Small Business Insurance Premium's

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by WarriorLandscapingCan, Oct 24, 2019.

  1. WarriorLandscapingCan

    WarriorLandscapingCan Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    So out of no where my small business insurance has been cancelled.

    The company that covers me has been bought out by a much larger company and they are having insanely high premiums in an effort to push out small businesses from snow removal altogether. Here in Ontario insurance companies are fed up with the claims and are putting huge pressure on companies.

    I was just quoted at a minimum $5000 premium just for snow removal, not including seasonal landscaping. We are a small company with 4 employee's.

    The agent was saying most small companies are throwing in the towel because of these absurd rates.

    Is anyone else experiencing this? I'm not sure what to do at this point. Any advice would appreciated.

    I can't see myself paying close to $1000 per month for insurance, but if that's what it is then what can I do.

    1 hour North of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  2. BossPlow2010

    BossPlow2010 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,870

    Do you have insurance brokers in Canada? We went through one to find the most affordable rate for what we were looking for
    WarriorLandscapingCan likes this.
  3. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,441

    Does Ben Insurance do anything up there? Or maybe he could steer you in the right direction. Oh and be glad you ain't in Jersey. I'm a one man operation and my insurance is more than four times that.
  4. OP

    WarriorLandscapingCan Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    That's expensive, $20,000?

    I am looking for brokers right now and other companies.

    Let the phone calls & emails begin,
  5. Chris33

    Chris33 Member
    Messages: 62

    I'm also in Ontario....

    I don't even have a business, my truck only plows my driveway, parents and in laws. truck and me, make no money.

    Truck/plow is for personal use only..... was up front with all insurance companies. I wanted to let them know I was driving to 3 different family location, with a plow on the front of my truck..

    Most turned me away. I found one company... but paid a bit more then normal.

    I almost thought I had to purchase commercial insurance... that would have hurt.

    Good luck
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
  6. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,641

    Give Jim a call at Zehr in NewHamburg
  7. OP

    WarriorLandscapingCan Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    What if I did just residential homes and no commerical jobs.

    And I wrote in the contract that we are not liable for slip and falls, etc and both parties signed it.

    Would that negate me from requiring business insurance for snow?
  8. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,641

    Ive done commercial and residential for 25 years. Up till last spring i was insured with Economical the whole time. Not one claim, not even a windsheild claim on the vehicles and not a speeding ticket in that same time frame.
    They told me they are not insuring snow anymore. They are also going through a demutualization to be traded on the stock market. I will not invest in them, their current tactics are to make their books look atractive to potential investors. I figure I ve already invested $400k in the time I was with them with nothing to show for it.
  9. Chris33

    Chris33 Member
    Messages: 62

    As far as I know...

    Residential small driveway plowing is still a business... you are making money from it, you will need commercial insurance
  10. m_ice

    m_ice 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,192

    If every contractor is seeing the same increases and every contractor passes the cost on then the end customer is the only 1 feeling the pinch unless they decide to do it themselves.
    WarriorLandscapingCan and FredG like this.
  11. prezek

    prezek Senior Member
    Messages: 332

    That’s assuming the competitors are carrying insurance...and can do basic math...
    EWSplow and m_ice like this.
  12. Luther

    Luther PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,451

    You can’t negate away someone’s right to take legal action against you. Especially when you’re culpable of the damage. A single family residential slip and fall claim is the least of your worries. Mainly because it just doesn’t happen. Even typical real estate damage on the sides of the driveway isn’t a big concern. You need insurance for the catastrophe, like inadvertently sideswiping your clients car parked in the driveway, running into the house taking a wall down, running into the garage door and have it fall onto parked luxury vehicles inside of it, or running over a human being.
  13. Ben/Insurance

    Ben/Insurance Sponsor
    Messages: 218

    Warrior, you should be looking for a policy that covers your landscaping and your snow removal combined. If you have no claims and your agent/broker can’t find a market, find another. Ideally, a larger independent agent that does a lot of contractor insurance will have the markets you need and the knowledge to get it done. Get 3 year loss runs now. The new broker will need them. Randall, thanks for thinking of me but I’m not licensed in Canada.
    WarriorLandscapingCan likes this.
  14. GMC Driver

    GMC Driver Addict
    Messages: 1,173

    We experienced this a few years ago. We were also offered coverage through several brokers, but with many contingencies. They all had stipulations on who we could/could not perform services for.

    Ended up with coverage with no restrictions, but at triple the cost. It's a big pill to swallow but it keeps us in the game. We need to support the push for new legislation.
  15. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 33,540

    Good luck with that with your racist PM...

    You can't?

    Just curious, would one make a claim for plowing up someone's front lawn?
    GMC Driver and Defcon 5 like this.
  16. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,223

    Happened to me a few years ago with the requirement of "Completed Operations" insurance for select places...

    that was a kick in the shorts that I was not ready for... [​IMG]
    WarriorLandscapingCan and FredG like this.
  17. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,223

    Not to dip into your finances to much if you don't want to, but if your insurance is kinda relevant to your gross sales in most cases.

    So say your only doing 500K in sales a year, at 12K annual, your insurance is still less than 2.5% of your gross sales... that is cheap IMO. Even at 250,000 a year, it is only 5%.

    Just my two cents.
  18. If you apply for a international license you can get insurance in the states. I'm not positive it will help you. 1 mill in GL and completed snow operations is cheap in the states.
    WarriorLandscapingCan likes this.
  19. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,641

    $1000 a month would only be $700 US.
  20. OP

    WarriorLandscapingCan Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    Thanks for your help guys. Definitely pushing forward. Have 2 brokers securing me quotes right now.

    Will let you know what my rates are when I get them!

    Hoping to land 50 - 60 driveways this season with two crews. Maybe more.