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View Full Version : Is Your Vehicle insured under a commercial account & is your trailer insured?


hummingbird3d
03-11-2009, 08:48 PM
I am wanting to start a lawn/garden service business and just got a quote. One quote was for $341, then I told the lady that I was going to use this vehicle for a small business I want to start up. She then transferred me to the business/commercial account department. Now the quote is for $442 for 6 months - HUGE difference!

For tax purposes should I have the vehicle insured under their business section of insurance? And also, for those who have a little trailer do you have this insured separately? The agent I spoke to didn't know if the garden equipment inside would be covered - anyone in the know about this?

Please keep in mind, it is a mini van I'm insuring and considering a small trailer, not a big truck and fully loaded enclosed trailer.

FYS777
03-11-2009, 10:34 PM
I am wanting to start a lawn/garden service business and just got a quote. One quote was for $341, then I told the lady that I was going to use this vehicle for a small business I want to start up. She then transferred me to the business/commercial account department. Now the quote is for $442 for 6 months - HUGE difference!

For tax purposes should I have the vehicle insured under their business section of insurance? And also, for those who have a little trailer do you have this insured separately? The agent I spoke to didn't know if the garden equipment inside would be covered - anyone in the know about this?

Please keep in mind, it is a mini van I'm insuring and considering a small trailer, not a big truck and fully loaded enclosed trailer.

is this for your van only? are you going to use it for persanel use also?

Puddle of Oil
03-11-2009, 10:48 PM
Now the quote is for $442 for 6 months

that's it! mines 600 every 6 months.

FYS777
03-11-2009, 10:59 PM
call more then one agent, depends on who you talk with, some will say you dont have to change from personal, and some say you do. if your agent now dosen't know find one that does. phone calls are free. depends how your policy reads also.

mattfromNY
03-11-2009, 11:03 PM
I have to insure my trucks w/ commercial policy, and trailers on a seperate policy. Truck still covers trailers when hooked up, but if trailer is damaged or equipment is stolen off trailer when it is unhooked, truck insurance will not cover the damage or stolen equipment. Trailer has seperate policy.

FYS777
03-11-2009, 11:21 PM
if your just starting, depends what your deduct is on policy for equip. your equip. might not be worth the deduct,

LB1234
03-11-2009, 11:53 PM
The agent I spoke to didn't know if the garden equipment inside would be covered - anyone in the know about this?


Your first step should be getting an agent that can answer these types of questions.

For us, we have two trucks registered commercially and four trailers. Everything but one trailer and comprehenise and collision coverage. One trailer has just comp since it is hardly ever used and worth less than a grand. Each trailer holds is insured up to 2500 bucks for equipment on it. However, most trailers exceed this easily by placing one piece of equipment on it. Therefore, I have inland marine coverage (i.e. equipment coverage) on any equipment that is valued over 1,000.

Do NOT, do NOT, do NOT use your personal vehicle to haul around your equipment IF your personal insurance policy is NOT aware of it. Your first accident and they will deny your claim/coverage b/c you were using it for other than personal use.

What I did in the past is insured the trucked commercially through my name...basically I became a sole proprietor just for the purposes of the truck. I then leased this truck to the business. There are different ways you can do this and should speak with your accountant about how that works. We have since sold the truck from me to the busines to avoid all that hassle.

hummingbird3d
03-12-2009, 12:48 AM
The van will be for the business only.

Yes, it was frustrating to me that the agent was not able to answer my question of coverage of the equipment. I know that car stereos have been covered, but it didn't make sense that the agent discussing coverage on a business vehicle couldn't answer the question.

LB1234
03-12-2009, 12:50 AM
The van will be for the business only.

Yes, it was frustrating to me that the agent was not able to answer my question of coverage of the equipment. I know that car stereos have been covered, but it didn't make sense that the agent discussing coverage on a business vehicle couldn't answer the question.

let me clarify...its fine if the say "I'm not sure let me place you on hold and find out" If they just say, "not sure"...see ya!!

hummingbird3d
03-12-2009, 01:06 AM
That's funny, the agent did put me on hold to find out and still said she didn't know and later in the conversation she said she wasn't sure. If insurance companies can insure the equipment then that's the coverage I want. I can't imagine going back to the van some morning and finding that my equipment has been stolen with no way to recover!:cry:

FYS777
03-12-2009, 01:08 AM
That's funny, the agent did put me on hold to find out and still said she didn't know and later in the conversation she said she wasn't sure. If insurance companies can insure the equipment then that's the coverage I want. I can't imagine going back to the van some morning and finding that my equipment has been stolen with no way to recover!:cry:

call others please.

ambersLawnmowing
03-12-2009, 02:02 AM
I got screwed 2 summers ago, I was pulling my Boat with my truck. My truck is insured for the business and it also has lettering on it. My boat is a fishing boat and i put my company name on it for fishing tournys to get alittle freetime advertising. But the boat is only insured under myself/personal, needless to say some clown rearended me and hit the back of the boat. The insurance company said they would pay for my boat since it wasnt covered by the business insurance. It was considered a company asset because of the lettering on it. So needless to say i no longer have them as an insurance company and i made sure to ask ALOT of questions for the next couple of places, if they couldnt answer the question i moved on to someone that could... Just my little story about me being sore from my old insurance company.

FourTrees
03-12-2009, 04:01 AM
Check with your personal auto insurer, some offer business riders on personal policy for only a little extra. Read all fine print though.

LB1234
03-12-2009, 10:47 AM
That's funny, the agent did put me on hold to find out and still said she didn't know and later in the conversation she said she wasn't sure. If insurance companies can insure the equipment then that's the coverage I want. I can't imagine going back to the van some morning and finding that my equipment has been stolen with no way to recover!:cry:

Run, run, run. Find yourself another agent.

FYI, and don't quote me on this, I believe you need to obtain a general liablity policy in order to obtain inland marine coverage. I'm not sure you can attach that to an automobile policy...could be wrong though.

gandk06
03-12-2009, 10:59 AM
I actually just got new insurance yesterday. Try dealing with someone who typically deals in commercial policies. I went with Erie insurance just for that reason. The typical State Farms, American Family... are fine for your personal life but things are much different for commercial accounts. Find an agents who deals with these issues all the time.

IntegrityGuy
03-12-2009, 11:11 AM
my trailer plates are under personal use, not commercial. Its cheaper that way.

grasschopperofchicago
03-12-2009, 11:34 AM
I have everything insured commercial, you are going to pay more than if you are listing it as individual, example of course, homeowners covers a mower, house and contents, but the minute you use it for business it is no longer covered, you are going to pay more for commercial insurance, but it is well worth it in the long run!--if you have to worry about the difference between $340 and $440 you need to consider employment!-our insurance runs nearly $1400 a month for building, 16 trucks and equipment, plus our liability coverage.

gandk06
03-12-2009, 11:43 AM
you also have your liability insurance as well.

FYS777
03-12-2009, 12:07 PM
Check with your personal auto insurer, some offer business riders on personal policy for only a little extra. Read all fine print though.

you are right, it is cheaper this way, and yes read the fine print, still find some one that knows what there talking about

lawnpro724
03-12-2009, 04:00 PM
Everything from trucks to trailers is insured under my commercial policy and equipment is listed under my business liability policy. The nice thing about having a commercial auto policy is that if you have an accident it doesn't count against you like it would on a personal auto policy.

hummingbird3d
03-13-2009, 07:08 PM
I spoke to my tax guy about insurance coverage and his advice was on the basis of me just starting out and not having much money. Use regular insurance for the van as though it was for my personal use. The cost of the premium as well as the deductible most likely does not pay for itself. He said to do what he termed as self insurance, every month put some money aside, say what the more expensive insurance would've been, and have that used if any equipment was damaged of stolen. I'd still be covered and have the money towards equipment whenever that is needed.

Makes good sense to me, and he also stressed to keep my expenses very very low this first year - used equipment.

LB1234
03-13-2009, 09:54 PM
I spoke to my tax guy about insurance coverage and his advice was on the basis of me just starting out and not having much money.

think about what you are saying...you spoke to "YOUR TAX GUY" about "INSURANCE"...does this really make any sense?:hammerhead: Unless it was how you can deduct it, then I would venture to guess no.


As everyone has been telling you: SPEAK WITH A FEW REPUTABLE INSURANCE AGENTS who's job it is to get you into the right coverage for the amount of risk you are going to be exposing yourself to. No one is saying go get a policy for 1 MIL coverage, but seriously look into a minimum commercial coverage.

I'm going to let you know another risk you are taking, and this comes from my attorney when I decided to first get into this. Keep your personal seperate from your business. By doing this it is less (note I use the word less, not impossible) likely that someone sueing you can/will go after your personal assets (i.e. your home, retirement plan, etc.). What you are doing with using your personal car is mixing personal with business...a big no no. Not to mention if your personal policy gets wind of this...lets say you get into an accident were the trailer comes unhitched/axle breaks (this has happened to us) and the car behind it slams into it. What do you think your insurance agency is going to do? Start investigating what all that equipment was on your trailer. They could possibly deny the claim. The amount you are "putting away" to cover this cost will probablly NOT cover the cost of the $25,000 auto that just got totaled...did I mention the doctors bill...how about the rental car...oh ya, did I forget to indicate they are out of work and its single mom with three kids to support.

Please, listen to the advice...not just mine.

LB1234
03-13-2009, 10:03 PM
our insurance runs nearly $1400 a month for building, 16 trucks and equipment, plus our liability coverage.

Thats only a little less than 17,000/yr. Man that seems cheap. Curious what your deductibles are???

We pay about 8k for the entire year. Only 2 trucks, 4 trailers, chemical rider, slip/fall (snow plowing) rider, and about 50-60k in equipment coverage...basically doesn't matter where the equipment is located. We have 1 mil per occurence and 3 mil agg. AND we don't have any type of buidling coverage since we don't own/rent a building.

Just goes to show how much operating costs vary.

vacamper
03-17-2009, 04:05 PM
Prices are going to vary greatly from state to state and in alot of cases, premiums are different from county to county.

You're better off comparing your insurance expenses with others in your area. Be careful trying to make your personal insurance cover your business assets and liabilitis. Claims people earn their money by minimizing expenses to the insurance company and most of them aren't dummies.

ProtosLandscapingLLC
02-10-2012, 11:50 AM
Hummingbird, it is so important to have your insurance/reg set up properly for your own protection. Unless your operating out of a minivan with a push mower and have no overhead, I would seperate everything. Yes, LB123 Jersey seems pretty expensive!!!!! comparing it to other states....

fireman gus
02-10-2012, 01:31 PM
Everything we have is insured through the business insurance. Insurance is expensive but a necessary evil.