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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I get a call today from a place looking for another plow company for the rest of the season.

This is a commercial site with 3 acres of plowable blacktop.

I get asked if I have commercial insurance and I ask him if he is referring to General Liability insurance and the reply was insurance to plow a commercial site and they go on to say the company that had been plowing only had insurance to do residential driveways.

Whoops someone lied to their insurance company for lower rates and got caught.

I informed him as I do 99.9 percent all commercial that yes I have commercial insurance.

Funny thing is, this is the first year I didn't bid on this place as I had been placing bids on this place for the last 7 years with no luck -(now I know the company doing it was paying very low insurance rates and could bid a lot lower and beat my prices)

Meeting the gentleman in a few days to go over the site specs so maybe I will be picking this up after 7 years, which goes to show never give up and always put a bid in every year because you never know when opportunity will knock.
 

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Do you have room for it on your route?

Was there a recent s&f claim on the site?


I would scrutinize everything regarding that potential customer, as calls I've received mid season, I'm usually skeptical of the intent or reason for their immediate need.

Some folks want to be "first" on my route, and that honor goes to my long standing customers, and not any new additions. Some take offense when you tell them they're gonna be last on the already existing route, and find someone else
 

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I get asked if I have commercial insurance and I ask him if he is referring to General Liability insurance and the reply was insurance to plow a commercial site and they go on to say the company that had been plowing only had insurance to do residential driveways.

Whoops someone lied to their insurance company for lower rates and got caught.

Funny thing is, this is the first year I didn't bid on this place as I had been placing bids on this place for the last 7 years with no luck -(now I know the company doing it was paying very low insurance rates and could bid a lot lower and beat my prices)
.
Maybe I'm just ignorant, but what benefit is there to lying to the insurance agent? In the event you had to use the insurance, wouldn't you be completely and utterly screwed? Why even bother with insurance at that point?
 

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I'm just ignorant
Think I just found a new signature line...

I'm still tired, but isn't residential plowing "commercial" work by definition? Not like DOT differentiates between residential vs commercial plowing.

Maybe it's different in each state. Liability insurance is liability insurance.
 

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Some folks want to be "first" on my route, and that honor goes to my long standing customers, and not any new additions. Some take offense when you tell them they're gonna be last on the already existing route, and find someone else
I hear a lot of people say this. Depends where your new addition is located right? It's all about logistics. If a new addition happens to be next your "first" on your route, would you do them first or second when it makes sense, or double back around to your first location just to make them last on your list?
 

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I hear a lot of people say this. Depends where your new addition is located right? It's all about logistics. If a new addition happens to be next your "first" on your route, would you do them first or second when it makes sense, or double back around to your first location just to make them last on your list?
Yes, if logistics work out, I guess it could be managed, but, storm timing plays a big role, as well as existing customers requirements for their lots. It also depends on how many of "you" there are. One man or two man bands may not be able to fulfill the new customers needs in a timely manner.

let's put it this way..

You have a customer, several customers who've been utilizing you for years.

A new customer wants you at a specific time, specific to their business needs, and their place cleaned up and ready by opening time after a storm. lets say they want you there, and done by 7:00am for each storm.

You already have several customers who have the exact same requirements. You can't be everywhere at the same time, so someone needs to take precedence, right ? Especially during a storm that starts early am, and goes through their intended opening time, or ends relatively close to it.

I've told these "prospective" customers this:

"I already have customers who need me by 7:00am, cleared and ready to roll. I understand you need it as well, but you might wind up being the last one cleared, as my customers I have already come first."

I ask them this :

"Would you be okay with me taking on new customer and having your clearing time bumped to last, or afterwords, simply because the new customer demanded it ? You'd be upset, right? if the roles were reversed?"

Most commercial property owners I've come across who've searched me out, mid or late season, don't want to hear they're going to be last on my run. Heck, I have resi owners that complain when I can't make their homes first. They usually find another contractor, who either has the opening at the time, or placates them, hoping when they arrive late to their "new " customer's site, they'll get used to it.
 

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Think I just found a new signature line...

I'm still tired, but isn't residential plowing "commercial" work by definition? Not like DOT differentiates between residential vs commercial plowing.

Maybe it's different in each state. Liability insurance is liability insurance.
I'm pretty sure if your plowing for money its commercial.
 

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Maybe I'm just ignorant, but what benefit is there to lying to the insurance agent? In the event you had to use the insurance, wouldn't you be completely and utterly screwed? Why even bother with insurance at that point?
Ask the guy that does roofs but got mad at me for suggesting he makes sure he's covered to do them from his insurance company.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Think I just found a new signature line...

I'm still tired, but isn't residential plowing "commercial" work by definition? Not like DOT differentiates between residential vs commercial plowing.

Maybe it's different in each state. Liability insurance is liability insurance.
You can get lower rates for insurance cost if your just doing residential because the risk is lower than commercial.

But if you service a commercial site and something happens then your insurance doesn't cover you.

I figure there was a slip and fall due to ice conditions, the 19th I used 10 tons of product due the icing when I normally use 4 tons.

Then on the 30th, pouring rain ending at 3am and by 4am sheets of ice and anyone not putting product down was in trouble by 7-8am when most places of business open.

I've sanded more this season than I have plowed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Do you have room for it on your route?

Was there a recent s&f claim on the site?

I would scrutinize everything regarding that potential customer, as calls I've received mid season, I'm usually skeptical of the intent or reason for their immediate need.

Some folks want to be "first" on my route, and that honor goes to my long standing customers, and not any new additions. Some take offense when you tell them they're gonna be last on the already existing route, and find someone else
Oh I can get them in the route because I have 5 smaller properties that only take about 2 hours on the same road and only 2 minutes from it.

That's what I figuring happened and that's how found out the company didn't have commercial insurance coverage and only residential.

And I intend to scrutinize everything.
 

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Once you reach capacity just say no. Not sure I would ever tell a potential client you'll be late to service them because my existing customers always come first. That doesn't work so good as part of your sales process.
If that works for you, that's cool.

For,me, telling them that they're late to the game ( or my game, if you wish ) is being upfront and truthful from the onset of the proposed relationship developing.

In the past, I've gone the other route, and withheld this info, took on the job, and because they wound up last on my route, as I had anticipated, they got mad.

Personally, being upfront and honest regarding my anticipations, is my only sales process I follow through completely with. Some like it, and some do not.

Such is life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So in the event of having to file a claim, does he just hope he gets an adjuster with an IQ somewhere between an artichoke and a cucumber?
LOL, I have no idea.

I mean if you can't afford GL insurance for commercial places you should not be in the plowing business.

If it was a slip and fall the guys screwed if his insurance is not covering it because he didn't tell them he was doing a commercial site.

Most places ask for a Cert of Liability from the plow company, I'm wondering if they did not in this case.

I will find out when I meet them because I'm asking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If that works for you, that's cool.

For,me, telling them that they're late to the game ( or my game, if you wish ) is being upfront and truthful from the onset of the proposed relationship developing.

In the past, I've gone the other route, and withheld this info, took on the job, and because they wound up last on my route, as I had anticipated, they got mad.

Personally, being upfront and honest regarding my anticipations, is my only sales process I follow through completely with. Some like it, and some do not.

Such is life.
That's the way it should be.

I had to turn down 2 clients this year who contacted me late in the season -(end of december) because I didn't have enough trucks and I couldn't get to them in a timely manner because their locations were further away.
I told them I didn't like losing business but I don't take on clients unless I can do it right and they understood and respected that.
By doing so I showed them a professional attitude to do things right and this left the door open for next year if I get more trucks and decide to expand further out.
 

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. Maybe it's different in each state. Liability insurance is liability insurance.
I fee like every time I see my insurance agent I get interrogated to find out what type of work I am up too. Always end up walking out of there with a few more hundred dollars tacked onto my policy. Would think a GL policy for construction work would cover just about everything but apparently it doesn't
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I fee like every time I see my insurance agent I get interrogated to find out what type of work I am up too. Always end up walking out of there with a few more hundred dollars tacked onto my policy. Would think a GL policy for construction work would cover just about everything but apparently it doesn't
I feel you, I just got audited by my insurance, had to download taxes from last year and of course last year was a good year so I made a bit more.

Waiting for the axe to fall to find out how much more they are tacking on.

And yes this is yearly thing with my insurance, I think what you pay for insurance should be based on claims made, not what you make yearly.
 

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I feel you, I just got audited by my insurance, had to download taxes from last year and of course last year was a good year so I made a bit more.

Waiting for the axe to fall to find out how much more they are tacking on.

And yes this is yearly thing with my insurance, I think what you pay for insurance should be based on claims made, not what you make yearly.
Yeah that annoys the hell out of me too, I feel like I'm getting squeezed by the mafia after every insurance audit
 
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