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Why EVERYBODY should have insurance

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by wyldman, Dec 27, 2002.

  1. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    For all those guys who say liability insurance is too expensive - try paying this bill.

    A private guy plowing a parking lot next door to me,and we see water (like a river),running down the lot onto the street.I go over to check it out and looks like a broken water main feeding a fire hydrant.We call the city and they come out to fix it,and they are sending him the bill as they think he broke it off due to hitting the fire hydrant.The fire hydrant was buried in the snow,so I don't know if he actually did hit it,or the pile snapped it off or what,but either way he will be geting the bill.One of the city guys estimated the repair at $10-15000.00,maybe more due to it being christmas day,overtime and such.Poor guy was literally crying,as he doesn't have insurance,he said he doesn't even clear that plowing for the season.Oh well,shouldn't be doing it then.One more think to think about when it comes to insurance,it can happen to anyone,anytime,anywhere.Be careful and get coverage.
  2. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    is that canadian $$ or us $$, sounds a little high if us $$ I can get a new 8" fireplug for$850 or so.

  3. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    That would be in CDN dollars.Price was just a guess from one of the city guys who showed up.They were bringing in a backhoe and a 4 man crew to repair it.Did not get to see what was broken,as we left to finish our route.May have been a simple repair,I don't know,but judging by the way the asphalt was cracking and bubbling up,I don't think so.
  4. MGardner

    MGardner Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    Along with that one, I got a call to load out a big Oak tree down. The guy said come & get it for the wood. Here a young guy had "lost " the tree; it swung clear out over the lawn into overhead ( big) power lines ,knocked them down,smashed a sign and busted a guys windsheild out that had stopped at the sign. No insuranse ,he was doing it for "cash". No idea what happened with that case.
  5. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Most if not all hydrants are dry till some one turns the valve, located below frost line. To keep things just like this from happening, sounds like a broken a water line, or just a good "story" to tell on plowsite.
  6. Temco

    Temco Member
    Messages: 66

    He must have one hell of a big truck to knock over a fire hydrant in a parking lot. Around here, to replace one cost $1500 labor included.
  7. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    The way hydrants work is that the actual valve is located at the bottom. When you turn the nut at the top the shaft pushes the valve seat down, opening the hydrant. Newer models are designed so that they snap off at ground level, both the barrel of the hydrant itself, and the shaft inside. Older hydrants aren't so sophisticated, and there are still a lot of them out there. If you hit one of those hard enough you might break the entire assembly so that it would leak, or you might just dislodge the connection to the water main. The older ones might also be made of cast iron, rather than ductile iron. That would make them a whole lot more brittle in cold weather. Bottom line is, yeah, I could see you breaking one with a plow truck.

    (In US dollars), As far as cost, $10,000 seems excessive. $1500 might get you one installed if it was part of a whole waterline project. To call union labor out on Christmas to replace one--OUCH! I can see double-time-and-a-half as the wages, and an eight hour minimum too. Right there a four man crew is going to cost you at least a couple grand. Add the backhoe, trucks, pump, light plant, hydrant and fittings, and restoration of the distrubed area. $5,000 wouldn't surprise me....

    Whether Wyldman was given the exactly straight story or not, I think his point is well taken.
  8. Joey D

    Joey D Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    I hit a hydrant with a Audi A4. The thing broke easy and didn't total the car, although the guy that t-boned it did. No water came out like said above.
  9. chris doherty

    chris doherty Junior Member
    Messages: 9

    sounds crew wanted a little overtime. normally when a hydrant is hit or knocked over 2 men go out and shut off the hydrant gate. unless in very rare cases there is no gate. then the whole main shut down to stop the water. then yhe hydrant must be repaired or replaced immediately.but with just the hydrant gate off the crew could come back and make the repairs when time and weather permits.typical repair for this area runs between 600 $ to 1000$ replacement runs 1500$ to 3500$ depending on situation such as underground utilities asphalt concrete ect.In any case it is uncommon for water to leak unless something is broken down below like digger has said.although some old styles such as a cory have a side seat valve instead of bottom seat and these known to shoot water.I have had jobs where the wieght of the car that did the damage rest on the stem and shoot water like in the movies. also i would not have a crew repair a hydrant or main on private property we just stop the flow of water.our policy is private property get a private contractor.
  10. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    Good! I hope he has to sell his truck to pay the bill. Stupid things happen to stupid people. If you can't realize the reason for carrying insurance, like a true professional should, you deserve to suffer. :rolleyes:
  11. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Well.I don't know the exact outcome,as I have not spoken to the individual who was plowing,but I have returned t the site to see what came of it.The original fire hydrant is still there,nothing has been touched.There is now an excavation which has been backfilled about 20 feet from the hydrant,near the curb line.I have no idea what they did or what it cost.I will try to speak to the person who was plowing if I happen to ru ninto him again.

    I don't think it had anything to do with the fact he was plowing,or hit the fire hydrant,so I don't think he should be held accountable.It was the guys from the city who thought he should.Still a good enough reason to have the proper insurance,as your insurance company would fight for you even if it wasn't your fault.
  12. OffRoadPlow

    OffRoadPlow Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    No Kidding

    I found this forum when I looked into insurance before going "Pro" I am glad I was able to see the outcome of not having it, if anything it gave me the information I needed to make the decision to have it prior to pushing for other than family and friends... That and a really good contract, to wave any and all fault that I have used even when plowing for those close to me. Basically putting the signer as responsible for any damage my fault or not. Can not say if it would stand up in court, but the lawyer I had take a look at it, said it should help....
  13. just curious....

    any updates?[​IMG]
  14. roblandscape

    roblandscape Senior Member
    from Phila
    Messages: 185


    how much is plowing insurance, I do about 20 driveways, just plow no salt, I heard 2500. and I said, who, what, where, why, In my area Im lucky to see 3 plow days...
  15. Joey D

    Joey D Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Are you guys running specific insurance that covers plowing only? Or does it cover your equipment? My insurance on my truck, comercial policy, covers plowing. It would pay for any damages my truck could cause while plowing. I also have liability insurance for my electrical business but not for plowing is that what some are running? Am I leaving myself open for problems?
  16. Mick

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

    Joey D, the short answer to your questions - YES.

    As to your statement - what about things that happen after you leave? (that your truck didn't cause) - like an old person falling on an area that you plowed and then sues the owner whose insurance company in turn sues you.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2003
  17. Joey D

    Joey D Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Mick, Thanks and I will call my agent and get a price. How much are most guys running?
  18. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    That is true it's after you leave.Push snow into a pile it melts then re -freezes and some one falls you need that other liabilty policy for just that.
  19. CPSS

    CPSS Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    We pay per payroll hour plowing. We have to keep track of all our plowing payroll seperate from our regular business( electrical contracting), and pay a premium based on that. We get audited regulary by the insurance company to be sure the hours are accurate. The insurance rate for plowing is roughly twice what it is for electrical work. The risk of a person slipping in the lots is the quoted reason it's so expensive. I think anyone would be crazy not to have liability insurance if they plow.:waving:
  20. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Quick update - spoke to the individual who was plowing the lot when it happened and he has not been pursued any further by the city or property owners.It was just a broken water main and he should not be liable anyways.

    As far as the insurance we carry,we have regular commercial auto on the trucks,as well as 2 million liability for all properties\contracts that we service.Commercial auto covers the truck,and any damage it may do.The liabilty policy is separate and only covers liabilty any calims related to our services.

    Pricing is based on gross revenue for plowing contracts only,not salting,thank god.It is recalculated every season when the policy is renewed,when they do our risk assesment.It is a big expense,and I have been fortunate not to need it much,but if I ever do I know I'm well protected.2 mil may sound like a lot,but it isn't,and it doesn't cost much more to get it.