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Permits & Insurance in Western New York

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Lucy Peanuts, Nov 22, 2014.

  1. Lucy Peanuts

    Lucy Peanuts Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    OK, a buddy asked me to go in on a snow biz.. he's been in landscaping for years now, plowing in winter. But, it's different when you are the boss. I've driven trucks/trailers and various forklifts/other machines over the years, so can sub if needed. I've read what I can find, but still have ??
    It's a lot easier saying "WNY" than each individual town, but the cost of permits for all of WNY gets pretty steep. My biggest concern is a comment that said "Don't expect to make any money the first 3 months.". If that's Nov-Jan, there doesn't seem to be any cash to be made here.. Can someone break down the hypothetical numbers a bit better for me? 1 man with 1 sub operation, basically 1 truck for drives and small business lots. I've already decided that salt/ice melt will not be part of the package: it is their responsibility. If I can get a pallet discount at the end of the season, I will store it and sell it the next winter. The plow blade misses areas in the lots, and we don't show up for 3 inches or less, so how can we take on the court cost of ice falls?
    Last question: proof of business and insurance for messed up lawns/mailboxes/etc. What do we show the homeowner?

    SKYNYRD Senior Member
    Messages: 420

  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    1st don't worry to much about the permits. Most are 25 bucks,not like your plowing in every town. I have yet to ever get one. Make money,all depends on what you want. Seasonal you'll get so much money for the year and that's it. Per push,is an unknown because your not sure how many times you might be out. As for left over snow in the lots, that's why you do a final lot check. Salting is fine as long as you have it down as they must request it.Insurance, you have 2 kinds,GL and commercial auto, you hit anything it goes through the auto. So unless you hit some big dollar payout, you just pay for small stuff out of pocket.
  4. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    G.v what is upper limit of what you consider small stuff, twice the deductible?
  5. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Could be, just depends if you had claims before, so it could worth paying out of pocket compared to being cancelled or super high premium
  6. Chineau

    Chineau Senior Member
    Messages: 447

    Something you said should be kind off watch word for guidance "just depends if you had claims before" small stuff up to three times deductible I either fix it myself or hire trades if necessary to repair. Electrical plug ins are pricey if you knock the box and stretch the wire it is going to add up fast, I have had that lesson.
  7. G-chop

    G-chop Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    If you get anyone asking you can always have a copy of your GL policy and show them. For commercial accounts that want to be named additionally insured I just have my agent do it. Hopefully you aren't hitting any mailboxes! For lawn damage we fix them in the spring with dirt/seed. Doesn't cost much.
  8. Bill Grey

    Bill Grey Member
    Messages: 43


    I can't really help with the permit questions although someone else mentioned they were usually cheap. I tend to agree with that one.
    You'll need insurance to cover the truck first. The right way to do this is to register the truck commercially and get a commercial policy to cover snow removal. You can try Progressive and Geico right off the bat. Their policies will cover you if you hit and damage anything with the truck / plow while working. We have commercial auto carriers here as well that we can try you with. Usually on residentials they won't ask you for proof of insurance. If they do you'll want to have your broker issue a certificate to the homeowner directly. He can explain the difference between a certificate holder and an Additional Insured. Typically you'll only need Additional Insured certificates on commercial jobs. You'll need a General Liability policy to cover you for any slip and fall related claims. Hitting a mailbox is small potato's, a slip and fall can put you out of business if you're not properly prepared.
    If you'd like to call my office, feel free. I'll answer your questions so that you understand how this whole thing works.