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That which does not Kill me...

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by OffRoadPlow, Dec 30, 2002.

  1. OffRoadPlow

    OffRoadPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    ... Will only make me stronger!

    Ok, so this is my intro, thanks, and question all in one. Let me begin by saying thank you for the wealth of information that I have been reading in the past and current posts. Enough information to keep me hooked and then some. Next let me state that I am relatively new to the business/enjoyment of the push, at least less than 5 years, so I continue to learn as I read. My 4X4 Z71 OffRoad, plow's great with what I have been using it for, but its growing... Started with the Family, then Family and friends, now business want me to bid them.... and so comes my question. ... Insurance, not the question of do I, but the question of where can I get it at the best price? Should it be local? My auto insurance company said they would have to get from a different company, and that it's really costly, but from those I have spoke to and read about, it would be worth having regardless. I am just not sure who or where.... Help is appreciated... As I hear you are only as good as those your surround your self with, I thought I would ask the experts. Oh, and just to answer some of the other posts, Happy to help in Mid Michigan, 7’ plow, and three times, 4” then 7” and then another 4” so far this year…:waving:
  2. ceaman

    ceaman Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    Insurance is a must...

    My truck is covered by my auto insurance to 1 million thru state farm.
    General liability on all other lawn and snow equipment 1 mil. thru American Faimly Insurance.
  3. OffRoadPlow

    OffRoadPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 247


    No doubt, have to have it,,,, what does the 1 mil run? Do you pay by the month or by season? I think the rates around here start around 100,000 in coverage, and then go up from there...
  4. Mick

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

    Commercial Vehicle insurance is a must.

    General Liability - currently I have $300,000 for residential only. Really, I should be carrying at least $500,00 - $1,00,000 is recommended. I have talked with my agent who also recommended I increase limits. I just haven't gotten around to it yet. Cost of $300,000 for me is around $600/yr, I think. However, my rates have about as much to do with yours as the price of gas.
  5. OffRoadPlow

    OffRoadPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 247


    Thanks, $300,000 to low? Wow, I would think that should be enough for Res... Glad I found this forum. I was thinking of $100,000 being just fine, I guess I should re-think it. I watched a truck plowing a yard and saw him take a nice chunk of lawn out of the hill he was pushing onto and thought I had better check before doing anything on a more pro level....
  6. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    Turf damage is far too common to have your insurance to cover it.

    I would be more worried about an elderly relative falling on a driveway you just plowed, or a UPS guy, or a pizza delivery guy, etc.

    Medical bills can add up to A LOT more than $300,000 REAL fast.

    And as Mick said, Commercial Auto is a MUST. If you slide into a garage door, a parked car, or hit a pedestrian while plowing, your "regular" auto insurance will not cover the damages.

  7. OffRoadPlow

    OffRoadPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 247


    Makes perfect since... It would seem to happen quite often when pushing snow. I made sure to have a nice contract drawn up as well.... It may not save me, but at least I can say the property owner knew of what could happen, it also puts them in fault for anything that can or does happen, not that it makes it law becuase they sign it, but at least an effort was made...
  8. golfmanres

    golfmanres Senior Member
    Messages: 150

    Two things. I am looking to get 1million in liability and also workers comp. but most important change over to commerical auto it not only saved me money by telling the agent that i am actually making money with my truck but like chuck said they wont cover you if you hit someone something while making money unless they know about it. So it is a smart and wise move to change over. My rates droned like 150 per year. but i need some type of business insurance. anyone have any ideads where i can start.
  9. Mick

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

    In my area, nobody cares about turf damage. But for those who do, most of your plow guys will go out and repair turf at the end of the season. As for small damages, you're better off taking care of what you can out of your pocket. Keep the premiums down by using insurance for large claims. Even garage doors you can usually get fixed without involving your insurance. People are having a hard time this year getting insurance. Some are even having policies cancelled if they've had claims in the past.

    Now if you hit a gas pump which ignites, starts five cars on fire, burns the convenience store down and causes someone to have a heart attack... well.....
  10. BRIMOW525

    BRIMOW525 Senior Member
    Messages: 259

    I have my insurance(biz and vehicles) thru state farm. I had to request a snow removal "rider package" for the policy. From what I understand its so that the insurance co. knows u are doing snow removal and knows that u have that equipment on the trucks so if something happens to the truck or equipment its covered. I pay about $600 per yr for 2 million poilcy. A little overdone BUT u never know what could happen. Plus with a insurance poilcy they automaticlly sent proof of insurance to your customers (mainly comercial) each yr.
  11. OffRoadPlow

    OffRoadPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 247


    Your prices are sounding much cheaper than the coverage I was quoted by my current auto insurance company... They said it would be around $3-4000.00 per year, I thought for that much I would have a New plow instead of replacing mine with a used one... Well, that and I would have to go commercial and take on subs just to pay for the insurance every year, rather than doing it for the love of it all ...:rolleyes:
  12. litle green guy

    litle green guy Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    I have my my trucks, equipment and 1 million general liabity on one commercial policy through selective insurance. i can't remeber how much i pay but i think it's like 6 or 7 grand a year, but that's for my landscape buisness and every thing too, i don't know what it would be like for just 1 truck and snowplow insurance.
  13. greenquestlawn

    greenquestlawn Senior Member
    Messages: 157


    Have you checked larsons Insurance?

    If not give them a call, they are in Livonia, MI and are great to work with. They know EXACTLY what you need. I pay $1700.00 per year for 1 mil in coverage and thats with a $250.00 deductable.

    If you need the number PM me and I will give it to you. I am not sure if we can post phone numbers or not.
  14. boturf

    boturf Junior Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 2

    I have mine thru state farm ...... 1 million in business liabilty and 1 million on truck insurance and it runs in neighborhood combined about 1000.00 a year . I check around and State Farm had best rates of any .Anybody who does any kind of work without insurance is sure crazy as in a split second and one mistake you could lose everything you ever had or wanted
  15. OffRoadPlow

    OffRoadPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    That's why I am looking now,,, snow is on the way this week

    Yes, it's going to happen before I plow anyone other than me or my family and friends. I will be sure to shop the places listed, I did not have much luck finding any close, but I know there is farm and I will have to check the others as well...... Time to head home and kick on the DSL... no snow schedualed for tomorrow, but the new year is looking really good this week.
  16. Big Todd

    Big Todd Senior Member
    Messages: 126

    Hey Offroadplow, where in Michigan are you?

    What I (we) did with insurance was to call around to some different insurance agents. I found one that seemed like he would be the easiest to work with and gave him my info and he went to work for me and found the best rates for our situation.

    You are going to need comercial vehicle insurance and a general liability clause. If you do any apartment complexes, they will usually require you to carry at least $300k in general liability. We went with 1/2 a million.

    Do a little homework though. Insurance is a necessary (and not cheap) evil in this business, but finding the right agent who is honest with you and can inform you on the ins-and-outs of it can make it a bit less painful.
  17. MLB

    MLB Senior Member
    Messages: 110

    Workmans Comp

    If you have private health insurance elsewhere and it's just you then you don't have to have WC, at least in our state. It's expensive too.
  18. OffRoadPlow

    OffRoadPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    Have it all, except what I need

    Yeah, I have really good private insureance through the company that I work 50-80 per week for... So that should not be a problem, it's just the comercial that I need to look into...

    Thanks again to all for the information...... Made an easy decision even easier...:)
  19. OffRoadPlow

    OffRoadPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    Big Todd

    Just south of you in the Lansing Area. I have a lot of "soon to be" family in your area through, although GR is not exactly small.... What company did you end up with? I would like to include them in my search...
  20. 66Construction

    66Construction Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    You guys with State Farm how do you like dealing with them?? It seems like you're getting decent prices. How many years do they look back for losses, our plowing record is clean but more then three years on the auto and a couple of my guys get a little hairy if ya know what I mean. My agent told me to look into state farm when we renewed because we might be better off and I thought it was a waste of time. He wound up going through another broker out of state to get our snow removal package. Maybe I'm wasting money Progressive has out auto now and it's through the roof.