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Do you factor in liabilty into your estimates?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Esby, Apr 23, 2002.

  1. Esby

    Esby LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 662

    I was just wondering if you factor in liabilty of the job when you are estimating Lawn Maintenance for a property. What I am getting at, is do you somewhat raise your price if the property you are to take care of is on a busy intersection compared to in a quiet area, thus putting you at risk of throwing a rock at a vehicle...or something of that nature. The reason I ask is, I DO factor this in. I just bid a Phillips 66 Station and ended up losing the bid. I bid it at $35....pretty low already I thought, but to my amaze someone bid it at $20. I mean there is limited grass to cut, but more than your average station. But the kicker is that is it on such a busy intersection. I bid it keeping in mind the "risk" involved. Do you factor in the "liability" of a job??
  2. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 773

    I haven't, really, but have often felt like I should. I factor in my liability "insurance" into my quote and felt that was sufficient but have been rethinking that in recent months. I do factor in the risk to my equipment on an extremely harsh job, so I should factor liability in as well...

    The real problem with doing that is it appears I'm at the top of what my market can bear right now and I'm getting more and more folks thinking I'm outrageous. Quoting higher for liability is almost an assured way of passing on a job in my case.
  3. Biggest problem I run into is bus stops on residential streets. When doing my site inspection bus stop are one of the things I check for. I've decided to pass if there is one.
    People have come along and down sit under tress while I'm working (this is at private property next to bus stop) or walk right up beside me to watch while I'm trimming etc.
    Too much potential for trouble so I would rather pass than charge extra.
    For my comfort level I'll look for easier/safer properties to work on.
  4. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Posts: 1,540


    I figure in the costs of my liability insurance into my total enpenditure figures.

    For ALL jobs. "High risk" or not.

    Most I get...a few I don't.

    Usually a homeowner understands that you must charge a bit more if you are willing to protect them (as well as yourself) and will "make good" on any boo-boos that may occur. Most appreciate the idea that should you bust out their $1000 thermopane picture window, or ding the Lexus, you will be able to have it replaced/fixed...pronto.

    Once this is explained to them the extra $5 or $10 seems like a small price to pay over the guy who is uninsured and may have problems coming up with the jack to fix what could be an expensive faux pas.
  5. Esby

    Esby LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 662

    I also factor in the cost of my yearly business insurance to ALL of my jobs. I guess what I was getting at, is at some sites there is more of a chance for an accident to occur, if one did, insurance would cover it, but you must not forget that you would have to pay your deductable; $250, $500...whatever it might be. That is why I raise the price some on higher risk jobs.
  6. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 469

    It's all overhead, it all gets put into the price I charge.
  7. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Posts: 1,540


    Yeah, I see what you mean now. And yes I add a little more for the ones that are riskier...or for ones that have a higher degree of difficulty...the ones that carry any 'dread factor'.

    As I get closer to my 'breaking point' I usually don't bother to bid on the 'tough ones' anymore (small gates, lots of trimming, dogs, trash, toys, etc)...and just wait for the 'cherry ones' to come along. I have also started telling people I cut 'weekly'...or not at all. I've even started scoping out the number of trees in order to anticipate "fall clean-up time"...which about half of my customers don't want to shell out the proper amount of bucks for. :rolleyes:

    I picked up this strategy here on LawnSite from an "old timer" last year and it has worked for me. After the culling process I am only 2 lawns ahead of where I started last year but show over a 1/3 increase in weekly net. :)

    Bottom line:

    Less work + less headaches = MO MONEY! :D

    ....and more room in the schedule for those 'cherry accounts' when they pop up.

    I turn down the funky ones...a lot.
  8. AK Lawn

    AK Lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    Thus far i have not but this briongs up an interesting point of that , may have to resturcture my binding techniques?
    AK Lawn

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