Selling the insurance

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, May 23, 2004.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    My attorney thought this would be a tremendous selling point with home owners who actually have net worth.

    I just wrote this up for the websight this morning, and I was thinking of stapling an 8.5" by 11" sheet to my door hangers with this text:

    Why is it important that you hire an insured contractor to do work around your home? Why is workmans comp insurance important?

    Landscaping is inherently dangerous work. Almost every piece of equipment used in the green industry is designed to cut through plant materials or soil and most of that equipment can easily remove a finger or foot in a split second. We routinely encounter dangerous work environments. For example, mowing grass at the top of a retaining wall could easily lead to a broken back or neck with a simple human error. Every year in the US, thousands of green industry employees are injured or killed on the job. If you don't believe us, just call the local emergency room and ask their staff about the types of injuries they see every week during the growing season.

    Most home owners don't realize it, but the simple act of hiring an uninsured contractor to do work around your home could cost you everything you own. If an employee is injured while working on your property, or there is damage to your property, your home owners insurance will likely deny the claim because you hired an uninsured contractor. No respectable commercial property manager would dream of allowing an uninsured contractor on their property. Why would you want to be any less protective with your greatest investment?

    There are two types of insurance that are needed to ensure that you don't find yourself listed as a defendent in a law suit or with damages that won't be paid. The first type of insurance is general liability insurance. This insurance will pay for any damage that we may cause while we are working on your property. The second insurance, and more costly, is workmans comp insurance. Workmans comp insurance pays an employee who is injured on the job for medical expenses and lost wages.

    We carry general liability insurance. A few of our competitors also carry this insurance, but we believe most are simply uninsured.

    We also carry workmans comp insurance on all of our employees. This is the big one that almost none of our competitors carry and we believe it is where most home howners are at the greatest risk. Rest assured, if an employee of an uninsured contractor is seriously injured on your property, non-citizen or otherwise, you will likely be named as a defendent in a law suit and your home owners insurance will likely leave you holding the bag. We carry workmans comp insurance on all of our employees.

    When you do business with us, you can rest assured that your personal net worth is safe.


    Does anyone think this would sell?

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  2. The C Man

    The C Man LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 527

    It's not a bad idea, but I think a few things could be reworded and it could be made a little more concise. If it looks too long people will trash it and not even bother.
     
  3. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I have to agree, a little too long. A lot of good points though. I always sell the insurance as well to potential customers
     
  4. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    I believe that having insurance is a great selling point, but what you have here is too long. I lost interest half way through the first paragraph.
     
  5. Rather Be Fishing

    Rather Be Fishing LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 109

    I agree the insurance angle can be used as a selling point but I also agree the prepared statement is a little long winded.

    I'd ditch the line about calling the local ER though, even though I doubt anyone would call them. Better yet give them a link to a website that lists mowing related injury statistics. I've got some print-outs I discreetly leave at places where I see people mowing their lawns on tractors with their children on their laps. Just a major pet peeve of mine. A simple google search will get you there in no time.

    Other than that I think the insurance angle shows your clients (and potential clients) that you're serious about your business by making an investment that protects them as well as yourself.
     
  6. Burger

    Burger LawnSite Member
    from Montana
    Posts: 192

    One thing you might point out, according to the Western States insurance man, that they are having Home Owner Insurance claims denied because the Mower was taken off the property. He stated one case where the Mower was taken to "Mom's" or down to the Church. Someone got hurt, and the claim was denied. (Maybe Junior is the scrub down the street, and you just politely pointed out he is uninsured) Homeowners insurance only covers items used "on the property" The insurance man said todays underwriters would probably deny a claim for simply going past your property boundries. Contacting a local LCO, he agreed, "As soon as you take that mower off your property, your a commercial Mower, as far as the insurance companies are concerned."
    I want to purchase a 36 inch mower, and be able to run it down to the church, but the insurance is being quoted to me at 500 a year. thats Liability plus Theft, Fire and collision.
    Definitely a point I would make to your customers. "We care, we are insured and licensed. This is reflected in the Price we must charge for our services."
    In My line of work, I am covered under a blanket policy for my equipment on site. this equipment is NOT eqipped with 18,000 RPM cutting devices however. Think vending routes, candy machines n such. easily insured under a blanket coverage policy. this is Simply not the case with Lawn mowers or powered equipment, pesticides or fertilizer.
     
  7. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    What about the solo operators that cant get workmans comp for themselves? Its not available to the owner of the business.
     
  8. ken50

    ken50 LawnSite Member
    from tx
    Posts: 142

    I would shorten it up a lot, but that is exactly what I have been trying to do in my business, push the insurance aspect. Let us know if you use it, what kind of response you get.
     
  9. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    There are supplemental insurances available for self employed people in case you get hurt. Generally, workman's comp insurance is for your employees, in case they get hurt while working for you. To cover them, to cover you. If you don't insure your employees, the next logical step for them to take if they get hurt, after they sue you, is to sue the homeowner, and probably their only recourse. In that case, the homeowner's insurance won't cover them if the contractor was not insured.

    I know I was quoted for some kind of emergency insurance for myself in case I get hurt, up to $1000 a day, on one of the proposal's I got. It put my premium up an extra $1000 a year, though.

    DFW, I agree with the thinking and strategy. I myself have been kicking that kind of thing around. But it's gotta be shorter, I think. A simple sentence that you are insured, and that hiring uninsured contractors to work on your property can negate any coverage by the homeowner's insurance. That's usually enough to alarm people and get them thinking.
     
  10. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    How about this:

    Is your personal net worth really safe?

    Most home owners would never dream of not having insurance. However, many home owners, without realizing it, are assuming enormous risks that could cost them everything they own.

    Have you ever considered what might happen if one of the lawn guy's employees were seriously injured while working on your property?

    Most home owners assume their home owners insurance would pay for a claim like that. However, the reality is that most home owner insurance policies specifically exclude uninsured contractors hired by the home owner.

    Landscape work is inherently dangerous. Almost every piece of equipment that we use in the green industry is designed to cut things into smaller pieces. This equipment could easily remove a finger or foot in a split second. Or throw a rock and injure a passer by.

    Thats why we carry workmans comp insurance and general liability insurance. Most of our competitors don't carry either one. Of those who are insured, very few in this industry carry workmans comp insurance.

    No competent commercial property manager would ever dream of allowing an uninsured contractor to do work on their property. Why would you be any less vigilent in protecting you're own net worth?


    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     

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