View Full Version : Insurance

11-11-2007, 08:16 PM
Im starting to get into jobs that customers want that would require me to have some type of excavating insurance. I been trying to take just small jobs in areas I know nothing is around to tear up or dig into. What can I expect to pay for insurance a year for skid steer work. I though I have seen the number of $2,000.00 a year pop up on here before. Is that about as cheap as it gets? Is there any type of insurance I can get for just part of the year? I prefer to take the bad monts off.

11-11-2007, 09:03 PM
fieldman, my insurance is about $1000 per year but im classified as LAND GRADING business not excavation...i know i cant dig more than 3 ft...and no utility work...

i have my 1st claim and im battling w/ the insurance company...i broke a hydraulic line and it the oil sprayed on the house...i didnt even notice it...the cust callls back a wk later and said im at fault...

so be careful, get insured before you start any contract work...there are just too many potential problems...even if you think your being cafeful **** happens...

11-11-2007, 09:48 PM
That may be the type of insurance I try to get because I should not be going more than 3' deep. Basically just grading and things like that is what I will be doing. If you dont mind me asking who are you going through and up to how much dollars in damage do they cover? What about deductible?

11-11-2007, 09:54 PM
I only pay $800 for my insurance, it includes: 1 million dollar liability cosmetic demolition coverage, rental/stolen equipment.

I never had to use it, but it's a nice feeling knowing it's there.

11-11-2007, 11:22 PM
1 million in liability insurance...500 deductable...

11-12-2007, 01:15 AM
I've got liability, commercial auto on two trucks, and a policy on my loader. Runs about $3000 for "Grading of Land"

As to why to get 1,000,000 policy: hit a gas line between two half million dollar houses, and you'll need every penny of it.

Oh, and I hear that if you ever use it, you'll lose it anyway, it's pretty much a one shot deal. Then you have to go out of business and start over.

I don't know how much they want to clean up a little hydraulic oil but I would probably try to fix that one myself if I could rather than put it on the insurance guys. Like all insurance, commercial general liability is a big racket that is designed to profit the insurance company, not help the small business owner. You start spending their money and its gonna be your money in the long run anyway.

11-12-2007, 07:30 PM
With liability and vehicles and equipment I am around $7,500 a year. I have not had an insurance claim since 1996. Thats a 3 mil liability and a mil on each vehicle. It ads up and it is a huge racket. It pisses me off just thinking about it.

11-12-2007, 07:31 PM
You need Geico!!

11-12-2007, 09:01 PM
Do most of you on here have a LLC or some type of corporation name? I had a business once and had all the stuff to look after. This early in the game I would rather not get a business name until I see things are going fine. Just wondering if I can still get insurance under my personal name or will they require a business name. I know the benefits of having a business name and so on but this early I just dont see the point untill I see things are working fine.

RockSet N' Grade
11-12-2007, 09:41 PM
Fieldman.....do it now. Don't wait till you are so busy you can't breath.....since you have some time, this is the time to go after it and at least get all the paperwork/learning in order. Once you have it all together, you can file or whatever anytime........get it done now. As for me, I am dumb, dumb and dumber......I operate as a sole proprietor and have unlimited exposure. An LLC would be a good thing. I have had to shift my assets to other areas being a sole proprietor.....the smarter thing to do would be a shell of protection in the way of an LLC.

11-12-2007, 10:02 PM
I had a sole proprietor business before which as you know is not as good.

11-13-2007, 05:55 AM
Talk to your accountant before you decide between LLC or sole proprietor. I setup my lawn maintenance biz as a sole proprietor and my dad's landscaping business it set up the same way. I think for excavation and such, an LLC may be a better route, but I'd sit down with a good accountant to talk to you about the advantages of both given your situation.

11-13-2007, 10:35 AM
I'm in the process of changing thing over into LLC.The business has been the sole porprietorship all these years.

It is a safety issues as far as assets goes.

If your LLC they can come after your business,but it protects your personal assets.Which is needed for families sake.

Good luck.

11-13-2007, 05:48 PM
Hey guys I appreciate all your help. I'm leaning towards an LLC down the road hopefully in the near future. I have been told that one of the nice things about an LLC is they can only come after what is in the business name. I could be not totally correct on this but that was what a buddy of mine told me that has an LLC trucking business. As far as business cards I am working on making some of those. I have the program already to make them. I just have to load it on the PC. I am still not totally understanding the dumpster thing. Here is what I mean by that. I always thought a dumpster was for "trash", shingles and things like that. Can a guy fill one of these all the way up with dirt? Rock is fine also? Maybe I was not understanding some of your guys response but I took it that it was okay to put dirt and rock in them. I only been somewhat advertising for a month now. I plan on next spring putting an ad in the local paper and a sign out front of the house and at several of our farms. I tell ya guys it just kills me turning down any type of work. Only problem is I have another job also and farm. Eventually in a year or so if things are steady I would quit my other job but for now it would not be a good idea. So I'm trying to get closer smaller jobs and build up from there. Now if I did not have another job I would go a good ways from the house if needed. Let's not forget that a woman has plenty of task for me also.

11-13-2007, 06:07 PM
There is a misconception with LLC's. If you really get in deep, lawyers can and will find a way to come after your personal assets. That is a fact. Yes, it is more difficult to do than a sole proprietorship, but it is completely possible. The only way to completely get around that is to become incorporated, which is a different setup entirely. I took a business law class at school a couple quarters ago and we discussed this at length, I still have the book if I need to use a reference. Haha

RockSet N' Grade
11-13-2007, 08:11 PM
Scag..to take it a step further, the corporate veil is penetrable also. They are all just shields of sorts with the most vulnerable being sole proprietor wearing no armor at all.

11-13-2007, 08:28 PM
True, but it is very difficult to get through a corporation to personal assets. It can be done, though. In this business, I doubt anyone would go that far.

11-13-2007, 09:40 PM
With liability and vehicles and equipment I am around $7,500 a year. I have not had an insurance claim since 1996. Thats a 3 mil liability and a mil on each vehicle. It ads up and it is a huge racket. It pisses me off just thinking about it.

Don't get me started on Insurance....I'm in the same boat...but a piece of advise for what its worth...if you try to get away with just landscaper type of coverage then dig and hit a optic phone line, you can kiss your you know what goodbye, most aren't buried 3 feet...not worth the risk....be as up front with your agent as possible and get the coverage you need....the way insurance companies are aggressively fighting claims now days...I want my butt covered....

11-14-2007, 02:18 AM
So true, in WA liability insurance is not required for lawn maintenance, but I am insured for $1 million. Well, I guess I was, I'm not mowing lawns anymore.

11-15-2007, 12:46 PM
The LLC can provide adequate protection IF you do not "CO-MINGLE" funds. Be VERY careful about that, (Same as with corporation). Have LLC checking acct, titles, Credit cards, savings...and NEVER buy a personal item from that account, nor pay the LLC bills with personal funds... otherwise your "shield can be pierced' ... so the lawyer says... They are only $250 + filing fee to set-up with a lawyer, and you can do yourself for ~ $100 filing fee (But do it right... you might want to do your first through a lawyer) A sole, or partner LLC is very convenient for taxes, as it is a 'Flow Through'... and S Corp comes with the need for separate tax returns, and MUST pay through distributions (which will be taxed again). But has the advantage of paying your health insurance and funding your retirement plans. They are ~ $2000 to set up, and require some annual hoops to jump through, but are worth it if you have enough activity to use one. I currently use 3 LLC's + 3 sole proprietorships for my different businesses, (thus single tax return) but put anything in an LLC that has liability risk exposure. You can elect to tax your LLC as a Corp if you do so when you set it up, that would make it ez'r to convert to an S corp if you plan on going 'Big-Time' in the future.

You can just register your LLC with several DBA (doing business as...) names.

It is best to have a separate LLC for each business (in case you have farm, excavation, apartments, trucking...) some multi-family apartment owners have a separate LLC for each unit ! that is not a bad idea if you value your assets.

I would suggest doing it sooner than later, as the more stuff you get, the more difficult it will be to change it over, PLUS you won't have to be worrying about some previous claim getting ugly. When you are running commercial equip and especially vehicles it should be a MUST to protect your families assets (like their house, savings accts, future income...)

btw... insurance for me is $900/yr, grading + ~ $80k equip coverage, and $3mil total / $1mil per occurance
vehicles.... that is another story... what a rip... but you will often find it much cheaper to insure a Flatbed (with a hoist) than a dump

11-24-2007, 01:02 PM
With liability and vehicles and equipment I am around $7,500 a year. I have not had an insurance claim since 1996. Thats a 3 mil liability and a mil on each vehicle. It ads up and it is a huge racket. It pisses me off just thinking about it.

That sucks but doesn't make me feel better. I am spending about 9k a year for 2 bobcats, chipper, flatbed truck, and liability. I think I am getting ripped but have shopped around texas. I have a number of attachments on the policy and a toolcat but most of that stuff never leaves the shop together.

Kepple Services
11-24-2007, 06:24 PM
9K... I will trade ya. Last year mine was $11,490. I told them it was out of control and something had to be done to make it less. I only have my general liability, trucks (2 a C7500 GMC grapple and a F350), trailers (2), and track loader. All because I have this little thing called demolition on my job description!...

11-24-2007, 06:37 PM
Well, I am taking out demolition. :)

11-24-2007, 07:26 PM
Just say it is "cosmetic demolition", there is a HUGE difference, then you get coverage.

I got cosmetic demo coverage for things like a busted window from nuggets flying from doing demo on non-structural walls made of brick or stone or even steps and stair cases.

Kepple Services
11-26-2007, 11:06 PM
I asked about doing mostly non structural demo, and it made no difference to them. Well over 95% of the demo I do is non structural, consisting of interior demo in stores, flooring demo, concrete driveways, decks, that sort of thing. The biggest killer was insuring the trucks!.. I asked what difference does it make on what I do, the TRUCKS dont do the demo. Just haul the stuff thats left over, and a lot of times its not my debris.

11-26-2007, 11:08 PM
Ah crap, I think you're screwed.