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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by oneandonlyjojo, Oct 24, 2004.

  1. oneandonlyjojo

    oneandonlyjojo LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 125

    how many people hear have actually had to use there insurance company to save there as.s . was looking at the scrub thread and talking about risks but besides breaking windows here and there wat have u messed up that insurance helped u out.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Good question. I never have, knock on wood. My old boss, he's been in business for 16 years, I think he filed claims for some relatively minor property damage, but realized unless its something big, you're often better off paying out of pocket.

    There were also a few truck accidents over the years, one 7-car pile-up and another where the other driver wound up in the hospital for a few days. I guess you should count those too.
  3. oneandonlyjojo

    oneandonlyjojo LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 125

    yea i know im not counting car accidents because all landscapers scrub or not will have car insurance
  4. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,434

    but insurance companies may not cover if they discover youre using your vehicle for business unless they know about it and raise your rates.
  5. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 983

    what LAWNWIZARDS said. If you just have "personal" car insurance (policy not endorsed for BUSINESS USE or a COMMERCIAL AUTO POLICY) the insurance company will DENY YOUR CLAIM if they find you are involved in an accident while pulling your rig. Not too hard for them to find out, as police report will state PICK-UP PULLING TRAILER LOADED WITH MOWERS....etc.

    I was in insurance industry for 17 years before switching to lawn care in 1998. They are not STUPID and will not pay 1 cent more then they LEGALLY have to pay.

    Personally, I have turned in 1 loss to my insurance carrier. An employee slung a rock (with string trimmer) into a sliding glass door. That thing literally cracked into a MILLION pieces. They homeowner told me about it and we went to see it. The cracks just travelled all over the length of the door. You could literally hear it SIZZLE as it cracked. It cost $500 to get replaced. Insurance handled it ALL, cost me NOTHING and I STILL HAVE the client!

    I had one other loss that I ATE MYSELF. Employee hit a riser for the sprinkler system with the deck of the mower. It cracked the plastic pipe underground, causing a miniature flood above ground. Luckily it was on a hill and running away from the house & basement. (Pipe was hidden just inside evergreens & could not be seen by operator.) It cost $145 for irrigation company to come out & fix. I paid for that rather then turn it into my insurance company.

    STUFF WILL DEFINITELY HAPPEN, if you are in business long enough. Anyone not carrying insurance is STUPID! It is just a cost of doing business. Figure it into your budget & raise rates a little if you have to. Most commercial clients will want to see GENERAL LIABILITY & WORK COMP insurance before they award the job!

  6. JustMowIt

    JustMowIt LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 367

    1 claim in 7 years for a weedeater swiping a car as they passed. We carry liability only on our trucks (1 reason we pay cash for used trucks) which is where most of the large risk lies. We take care of our own damages, because in residential there are few people around to hurt, very few cars close by, the Mexicans are not going to sue us. Damage is limited to breaking a window when they are using a weedeater to edge instead of an edger in which case we make our crew pay 1/2 becasue we have asked them to use edgers.
  7. oneandonlyjojo

    oneandonlyjojo LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 125

    yea what i thought i never hear anyone who said the mower went through the wall or garage. everything is always minor such as a window. i cracked a anderson patio door window only cost $300 to fix and yea they make a huge huge mess
  8. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,565

    My liability insurance costs $300 a year, but I'm a solo operator. Not sure how much it goes up with an employee, and I have no clue at all how much they'd zap me in terms of increased premiums for a claim.

    I'd probably be inclined to handle anything under $300 out of my pocket just because I assume it'd cost me that much in premiums increases, not to mention the hassle of the paperwork. Anything that'd cost $500 or better, I guess I'd file for. But this is all kinda speculative. I really do not know how sharp an increase in premiums they'd hit me with for small claims.

    Can anyone who has filed claims give some insight on premium increases?
  9. dkeisala

    dkeisala LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 911

    You never really know when you are going to need it and when you do, it'll probably be for something that you never dreamed could happen to you. You accidently drop a stick on the sidewalk while loading your truck, someone walks by, trips on the stick and hurts themselves. Weeks down the road you're served with summons. It can happen, trust me.

    Nobody wants to pay for insurance if they don't absolutely have to. I know it seems like just throwing money out the window but it's about risk management and until things change in this country, you have more at risk than you think you do.
  10. Fishin LCO

    Fishin LCO LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Posts: 143

    Just a quick question regarding insurance. I have never had to use my insurance so I dont know how much it would go up for a small claim like a $300 window. Has anybody used there insurance for small claims $200-$600 and did it raise your premium next year and by how much.

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