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Plowing insurance- does the truck have to be registered as commercial?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by mkwl, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,362

    Well, I'm still in search of reasonably priced plowing insurance- if anyone knows of good companies/brokers for plowing insurnace, please let me know!

    Now, my question is, for me to have plowing insurance, does my truck have to be registered as commercial? Right now it just had regular NJ plates.

  2. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    How it works in MN, is that you just have to have commercial insurance.

    The company that I'm with, as long as plowing is less that 25% of your gross income, you don't need a rider that covers plowing.
  3. DBL

    DBL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,310

    i dont know how you jersey guys do it becaus eyou have commercial tags but here in pa no the trucks are all im my name and the ins is is my name combined with the biz name
  4. mkwl

    mkwl 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,362

    Wouldn't happen to be State Farm insurance (that's what I have) would it?
  5. Mick

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

    Oh, God. I hope not, but sounds like something they put out.

    It sounds good, until you actually need it.
  6. Mick

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

  7. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    Absolutely not...

    I run through Allied Insurance, a branch of Nationwide Insurance.

    They've paid all my claims so far in the 6 years I've run with them.

    I've got (2) new trucks listed as commercial, with 500k / 1M limits, about 100k in equipment, a 2M in liability rider, all for about $5500 / year,

    So far they've fixed a $2500 claim on a truck, a $1600 window, a $4500 gas station sign and right now fighting a slip and fall at a location that is entirely not my fault, clearly spelled out in the service agreement. I had a special notation in the agreement about an area on a property and the property owners signed off on it.

    I would never EVER have State Farm or Allstate.
  8. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341


    And i am with you on statefarm,

    You might try to go to a underwrighter (agent) someone that quotes several differ companies
  9. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    That's what I do... every year I call him up and ask "Is my company still cheap??" He usually says yes, however there are times when certain insurance companies are targeting different types of clients, so you'll get a break on certain coverage.

    We were with a certain company for our personal use vehicles, Progressive was always about $500 / year more. Then 2 years ago, Progressive came in at $450 / year less, so we switched.

    You should always check, but not switch yearly.
  10. mrbrickman

    mrbrickman Senior Member
    from montana
    Messages: 138

    i thought its called state fraud
  11. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    i dont have commercial auto right now. i have a few quotes for commercial. dont have commerical plates.
    called my current company yesterday and asked them what would happen if i banged in someones garage door and didnt have commercial insurance. she said the homeowner wouldnt be liable but they werent sure if they would be liable or not either. depended on if i filed taxes as a business and how many accounts i had etc.etc. and that she would have a claims specialist get back to me. they never called back.
    found this little law on the books of my state.

    Subchapter 1: GENERAL PROVISIONS

    §2903. Liability absolute when loss occurs

    The liability of every insurer which insures any person against accidental loss or damage on account of personal injury or death or on account of accidental damage to property shall become absolute whenever such loss or damage, for which the insured is responsible, occurs. The rendition of a final judgment against the insured for such loss or damage shall not be a condition precedent to the right or obligation of the insurer to make payment on account of such loss or damage.

    comments? (im sure ill get a couple)
  12. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    Firstly it depends on the law of the jurisdiction but,

    If you are fibbing to your insurance company they have the right to cancel the policy.

    They have a right of 'subrogation'
    Roughly that means that, yes, they will pay the money to the person injured or the property damaged BUT having done that they will go after the person responsible.

    NOW if you have fibbed to them and not told them that you are plowing with that pick-up truck you bought for personal use, you no longer have a contract with them ('cause you lied to them) and they will be coming back after you for the pay-out. (In another life I used to be a subrogation officer at an insurance company and would hunt down low-life that would screw around on their policies and collect back from them the money paid to the innocent injuried person.)

    In regards to the Maine statute it means that you don't have to sue somebody in court just to get the money back. eg Mrs Smith won't be pleased that she had to go to small claims court, waste a day just to collect for the $65 window you broke with your baseball, just admit that you broke the window and get on with it.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2007
  13. Mick

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

    Thank you, heather lawn spray. There are many posts on this subject. So, would you say if someone has Commercial insurance and personal registration (not commercial plates), they have effectively "lied" to the insurance company and, by not having commercial plates, would be a good reason for the insurance company to deny the claim?
  14. heather lawn spray

    heather lawn spray PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,206

    Again depending on the exact rules of the jurisdiction and the procedures of the company, generally they don't care if the vehicle is commercial or not ie if one uses a car for business (travelling salesman) it doesn't need commercial plates BUT it should have a commercial policy.

    All they are interested in is collecting the right amount of premium for the risk there are taking

    Think about it. Spending half an hour driving back and forth to work is probably alot less risky than 12 hour in a snow storm battering things with the plow

    Commercial plates or not are the jurisdiction of the state or province

    If you will note on the application the insurer doesn't ask for the plates just the VIN
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2007
  15. Flipper

    Flipper PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,180

    My insurer doesn't care how the truck is registered only what it is and what it is used for.
  16. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    Minnesota doesn't have commercial plates.

    Only that the vehicle has commecial insurance is what matters.

    I pay roughly $2,000 / year to insure my trucks. My wife's minivan is now down to $400 / year.

    If I put my truck on a personal policy, then I would save myself about $1500 / year, but the first time I hit someone with a plow on, pulling a trailer, that would be the end.
  17. TwistedMetal

    TwistedMetal Member
    Messages: 48

    mkwl, you live in NJ, rates have to be as bad as where i live in NY.it hasn't even snowed enough in this area to afford insurance.i checked with some local agents, as soon as you mention plowing , they say sorry we don't insure that..or the policy is so high that plowing isn't worth the time and effort.bigger plowing operation i assume can afford it because they have many accounts mostly commercial.
  18. JeepPlow18

    JeepPlow18 Senior Member
    Messages: 658

    I live near you and I just started plowing last year. First many insurance companies will give you a hard time saying you have to be 25 to open a commercial account and plow. Yea I know thats rediculous, thats what I said to them. Your about my age correct? Im 19. I found that Progressive commercial is very good, as long as your 18 they said no problem. Thats why I went with them. As for the commercial plates and registration that just goes with hand and hand with the commercial insurance. Just go to the mvc and show them your commercial insurance, they will give you commercial plates, no questions asked. And the registration will not be commercial until the following year when its renewed( they charge double of a regular registration something like $115). That pissed me off haha, well what you going to do. O and tell me about that amber light permit, when you get it im curious. Hope this helps a lot.

  19. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    We need commercial liability ins for the type work we do.
    I/we are wrong to call it commercial vehicle ins.
    Your /our plow trucks do not meet the requirements.
    If your vehicle does have commercial plates you will need a CDL, and a log book limiting you to 11hrs behind the wheel.

    MN traffic law definitions,
    Subd. 75. Commercial motor vehicle. (a) "Commercial motor vehicle" means a motor
    vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used to transport passengers or property if the motor
    (1) has a gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds;
    (2) has a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds and the
    combination of vehicles has a combined gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds;
    (3) is a bus;
    (4) is of any size and is used in the transportation of hazardous materials that are required to
    be placarded under Code of Federal Regulations, title 49, parts 100-185; or
    (5) is outwardly equipped and identified as a school bus, except for type A-I and type III
    school buses as defined in subdivision 6.
    (b) For purposes of chapter 169A:
    (1) a commercial motor vehicle does not include a farm truck, an authorized emergency
    vehicle, or a recreational vehicle being operated by a person within the scope of section 171.02,
    subdivision 2 , paragraph (b); and
    (2) a commercial motor vehicle includes a vehicle capable of or designed to meet the
    standards described in paragraph (a), clause (2), whether or not the towed unit is attached to the
    truck-tractor at the time of the violation or stop

    Commercial plates are not needed for our plow trucks .
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2007
  20. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    i dont fib to my insurance company at all. i tell them i plow snow. i tell them i did plow commercial/industrial lots and now i work other jobs so im only plowing some driveways. nothing big that is my main source of income. they tell me it wouldnt be worth me buying a commercial policy unless im running many accounts and is a main source of income. i ask them if i hit something will they cover it. they say they arent worried about me plowing my family/friends that they are concerned over other people. they dont respond over if they will cover it or not. they also only have vehicles listed without plows on my id cards. ive talked to them on four occasions. doesnt seem to be going very far. the agent i talked to last time said she knows lots of people that plow without commercial insurance and between her and me she wouldnt worry about it. she also said she didnt handle commercial policy so if i decided to go back under commercial she couldnt help me. i could keep the same company but she wouldnt be the one servicing my account. i hope she logs down every time i tell them i plow snow and when i bought the last truck that i told them it had a snowplow. course if i had a accident the logs of my snowplowing would probably get erased from the computer.
    lie to the insurance company? your kidding right? they are the masters of the game. lol
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2007