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thelawnguy
08-20-2000, 09:05 PM
What happens to you, your family, your business if, God forbid, you are seriously injured, or worse? What contingencies do you guys have set up? Im more concerned with the small operators.

Myself, my disability insurance kicks in after 90 days, but besides that I havent really thought about it. I suppose, once I heal, Id just start over with new accounts, or sell my equipment and start a new venture. If its "light at the end of the tunnel" time my life insurance policy should take care of things.

cos
08-21-2000, 01:58 AM
Well being the single man that I am Bob, I really didnt think of it. I work for UPS part time so my benefits are outstanding I own life insurance and health insurance.Even have a legal services plan in case I get sued or need lawyerly advice. You brought up a very good question that I really dont think that too many people think about. When we start off in a venture such as a lawn business alot of people take their future for granite (like myself). I think this a good topic for everyone to ponder.

Guido
08-21-2000, 02:02 AM
God forbid, but if it does happen:

I put in $13.00 a month and it pays up to two benefeciaries $200,000.00 if I die while on Active Duty (weather its combat related or not).

Not to shabby!

TGCummings
08-21-2000, 09:33 AM
This is one of those things I definitely need to look into. I believe I can get workman's comp for myself through my liability insurer, and I plan to look into that pronto.

Life Insurance is one of those things I've considered for a long time. Relatively inexpensive for the peace of mind it brings.

However...

What's to stop the missus from knocking me off once she realizes the windfall? ;)

-TGC

jaclawn
08-21-2000, 08:06 PM
Bill- Good thread, and I am surprised that there have not been more responses. I get the jist that there are a lot of solo operators here, as well as 1-2-3 man operations.

With a larger company, if the correct infrastructure is in place, the owner can be absent, and still have the company operate. The company may be able to stay afloat with him being absent.

With the smaller companies, this is not as easy. I know that a lot of the 1-2-3 man operations hire college kids, high shcool kids, fellows without drivers licenses... If that is your case, then things could be a very tough time if you the owner are off for any time.

I actually think that a more time consuming injury would be better than a short time injury. If you are injured and only off for 4-6 weeks, that is enough time for your customers to find other service providers, yet not enough time for you to collect on disability insurance, or find a new carreer. I think a lot of business could be lost in that timeframe.

I fear this the worst. A disability that would have me off for a month or two, but not out of the picture for any length of time. I too have disability insurance, but because of my age, I can only recieve benefits for a maximun of 5 years. I would have to find some other path. On the other hand, a short disability would not even kick in the disability insurance.

One thing to remember is that disability insurance does not cover medical bills, it only gives you a fixed amount per month. Medical bills will be your responsibility unless you have major medical coverage.

stick
08-21-2000, 08:19 PM
Well this is what we did, 3 buddies of mine have there own LMO's just like me. Since living in Florida, its tuff to take a week off or a couple days, till Dec. We made a pack agreement that any of us would get hurt or something else, we would spilt the work between us. Free of charge till we get better, so we don't loss any accounts. If we take some time off, we will pay person to cut it till return. It is a good thing to make friends in this business, belive me it helps alot!

Anyone else doing this?

jason2
08-21-2000, 11:42 PM
Stick,

When I farmed i saw a lot of what you are talking about, was even fortunate enough to have been on the receiving end.
My dad had cancer, I was operating a 3,000 acre grain farm without any help. In the middle of harvest my dad died. I had about 900 acres of durum and spring wheat left to harvest. I took one day off, then reluctantly went back at it. Not what a person wants to do when they are mourning, but absolutely necessary to get the crop off in a timely fashion.

That morning I stopped in the local gas station/implement dealer to gas up and get a few things before heading to the field. A local farmer stopped and said he wanted to help. I thanked him for his kindness, said no and that I'd manage. Well by noon that day I could see a literal convoy of combines coming up the highway. There were 15 big combines, semi-trucks, tandem trucks, single axle trucks, additional grain augers, and tractors plus about 40 men. All coming to help me in my time of need. I was totally overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude. Newspaper came out and wrote about it. Local bar donated beer. When I filled all of my grain bins, the local elevator stayed open late to accomodate us. Some of the farmers wife's brought out food. Needless to say we knocked down that 900 acres that night.

That sense of community is something that a price cannot be placed upon. And I'm only one of many that this has happened to. I'll be first in line to help anybody that I can in their time of need.

I think what you have set up with your buddies is a great thing.

gusbuster
08-22-2000, 12:49 AM
I actually had to go through this with my father's maintenance route. 4 years ago, my father suffered a bout of severe depression. If you read my profile, you'll know that beside myself, my dad's brother and father are in the same business.

My dad had his workerís, but somebody needs to talk to the clients and run the business. Thank GOD for his friends that are in the same business. His depression hit when we had all the winter and spring pruning to be done. They either kicked me one of their workers to either help me on my route or actually did the pruning. Here our winter pruning is fruit trees and roses. That year was a year I will remember for the rest of my life.

What happened to my dad could happen to me. Since getting married, I have disability insurance. Kind of expensive here in California, but better than losing everything that i have been working for the last 20 years and more.
John

stick
08-22-2000, 01:26 AM
Yep, you always got to have friends in low places. Life seems to go in circles, all the things you have done for poeple in the past will help you when you are in need.

thelawnguy
08-22-2000, 01:44 PM
"Bill- Good thread, and I am surprised that there have not been more responses."

This is because of one of two things-either folks dont have any idea what they would do if (when) something happens, or they just dont want to consider the possibility.

I originally asked this, because a close relative had a tree fall on them the other day-broken ribs, arm, collar bone. He will be out of commission for a while. I started thinking, what if that were me? I have savings to keep the family afloat til the disability kicked in, and that would take care of me til I was 65 if need be, but what happens in the short term?

Im definitely lining up some kind of contingency, most likely with a couple other solo operators, like stick has done.

fourfeet
08-22-2000, 09:37 PM
Stick is really thinking ahead and probably sleeping well. We think one of the things that will help us get through an emergency is that we're well automated and cross trained on the routing and billing software (Clip). But one thing we haven't done that we need to do is write down our little system steps so a temp could come in and carry on in the office. If I were a one-man operation, I still would get my work to be done onto a computer so the work could be picked up by someone and then billed. This would also make it more easy to sell to someone if I had to or my spouse had to.

stick
08-24-2000, 10:25 PM
I can't belive that not every one is posting on this thread!!
This is a major problem if any us got disabled. Do you guys have a back up plan for the business if this happened to you?
I know that if I were to take a week off due injury during growing season, it would break the contracts I had. Lossing all accounts, you guys got to have some kind of back up plan out there?