Insurance, unfortunately is like food....you gotta have it! You should insure yourself based on several things....are you a proprietorship or corporation? What are your assets you'd like to protect? Trucks, equipment, your home, trailers.....how big are you in terms of employees? Typically you will need workman's comp if you have 4 or more employees and you as the owner can complete an exemption form. WC is tied to payroll dollars by category of service. In Fla, maintenance is about $9 per hundred dollars of payroll, big tree work runs about $30 per hundred. Liability insurance minimum should be $300k for your protection for residentials and commercial properties will require $500k to $2m. Get at least two quotes as rates will vary. You can get a "rider" on your policy for equipment but check out how that works if it "disappears". May not be worth it. Find a small insurance co to work with you and if you've got multiple employees, look into personnel leasing. Their WC and liability rates are typically better as they are in a large group.....but their fees may offset what you save. Check on the premium amounts based on your deductible....typically $500 to $1k and up......the higher your deductibe, the less the premium should be but sometimes the deductible payout is a killer. Hope this helps.<p>Bill Phagan<br>Green Ind Consulting, Inc.
For a one man operation, you will need at minumum:<p>1. general liability/products completed. I would go with at least $1,000,000 coverage. Upgrading from $500,000 to $1,000,000 is minimal. This will protect you if you damage anothers property or person. $300,000 does not go far in personal injury lawsuits. The products completed will also protect you if someone gets injured after you are off the property, and something that you did caused the injury. <p>2. Commercial Auto policy on your work vehicle. Get at least $500,000 if possible. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE COMMERCIAL AUTO ON YOUR VEHICLE AND YOU ARE IN AN ACCIDENT PERFORMING BUSINESS DUTIES, YOUR PERSONAL POLICY WILL NOT PAY. This is very important. I know of one person tht this happened to. Commercial coverage will protect you if you have an accident while working.<p>These are optional and you may or may not need any or all of them.<p>_INland MArine coverage for your equipment. This will pay for your lost equipment/tools if they are damaged/stolen/burned. If you can afford to replace everything out of pocket, you could probally get away without this coverage. <p>Workers Compensation Many states require it with your first employee. Even your buddy that is going to help you out on Sat. What happens if he cuts his foot off? You generally don't have to carry it on yourself though.<p>Umbrella policy. This kicks in where your other policies run out. i.e. if you have one milloin in liability, and a one million umbrella policy, and you cause 1.5 million in damage, the liability policy will pay the million, and the umbrella will pay the half million. Without it, you would be responsible.<p>Personal disability policy. Since you are self employed, what happens if you become disabled and cannot work? This policy will pay you a given sum monthly for a given period of time. <p>This sounds like a lot, but it really isn't. <br>Most all insurance companies have contractors packages that include general liability, and some equipment coverage, as well as a bunch of other coverages that you probally won't ever need. talk with at least two agents, and if they are not asking lots of questions about your individual business operations, move on to another.
Insurance is a scam. The law says you must have workers comp and vehicle insurance, but where I live liability insurance is optional, and I've survived nicely without it for nearly 20 years. You can protect personal assets by incorporating. In my case corporate assets are maybe $8k.<br> I have never had a good experience with an insurance company. More than once I've had to hire a lawyer to get what was due to me. Insurance companies SUCK!
Samurai is mistaken. Depending on where you live, incorporating may do little or nothing to protect you. It will protect you from things your employees do, but if you do something personally, you can be held personally liable. As far as debt goes, you usually need to sign a "Personal Guarantee of Debt" letter to obtain credit in your corporation's name. Check with a lawyer. It might be the best 75 bucks you spend. <p>BTW, If you bid on city or state contracts, you may need much more than 1M in insurance. I had to get a 3M policy for our city. It was a chore to make the underwriter understand that I didn't have a choice.