Claims on Liability Insurance

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Jan 16, 2004.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

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

    Has anyone ever actually filed a claim on their liability insurance policy?

    Has anyone every been glad they had their liability insurance?

    Not workmans' comp insurance, but liability.

    My suspicion is that the insurance companies who sell general liability are getting filthy rich off the green industry.

    PS: Please don't relocate this thread to the elements of business forum as more people will see and respond here. Thanks.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

    Hi DFW,

    Here is a quote from this post.

    "Hey guys I have a few questions for you all. I have been in this business for 6 years and have always been on the up and up with insurance carring 2 million in coverage.

    Here's the deal. I cannot figure out how to keep from the small crap bitting me in the butt. Last year one of my guys was mowing along a road and kicked out a stick that was hidden into on coming traffic. Well this dented a guys hood. Was about $375 in damage, so I turned in the claim. Not a month later, I hit a golf ball through the deck and into a picture window at a residental property. This I felt wasn't really my fault since I could not see the ball to avoid it. I thought it should have went under there homeowners but I filled a claim anyhow. Well yesterday I got a call from a factory said I threw a stone into a passenger side window of a truck. So I went down to the site and where the vehicle had sat it would have been in the line of fire from a area of heavy stones and crap from the jerks that plow this place. (NOT ME).

    Starting this year in my commitment letters I stated we are not responsable for damages from foreign objects in the lawn and customers are responsable for damage to our equipment. Well I feel bad for the guys who's window is damaged, but I don't think i should have to file a claim on it. I think the client is at fault. I did contact my liablilty agent and he said I will probably get cancelled if I have 3 claims in 3 years. So what do you guys think, should I turn it in and risk getting cancelled, or pay out of pocket, or wash my hands of it and tell the company its not my problem. Let me know what you would do. Thanks Joe

    Hartman's Lawn Service"
  3. DFW Area Landscaper

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

    Team Gopher,

    I don't think the author of that post was thinking "Gee, I sure am glad I've been paying for liability insurance all those years." Heck, he doesn't even know if he'll file a claim.

    What I'm trying to see is a.) how much are the green industry insurance companies taking in from premiums and b.) how much are they paying out in claims.

    From what I see, by and large, there just aren't any claims for general liability. I've read lots of threads from guys who were glad they had their workers' comp insurance, but not liability.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  4. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    Ive filed for claims twice in 5 years. The first time was a rock thru a custom window in front of customers home ($800.00). Second time was worker hit new fence ($358.00). My premiums run $380.00 per year. I did have one other event though that I paid out of my pocket. I scraped a bumper of a car in parking lot ($152.00). Yes Im glad to have insurance in case of something major happens (Rock hits persons eye, ect) It can keep you from being sued big time. I do find value in the peace of mind it brings.
  5. joeboy4

    joeboy4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    One of my employees was trimming a bank at a commercial property we mow and got grass all over the hood of one of the cars. We blow this off with a blower when it happens. The women came out screaming that we chipped the paint on her new car. The crew leader and owner of the property couldn't see any damage the women said she wanted her husband to see it. She calls me up and says she has an estimate for $2000 for nicks and scratches. I call insurance co. they send out adjuster he looks at site and car says no way grass could have done this. She said there was road salt and ash in the grass, this is July.
    I find out a few weeks later that the road she lives on was tar and chipped a week before the claim. Ins. co. refused to pay. My premium is about 450 per year. No claims in yet in 10 years. Knock on wood.
  6. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,308

    I have to carry a certain amount of General Liability Ins because of the commercial properties and the spraying I do. I carry one million. I can't think right off exactly what it costs me per year because my truck and all my equipment is figured in with it. I do know I pay a total of $1910.00 per year for everything. Do I think ins. is a riffoff, probally, but it one of those things in life you really don't want to be without, IMHO. And yes, I have had to use it one time for damage to a car.
  7. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 981

    Cost me $3k a year for Genl Liab., Truck Ins. & Work Comp. In 6 years I've had 1 loss where a guy kicked up a rock with his trimmer and sent it through a sliding glass door. Customer came out and told me and we all went around back and watch it slowly crack into a million pieces. Could actually hear it SIZZLE as it cracked. I turned it in to insurance and they paid $500 to fix it. I didn't have to mess with anything else about it. Certainly glad I had it then, even though it was a "small" loss!

    I also do pesticides and in order to keep my card I have to have $1 mil in coverage and prove it to the state. It's a way to C-Y-A and just a COST OF DOING BUSINESS!

  8. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    I think your right. For the most part all we will ever do is break a window. And most times it makes sence to pay for it yourself.

    FULTRTL LawnSite Member
    from 70526
    Messages: 28

    I carry Gen Liab and a $500.00 deductable. Anything less that that I pay out of pocket. So far had to replace a piece of pvc pipe that was covered and never saw it about $10.00
  10. Rustic Goat

    Rustic Goat LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,194

    It's called insurance for a reason.
    Don't most of us have it for the 'possibility' of causing a real high dollar disaster? Smaller claims (maybe even some over deductible) should be paid out of pocket.

    Almost any claim sent through the insurance company will cause premium rates to go up.
    It's a pay now or pay then cost of doing business.

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