1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Why do I need insurance?

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by shooterm, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. shooterm

    shooterm Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 272

    Honestly from what I read might change my tune. I'm only doing 10 residentials. I snowplow them myself. I'm not fulltime just burys alittle bit of time before main push at another contractor. I dont blow chunks of ice on kids. I can only see maybe a broken window in a car or house which is the same price seasonally as a window? Can someone explain why its needed for smalltime.
  2. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    What happens when someone slips (presumably on ice) and breaks a hip? It's a crazy world we live in....
  3. JB1

    JB1 Senior Member
    Messages: 182

    if you don't have a dime to your name or don't ever plan on having a dime to your name, don't worry about it.
  4. Rc2505

    Rc2505 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,245

    It's you choice. However, I wouldn't so much as shovel a sidewalk for a neighbor without liability insurance. When you do you assume the risk. Which in plain english means anything that happens while doing the job, or anything that happens after the job is completed is your liability. If you are getting paid to preform the work, then it's your baby. So if your not charging enough to purchase liability insurance, then you can consider yourself a lowballer. One slip and fall, one broken window, one anything, and someone will sue you. That means your house, car, truck, checking, savings, snowblower, as well as any future income you may have or get, is open fair game. So if you want to chance it, then it's all on you. I sure wouldn't want to listen to all the people that you come on this board to ask professional opinions from. Just do what you want to do and don't worry about what might happen.
  5. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    Well said plus you must tell your insurance company that a plow is on the front end of your truck if you don't and your driving down the street and hit someone you could be in for a surprise. It may not be covered. It is very easy to hit something when plowing and it does not have to be very hard to cause expensive damage.If your considering no insurance I suggest you don't plow.
  6. dforbes

    dforbes Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    Why do you need car insurance? You are a safe driver, always obey the speed limit and other traffic laws. You are a defensive driver, don't talk on the phone or text while driving. Why do you need homeowners insurance. You live by yourself, when you bbq you always take the time to take water and put out the fire completely before walking away from it. You never invite people onto your property.
    What could possibly go wrong
  7. shooterm

    shooterm Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 272

    Why wouldnt you just take the extra money throw it in salt products for no ice. There is no roading this is just snowblowing. I'm just wondering because I been running numbers and this is one chunk of change that digs into a already tight margin.
  8. shooterm

    shooterm Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 272

    So do I cut out the salt and buy insurance planning around a slip and fall :blush2:.
  9. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    So how much is insurance?
  10. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    I'm willing to bet that if you call around, you'll be able to fnd $1M coverage for under $400/year. Pretty cheap "insurance" if you ask me...

    Pun intended. :nod:
  11. shooterm

    shooterm Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 272

    Its $800 which doesnt make sense moneywise. Call me lowballer all yah want but at snowblowing rates thats to large a chunk for insurance for a four month season. I betting nobody actually has insurance.
  12. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    You're right. We're all bluffing just to try to cut further into your margins.

  13. ihdriver7088

    ihdriver7088 Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    insurance is worth the cost for that "just in case" comfort and dont forget how many sue happy jerkoff are out there in the world
  14. plowman4life

    plowman4life Senior Member
    Messages: 557

    couple of things.

    your insurance quote for liability was $800

    1. average payout for a slip and fall in court is $250,000
    do you have the income to cover that? if you do thats great.
    2. without snow plowing insurance your car insurance wont cover damage done by your plow.
  15. dforbes

    dforbes Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    You have confused me again. (snowblowing rates) I would charge the same for a driveway whether I was using a snowblower, plow, or shovel.

    Everyone here has tried to explain to you why you need insurance. Many good points were givin. It seems to me that you already had your mind made up when you asked the question. I could care less if you get insurance or not. Good luck with your business and I will be preying that you never have to get the real answer of why you should have had insurance.
  16. clark lawn

    clark lawn PlowSite.com Addict
    from NE ohio
    Messages: 1,233

    WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF BUSINESS OWNERSHIP. there is a reason that those of us that are REAL businusses charge what we do.

    do you claim what you make as income and pay taxes on it? by some of your other posts i'm betting not.

    you claim you dont blow ice on kids but what if there is some ice in the snow and it flies through a window and hits someone in the head?
  17. shooterm

    shooterm Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 272

    I'm falling into the residential work naturally not leaving my paying job and assuming debt. People word of mouth ask me to take care of there properties. I completely understand the need for insurance and not totally against it. I'm just wondering at what point is it financially responsible for me to start charging more for insurance. I'm trying to transition to a legit business and refuse to jump in anything balls out in this economy.
  18. swtiih

    swtiih PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,179

    Then you should increase your customer base so that you can cover your costs.
    In the meantime you should just work for less. To not have insurance is putting your self at high risk
  19. rocklizrd

    rocklizrd Junior Member
    from US of A
    Messages: 26

    Like others have stated, you are fooling yourself if you think nothing will never happen. Years ago I had my own photography company and I had a couple try to sue me. Come to find out they could not pay the cake company and were trying to get out of paying for things. As I had insurance and a lawyer on retainer it did not get very far. Imagine the lawsuit if they tried to sue for mental anguish and won. My pockets may not have been that deep.

    Now that is an example with no bodily or property damage. Do you think the court would sway your way if that chunk of ice fly through the window, busted into the glass antique china hutch and broke great-great-grandmas vase that was brought to the US with her husbands ashes?

    Not a sermon, just a thought.
  20. DaytonBioLawns

    DaytonBioLawns Banned
    from 45458
    Messages: 347

    ...the way it works

    So, speaking of "sue-happy-A**holes", I have come to a conclusion about this country...

    If a customer receives no service, and conditions are bad... then they are less likely to have a "slip-and-fall" claim filed against them. The reason being is the mentality of the service itself. Take a look at how America operates from the top down.

    Let's take any civil suit as an example. You fear a monetary or property loss in a civil suit. You have the common sense to know that whatever the claim is, it is absurd, and no down-to-earth person would uphold such injustice... HOWEVER! People see things as a game when it comes to legal matters... So you hire legal counsel to protect against such civil suit. The advise they give you puts money in their pockets, and ends up taking you to court anyways.

    ...so you strap up with legal counsel and go to battle....so this person, whom otherwise would have been unprepared and unreasonable decides that they need to strap up with legal counsel as well.

    My point is....without getting too far into this, which I fear I have already done.... Is that IF THERE IS NO ACTION, THERE IS NO REACTION.

    The action of servicing a property puts a GIANT bullseye on you. A normal person wouldn't slip and fall on a neighbors driveway and sue. BUT they see you are caring for it and they get to being evil little conspirators. The act of servicing someones property in this business is in fact challenging someone to claim against you.

    If I go (on personal time) and visit a property as a customer and hop on out of my truck and take a dive because of lack of service.... WHAT DO I DO? I nicely suggest they get service and leave a card. BUT when a place is serviced poorly and I fall...My first thought is "I would have been sued, so you deserve sued". So even as someone that thinks logically... I turn into a hedonistic conspirator myself....

    The key to beating this terrible form of systematic failure is being the REACTION to the problem and not the action. The only way to do so is become insured and uphold proper records as a licensed and bonded business. That way when someone DOES fall you are covered and can breath easy and sleep tight.

    Spend a dollar to save a dime...In a good business plan, every dime turns to a dollar Thumbs Up

    Get the insurance or get a job working for someone with it. All of the uninsured and non-taxpaying business hurt the economy and themselves more than you would know. You can earn a better wage working for a "big guy" and keeping your dignity. If you are doing drives.... it is more likely that you would profit more from working at Micky D's than wasting your time.

    Just look at it this way...
    -on call service (24/7)
    -value of owning the machinery
    -risk taken during service
    -hourly wage
    -paper work (follow up and billing)
    -foot work (getting the work)
    -physical labor

    Put a dollar value on each of the things I listed... Is it still worth it? Can you work for so little and assume so much risk and liability? I know I can't...and neither can any other service. So consider those things before you even have the need for insurance. If things are "tight" at that point...I'd go work for someone else... a driver will at least earn $14/hour and up to $30/hour in my neck of the woods for a reputable company.