Never imagined insurance would be my biggest obstical!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by mrusk, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Well i am 18, almost 19, and this is my first year in the business. I have been calling around trying to get insurance before the season starts in 2 weeks. All anyone tells me is that it is going to be outragous because of my age. They tell me to just cut grass and not to do any hardscapes. I make all my money doing pavers and walls, i would hate to not be able to do them because of insurance. I also wanted insurance to cover carpentry, such as decks, arbors, polebarns, pool house, and inteior work. They told me i can't touch insurance for that for under 10k.

    I do not have ambitions to be a landscaper. I want to be a general contractor. I love building. However do to my age, i figured it would be best to build a realationships with people by just mowing their lawns, and then tell them about the other work i do, and adventually just sent a crew or two out and mow only the most proftiable lawns.

    Also, the agent told me that hardscape insurance is the same as insurance for a mason. Does that sound right?

    This whole insurance thing really brings me down. I am capable of doing so much, i would just hate to limit myself do to insurance cost.

    Matt
     
  2. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 963

    Try several independant agents. I had ranges from $357 - $1200/yr. Not the age that's killing you as much as your experience. E&O is based on experience as well as the job you are performing.
     
  3. utterway landscaper

    utterway landscaper LawnSite Member
    Posts: 24

    mrusk im 24 iv been in the landscape business for 6 years this is my first year on my own I was able to find yearly coverage for 650 a year but like marko said about experince if I hadent been doing this for six years and didnt have any hands on experince it would of cost my 1200- 2000 a year . another bit of advice when you go to an agent have a business itenerary they want to know what your business plans and goals are, banks like this also, not to get off topic but I just took out a loan for a new mower and the bank was leary of me because i have the worst credit history from stupid choices I made a few years back but I gave the bank a very detailed itenerary for the business start up cost what I planed to profit where I want to see my business in five years I had to sumit this to the president of the bank he was quite impressed and I was able to get the loan without a co signer.to get back to topic you said you wanted to do contracting when it come to coverage thats a whole other can of worms construction liabillity excavation there rates are a lot different my agent advised me if I need any excavation done to contract that out because it would raise my insurence up so much but shop around you never know.
     
  4. jpmako

    jpmako LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 593

    mrusk,

    Where in Northern Jersey are you?
    I might be able to connect you with my agent. I think for general liability I pay like $1600.00 per year. The only catch is you have to maintain membership with the farm bureau. That cost like $65.00 per year.

    Let me know,
    Jason
     
  5. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    How much $ are you talking about? OK, just re-read your post, 10K is ridiculous. Keep looking. I wouldn't get involved in mowing if your heart isn't in it. Do what you like.
     
  6. lawnlubber

    lawnlubber LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    I,m not sure the expense is so much because of your age/exp. It seems that you want to offer a whole lot of services each one would increase the risk to whoever does insure you. Have you tried to get insurance just doing pavers for now. No excavation, no retaining walls 2 big risks. You can add the other services as you can afford to be insured for them. BTW if your having trouble with the liability insurance your really gonna choke on workers comp.
     
  7. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

    Hi mrusk,

    Keep looking. Find a way to make this work and don't give up.
     
  8. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    James F. Hurly Insurance Agency in Bedminster, NJ.

    highly recommended, they are basically a broker and can get you what you need/want.
     
  9. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Pavers are in the same field as retaining walls, 'masonary'. It really sucks how they catogory things. I talked to a few different agents so i am sure that no one is bullsh*ting me. From what i hear, NJ just sucks for insurance and everything else for that matter.

    From what my agent was telling me, i belive atleat 50% of all landscapers are under insured. He told me unless i have excavating insurance i can not rent a backhoe and do the excavating for my jobs. If i were to hit a pipe, wire, house etc, it would not be covered. Its almost a joke how everything is broking down into different sections.

    For you guys that do hardscapes, are you insurance the way my agents are telling me, under masonary? Hell, if i have to be insured like a mason, i mine as well just start stoning houses, i know how to.

    Matt
     
  10. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Insurance is a cost of doing business. I do not pay for insurance. Just as I don't pay for anything that the business uses. My customers do!

    This is all about selling. Listen to the agent selling you insurance and than sell your client the insurance. It is part of doing business but it is also part of your business, and of you! Sell your business and yourself over the guy that does not carry it or does not have enough. Selling is about education. Educate your customer.

    Most LCOs will say "I'm insured". WELL WOOP DE DO!! The customer does not give a hoot about what you are. Tell them whats in it for them. Tell them that THEY are insured and for what. Also tell them what they are not insured for if they go with Mr. No Insurance.

    Most commercial business accounts know that the insurance is for them and that is why they require it. But the average homeowner does not know about it. Educate them and they will be willing to pay for it.
     

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