finger at you, stating you provided the sanding / salting services. I'm not an insurance specialist, but this type of scenario seems feasible to me. Realisitically, will it happen, probably (hopefully) not, but that's why you need to have the insurance, this day in age everyone wants to blame / sue someone else.
 
OP
J

Jay ALC

Senior Member
Location
Saint Joseph, MO
OK Guys,
First I want to say I appreciated everyones opinions here. I am going into this plowing "definately", I have the plow on order and everything else lined up so it was not a case of waying whether or not to plow for me. Now then the good info. My day has been great, I met with several difeerent insurance agencys here and my god I was shocked when I got the lowest one.. I was ready to sign the second I saw the bottom line. $1,708.75 for full coverage, everything I use in the biz lawncare & snow with a million on truck and 2 million in gen liability. I was very happy and impressed with the professionalism of the agent herself. When I arrived she had a typed proposal ready for me to review and she went over every line of the coverage in detail. I also found out she literally has every one of the large lawn care/snow removal companys in this town being isured thru them. I was sold within minutes of hearing all the details. Needless to say this was the least painful discussion I have ever had with an insurance agent. I will be signing on the dotted line tomorrow. BTW, this is cheaper than my current personal policy on just my truck. Great news to my ears :) Also, the main company insuring me will be Allied. Thanks again for your guys' opinions & info!
 

wxmn6

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Claverack, NY
Wow, that's a great price for this coverage. I wonder how many insurance agencies you had to request for a quote before you found this agency. I only got two different quotes, and it is too high, but maybe if I continue to ask several other agencies for quotes, hopefully some of them will have a good price for me.
 
OP
J

Jay ALC

Senior Member
Location
Saint Joseph, MO
Stephen,
I only had to talk to 5 different insurance companies. Also, I had talked to several others about who they would suggest for my particular coverage. It didn't turn out to be to difficult.
 

wxmn6

PlowSite.com Addict
Location
Claverack, NY
I called a few insurance companies and found one with a good quote. I could afford it and will be able to make some profit. So I will be in plowing business. I have an used 6.5' Fisher plow on order. For those who advised me to go with Snow-Way, I appreciate your opinion, but there is no local dealer in my area that sells Snow-Way plow and also I could not afford a new one. There is a Fisher dealer about 45 minutes away from me who should be able to service my plow if something happen to it. Thank you guys for helping me here!
 

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