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Townships requireing plowing insurance now?!?!

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by paponte, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. paponte

    paponte Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    Just got a letter from a local Township that we have been plowing for for years looking for plowing insurance, in addition to the normally required auto policy. I just don't get it. How can you drag everyone into accepting liability on a public road? WAY too many variables to take into consideration. Anyone else hear anything like this?
  2. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    We have needed Plowing insurance on any truck that worked for townships for as long as I can remember. Why would you not?
  3. affekonig

    affekonig Senior Member
    Messages: 909

    I think it's be required as long as I've been plowing for them (10+ years), but got around it somehow until last year. It puts a pretty good dent in the pocket, but probably a smaller one than if something happened without it.
  4. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,281

    My policy was $300 more per year then the auto policy I had. I can't believe your surprised....
  5. paponte

    paponte Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    We have snow plow insurance we use for our private accounts, I just can't see how you could disperse liability on a public road. Majority of the time we are paired with town trucks plowing the same roads together, and often get moved around to different zones etc.. People pushing their driveways into the streets, sidewalks, we don't salt the town does, you could go on and on. I just don't see how they could expect you to take on liability for something when you are not the only one involved.
  6. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,306

    We have always had to carry liability working for any city, county or the state. I am guessing it is to cover any damage you do to property while plowing or if your plowing causes an accident. It is common practice. If you got away without it for all them years, consider yourself lucky.
  7. paponte

    paponte Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    Metro, I'm not talking about general liability that covers your vehicle and property damage. I am talking about plowing insurance, that would cover you in the instance of a slip and fall or if there were an MVA on one of the streets that you plowed. You must supply a certificate to the town with them listed as a certificate holder and addt'l insured on your policy. It's not a case of geting away with it for all these years, it was never a requirement for any municipal plowing.
  8. Scottscape

    Scottscape Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    they probably just want to see your liability insurance. now if they want to be a policy holder thats a different story.
  9. quigleysiding

    quigleysiding PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,129

    We plow the state. They always want a certificate of insurance with them as the policy holder and it has to say addt'l insured on the policy. It doesn't cost that much more.I guess they don't want any liability.
  10. paponte

    paponte Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    That's my point with the liability. How can you possible point your finger at one individual when it comes to public roads? On a private lot you and you only are responsible for that lot. Just seems like another way to pass liability off to the subs. There is no additional cost to us since we already carry the insurance, but to list a township on your policy and be held accountable for a public road that you only plow, along with several other town employees and subs that you do not do any de-icing on just seems out of your control like a huge liability.
  11. plowguy43

    plowguy43 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,281

    From my understanding, having a plow on your autopolicy just covers the plow if it were stolen or damaged. It won't cover you if you damage property while plowing for hire. That is where the commercial liability insurance comes in and will cover the plow/any property/etc while plowing for hire.

    Maybe I'm just confused as to what policy you had previously.
  12. linycctitan

    linycctitan Senior Member
    Messages: 588

    Is that Babylon thats doing that now? In Brookhaven you still only need comm auto w/plow rider, you don't even need a general liability policy! I'm sure it will be changing all over the island soon enough though. If your concerned about it, dump the town gig and go sub for the county. I was talking to a guy that runs with them, he said they use subs with 3/4-ton pickups for all the county building parking lots, 1-ton and larger for the roads, anything after the first 8hrs of working any storm jumps to time and a half!!
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  13. paponte

    paponte Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    It's Islip titan, I have to make a call to them later get this straightened out.

    Plowguy, you need to have "snow plowing" specifically stated on your GL business policy, or else your not covered for it... at least with our company. Again were talking slip and fall, not property damage or your plow specifically. That would fall under your auto policy, and and equipment or inland marine policy for theft or damage. Just wanted to see if this was standard for the rest of the country since it's new to me as of this year.
  14. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    I don't see what the big deal is with carrying the proper insurance required by whoever you are doing the job for. I typically provide my contractors certificate of ins for general liability, comp, etc and thats usually enough. I had one this year require a binder including auto liability and I had to raise it to a mil coverage per vehicle in addition to the 1 over 2 on my contractors. It was roughly $100 per truck for 6 months (and I only have to pay through the winter season, not annually). Well worth the investment b/c I landed the account.

    Wouldn't you rather carry the insurance they require rather than not, thus becoming personally liable if something were to happen? It's a no brainer to me.

    AND they only require that incase you do something like hit a car and cause a chain reaction damaging several. Personal injury is in your auto policy anyway (I hope, and for injury that you cause while operating the vehicle). You act as if you are going to be liable for anything that happens on a public street that is caused by anything/anybody else. There is no way they could hold you responsible just b/c you have insurance. You have liability and personal injury confused.
  15. hoskm01

    hoskm01 Senior Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 475

    Consider the fact that with certain companies, certain policies, if you are using a vehicle to plow snow for compensation, you may need to have that Plow rider on your policy in order to be covered in the event of an incident. If your insurance company wont cover it, the municipality is left holding the bag, and they DONT want that; and hence, youre required to have "plow insurance."
  16. bluerage94

    bluerage94 Senior Member
    Messages: 398

    Paul since they are requiring the additional insurance are they increasing the hourly rate? I bet they lose most of their subs....
  17. paponte

    paponte Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    I hear what your saying Hosk, just passing the liability on a little bit. I didn't get a chance to call today turned out to be a little hectic. The rates definitely didn't go up at all. The whole liability thing only became an issue for us as a company, because two years ago we did some work for a national company that ended up being a real pita. We were first contracted out to do two big box stores soup to nuts parking lot, sidewalks and de icing.They then decided after the contract was signed that we were too expensive and they could save some money by doing the sidewalks in house and also the de-icing, so the contract was amended to only plowing these two lots. They ended up having a slip and fall four days after one of our services, obviously a documented de-icing case you would think but yet we are getting dragged into the suite simply because we performed service at the site. I'm just sitting here thinking if this is an issue on private property, could you just imagine on a public road where so many hands are in the pudding. Maybe I'm just over analyzing it cause I have this in the back of my head, damage done by one of our trucks is one thing but liability for a slip and fall is all together different when you are not doing all of the services in house.
  18. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,306

    General liability does not cover your vehicles, it cover the business in case of an accident such as a mower shooting a rock through a window, damaging something while plowing, ect. You are getting your auto liability confused with general liability. The cities here won't even let you install mulch without liability insurance.
  19. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    Exactly, and I have yet to understand how slip and fall injury on a public road has anything to do with it. I think he's reading (or not reading) waaaaaayyyyy too far into it.