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View Full Version : Advertising fully insured? common


Ramairfreak98ss
05-25-2006, 11:53 PM
Ill honestly say, i do not have full insurance buisiness coverage yet. I will by next season since this will be my full time job then.

I see tons of fliers and companies advertising pest liscense and fert app control and full insured etc, yet they hand out these cheap a$$ cards that look like some old ink jet home printer printed them with lines in it, and stickers on the back that say fert turf specialists etc .

Others are xerox copies, very poor and faded out almost 80% sometimes of a clipart of a lawnmower, with a area code 856 in NJ when its for a large 609 area code , no company name or anything but fully liscensed and insured, insured what?

What does fully liscensed even mean? that the business is registered? I dont consider myself the big guy at all, probably very small, but im now loosing potential clients asking for quotes on their lawn cuts to jokers i guess who were like when i started out and small. I didnt deceive people though or lie about anything. I offered no gimicks and still today, i have a VERY high end color photo, text, quality double sided letter sized folded handout and dont state im fully insured etc.

Ive quoted out a guy for $1200 worth of mulching, hardscaping/patio repair, dead tree removal and minor gardening work, yet some other place comes in, drops off one mexican descent guy for a few days and i loose out on the job. They did more than i was even quoting to do as well including planting all new trees which the customer told me he didnt want to start with.

Guess its pretty cheap to not even require a truck at the job and just drop a guy off with a shovel for the day and 10yrs of mulch :hammerhead: :confused: Im being underbid on things to the point sometimes it has me very curious what theyre profit margin is, it must be nearly nothing after expenses etc.

carcrz
05-26-2006, 12:34 AM
You figure that they are paying about $10 an hour & charging $45 - 60. Their cost for 10 yards is somewhere around $200. That's $300 for mulch, another $300 for trees & they are making $400 to leave one guy there all day.
I always remind my customers of why they call him the "other guy". There's a reason they keep calling me back.

procut
05-26-2006, 11:23 PM
I don't even advertise insured anymore. I took it off my business cards as well. It seemed tacky.

As far as being "fully" insured, you can't be. For example, if you have a 1 mil policy, you could have 2 mil if you have 2 mil you could have 3, it goes on and on. Therefore, you can never be "fully" insured.

Splicer
05-26-2006, 11:31 PM
I don't think that fully insured means the amount you are insured to, rather that you are fully insured against any hazards that may arise...not to mention being covered by workmans comp (which 99% of independant LCO's are not)...I have WC as well as 2 million general liability insurance ad consider myself 'fully' insured to perform the required work...BTW this is my 1st year as well BUT I had all the insurances from being a CATV contractor and just switched them to lawn care...

Gatewayuser
05-26-2006, 11:54 PM
I don't think that fully insured means the amount you are insured to, rather that you are fully insured against any hazards that may arise...not to mention being covered by workmans comp (which 99% of independant LCO's are not)...I have WC as well as 2 million general liability insurance ad consider myself 'fully' insured to perform the required work...BTW this is my 1st year as well BUT I had all the insurances from being a CATV contractor and just switched them to lawn care...

Yes splicer is right.
I have gen liability insurance 1 mill, wc, commercial auto policy 1 mill and some other insurances too.

Ramairfreak98ss
05-27-2006, 09:59 PM
so what does the larger policies cover if some of you are insured for 1 to 2 million? if you run yourself over with the mower on someones property or if like they back over you string trimming down their driveway?

Gatewayuser
05-27-2006, 10:21 PM
so what does the larger policies cover if some of you are insured for 1 to 2 million? if you run yourself over with the mower on someones property or if like they back over you string trimming down their driveway?

No it does not cover you thats what workers comp is for. The 1 mill gen liability insurance is for damages done to others like someone getting hit in the head with a rock thrown by your mower. You have to insure your equipment separate.

Trinity Lawn Care, LLC
05-27-2006, 11:00 PM
"What does fully liscensed even mean? that the business is registered? I dont consider myself the big guy at all, probably very small, but im now loosing potential clients asking for quotes on their lawn cuts to jokers i guess who were like when i started out and small. I didnt deceive people though or lie about anything. I offered no gimicks and still today, i have a VERY high end color photo, text, quality double sided letter sized folded handout and dont state im fully insured etc.

Ive quoted out a guy for $1200 worth of mulching, hardscaping/patio repair, dead tree removal and minor gardening work, yet some other place comes in, drops off one mexican descent guy for a few days and i loose out on the job. They did more than i was even quoting to do as well including planting all new trees which the customer told me he didnt want to start with."

Fully Insured is a term basically used to describe that you have gen liab. work comp etc. Fully Licensed is to let the customers know that certain services require a license and that they have it. This is to let the customers know that if something gets broke or someone gets hurt it is covered. If you perform a service that requires a license you are required to inform the customer of this. From a portion of your post I just wanted to make you aware of something. In the great state of NJ now you must be registered with the Division of Consumer Affairs and receive a contractor registration #. This is if you do work that is almost anything else other then grass. It is based on a new statute under the The Home Improvement Contractor Act. Landscapers are included. I say this just to make sure that you were aware. Getting insured is not that expensive, especially if you are smaller like yourself. The application fee for the State is only $90. If you need an insurance agent PM me and I can get you in contact with someone that may be able to help you.

topsites
05-27-2006, 11:25 PM
I dont consider myself the big guy at all, probably very small, but im now loosing potential clients asking for quotes on their lawn cuts to jokers i guess who were like when i started out and small. I didnt deceive people though or lie about anything.

If you did not deceive them and you do not lie, then in the long run you will win.

As for the insurance, I do NOT advertise it and I don't even like it when someone asks.
As far as I'm concerned, having no insurance is better in the sense that the claim of opportunity is a closed door.

These guys are likely all new and / or in their 1st - 2nd year. If they're putting all those 'call me' factors on their pamphlets that look as cheap as you say, the reason they are getting ALL the calls is because customers LOVE taking advantage of this - Think back to when you were new, at least in my case I couldn't stop myself from putting a few extra things I could think of on there, so to speak. That not only screams NOOB to the delight of customers who may enjoy indulging in their predatory nature, but it also says "I need the work SO bad I will work for FREE !!!"

And so, you must let this ride because this is how natural selection breaks over half of all new businesses.
The ones that don't break are now broken in, lol.
Were it not for these factors, we'd be overrun, so I am glad it is the way it is, thou it took time to see this.

rodfather
05-28-2006, 07:11 AM
[QUOTE From a portion of your post I just wanted to make you aware of something. In the great state of NJ now you must be registered with the Division of Consumer Affairs and receive a contractor registration #. This is if you do work that is almost anything else other then grass. It is based on a new statute under the The Home Improvement Contractor Act. Landscapers are included. I say this just to make sure that you were aware. Getting insured is not that expensive, especially if you are smaller like yourself. The application fee for the State is only $90. If you need an insurance agent PM me and I can get you in contact with someone that may be able to help you.[/QUOTE]

If that wasn't an original Jersey scam, I don't know what is. :nono:

Trinity Lawn Care, LLC
05-28-2006, 09:41 AM
If that wasn't an original Jersey scam, I don't know what is. :nono:

I hear ya Rod. Jersey(the State), sure knows how to make their money. I am not sure that they will ever enforce this one. Maybe, and maybe not. I do know that it is effecting business in other ways. There are definitely companies that require you to be registered and fully insured before they will sub work out to you. Hey, it's just another way for the state to make money off of people like you and I every year. Whenever the state does something like this it almost always makes me think of the parkway and the toll booths every 100ft, and how much we pay in property tax. Someone is making some payup payup.

SOMM
05-29-2006, 02:00 AM
Ram-
Glad to hear of your plans to get insured.

To be unlicensed and uninsured is to play "russian roulette" with your customer's homeowners' or business insurance policy - and will get your customer's own policy cancelled and leave them suing-you once liability is traced back to you by the customer's own insurance investigators.

A million worth of coverage is "standard" to be able to land commercial contracts in most places and is available to most LCO's for around $100 - $125 / month.

Rod hits the nail on the head as far as legitimacy is concerned: get State-registered! If the local municipality that your actual OFFICE (land-line, computer/fax, file cabinets) is located in requires a business license, get one, so it will save you money when they trace your income tax return to your unlicensed business - and then you get to pay a few years worth of license-fees with penalty and interest. ( yeah, Trinity - they DO LOVE to get the unlicensed biz owners AFTER they owe at least a few years worth!)

Best Regards in these endeavours.

topsites
05-29-2006, 10:33 AM
Ram-
Glad to hear of your plans to get insured.

To be unlicensed and uninsured is to play "russian roulette" with your customer's homeowners' or business insurance policy - and will get your customer's own policy cancelled and leave them suing-you once liability is traced back to you by the customer's own insurance investigators.

A million worth of coverage is "standard" to be able to land commercial contracts in most places and is available to most LCO's for around $100 - $125 / month.



See here again we are at odds with the folks who have insurance in case of the proverbial rock in the head... I myself find folks who have the rock-in-head mentality are a high risk venture, and I further find insurance companies think alike - Think not like this and run a No-liability company, and suddenly you get insurance not for the outrageous amount posted above, but a more reasonable rate of $400 / year.

Have no claims = No insurance, or at the worst, a No claims based policy.
The end result is the same, if I ever have a claim I am done, my rates will go so high I will not be able to afford it, and to be quite honest, $100 + / month is too high already. But you are correct, with a $100+/month policy, your rates are unlikely to rise in case of a claim, so long they're spaced out far enough you are paying well in excess of the minimum, where with a $400 / year policy you really can not have a claim ever.

So, what good is it to have no claims if you have insurance?
If you don't understand this, you're not eligible for no claim policies.

How do you get a no claim policy?
Well, if you understand the gist of never having claims, then you should be eligible.
It isn't a matter of saying you will never have one, it is a matter of knowing you won't.
Since the insurance company makes the decision anyhow, and you will look long and hard for it.

Fact is, the $400 / year is just enough to pay the Insurance companies rent, their electric and phone bills, furniture and materials cost, and their employees wages. A teenie amount of the 400 gets set aside in the case of a possible claim, but these companies are banking on the fact that you will NOT have a claim, so it really isn't a choice, you can not have a claim.

Ramairfreak98ss
05-29-2006, 09:20 PM
Trinity, is that not part of the business registration? im registered as lawn service/landscaping currently. I possibly have this number but have not used it since.

Ramairfreak98ss
05-29-2006, 09:27 PM
Ram-
Glad to hear of your plans to get insured.

To be unlicensed and uninsured is to play "russian roulette" with your customer's homeowners' or business insurance policy - and will get your customer's own policy cancelled and leave them suing-you once liability is traced back to you by the customer's own insurance investigators.

A million worth of coverage is "standard" to be able to land commercial contracts in most places and is available to most LCO's for around $100 - $125 / month.

Rod hits the nail on the head as far as legitimacy is concerned: get State-registered! If the local municipality that your actual OFFICE (land-line, computer/fax, file cabinets) is located in requires a business license, get one, so it will save you money when they trace your income tax return to your unlicensed business - and then you get to pay a few years worth of license-fees with penalty and interest. ( yeah, Trinity - they DO LOVE to get the unlicensed biz owners AFTER they owe at least a few years worth!)

Best Regards in these endeavours.

so insurance for 1 million in liability is around $400 a year or $100 a month? i could swing 600-1k a year possibly without it being such a hassle

IM still confused now on "state registered" if my business is registered then i am state registered in NJ right? or is there something else im missing? I pay income tax and sales tax on monies i collect to NJ. Of course with fuel costs and the new toys for the business, ill probably be at a loss for another few years at least.

Trinity Lawn Care, LLC
05-29-2006, 09:45 PM
Trinity, is that not part of the business registration? im registered as lawn service/landscaping currently. I possibly have this number but have not used it since.

Hey Ramairfreak98ss, This registration is sperate. I believe that you are referring to that which recognizes you as an entity that is legal to perform said services. In order to have the registration that I am referring to you have to first: Be a properly formed entity (which sounds like you are), have a minimum of 500k Gen Liab. Ins., fill out and submit an application(along with a $90 application fee). It can take a while before you get this reg.#. Our attorney submitted our app. in like Nov. and we still have not received our #. As long as your application is pending you are fine. Hope this helps.:)

Ramairfreak98ss
05-30-2006, 12:02 AM
i found a flyer in a development i cut in that i just unfolded on my desk, says the companys name is The Lawn Shark. doesn tsay where theyre from etc. but has an 888 number, im thinking hmm, MOST companies never have 800/888 unless its like brickman or something... call it, this numbers been disconnected. lol

says free stimates, fully insured and liscensed at the bottom lol.

VBsnow
05-30-2006, 10:32 AM
Please, the person who started this thread, ignore most of what you have read here. Find an agent and get advice from an expert. We write small LCO's for liability only starting around $400.00. We then have companies who pay over 50K - 100K annual. The amount of insurance you purchase does very little to affect the cost. 100K and 1 MILL are very close in cost. The amount of payroll you pay out is the true gauge of what you will pay. Most liability companies divide your payroll by 1000 and then multiply by the rate. In VA the owner is set at 26,300 which would equate to 26.3 for the rating unit. If your rate was $10 your premium would be $263.00. As this would most likely fall below minimum premium which lets say is $350.00, your premium would rise to $350.00. Easy.

As for the guy who refutes the "rock in head" theory, good luck. I have seen much worse. AS for the "no claim" policy, um, I have some swamp land for sale.

Surf'n'Turf
05-30-2006, 03:27 PM
If that wasn't an original Jersey scam, I don't know what is. :nono:

Corzine is also looking to further raise state revenues by having Landscapers charge their clients 7% sales tax for all new landscape installations. Only a matter of time before it goes through, IMO.

rodfather
05-30-2006, 06:02 PM
Corzine is also looking to further raise state revenues by having Landscapers charge their clients 7% sales tax for all new landscape installations. Only a matter of time before it goes through, IMO.

lovely...just f***ing lovely. :nono:

Ramairfreak98ss
05-30-2006, 11:57 PM
Corzine is also looking to further raise state revenues by having Landscapers charge their clients 7% sales tax for all new landscape installations. Only a matter of time before it goes through, IMO.

lol i currently work for the state, cant wait to axe that job, in the last 2.xx years there, ive realized no one does anything, its all paper shuffling and 10 people are boss with 2 laborers lol. I make more money yearly than most of my bosses, they dont like it. dont get me started with the attorney general now:hammerhead:

luminarias
06-10-2006, 02:45 AM
I have fought with the same question or whether or not I should mention "fully insured" on any advertising, etc. Most my clients are Commercial and require WC, general liability, vechicle insurance, etc. already....so would mentioning "fully insured" on the full color flyers I give to new potential prospects serve any good? or is it just going to be assumed I have it anyway and then they ask for that information to get the job anyways?

Greenohio
06-13-2006, 03:50 PM
Well we are just coming to be a LLC, we are registered with the state, and have 2 mil insurance policy which covers ALOT. We are also going to get BWC when we hire employees (its just us right now).
I know where we live to be licensed means being licensed in the city you are doing the work in. We hav eto be licensed, bonded and insured in most cities. And every city is differant and requires differant things, its a PITA but hey gotta do what you gotta do!

VBsnow
09-26-2006, 12:26 PM
As for the bond, I am not sure why Landscapers carry this. The most prominent small bond is for theft and well...your not maids. I never have gotten that. We sell em' though, all day long. Be wary of the LLC structure because the members are considered to be similiar to sole props. You may want to talk to a lawyer to determine how far the courts can reach you under a corporate staus that was intended for joint ventures. Also, I believe Ohio may be "monopolistic" in it's offerings for WC(not sure). Be sure to ask the agent to explain your market to you.

A quick note to those who advertise as "fully insured". None of us are truly insured. I used to be self employed before I worked in insurance. Many clients feel that your workmanship is covered by the general liability and it is not. If you do a bad job or damage property due to poor judgement(not sudden and accident), your carrier most likely will not cover this. MAny carriers are offering E & O as a rider to the general liability policies for a low cost. I suggest you check this out on a rain day. Nearly all of our tree services are carrying this in case the cut down the wrong tree or such. We had a HO suing a certain utility here locally for something like 79K over an old Sycamore that was dropped in error.

General Landscaping
09-26-2006, 06:34 PM
The whole time I'm reading this thread, I'm thinking...... why didn't he hire the Mexican that can work unsupervised and get the job done?

The competitor takes your job....
You take his worker:clapping:

Now that's business.