Insurance help!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by TheSandman, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. TheSandman

    TheSandman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    So this is my situation. As of two and a half years ago I had been cutting lawns in my neighborhood driving my tractor to get to them. i know i know… Two years ago I got my first truck and got onto a professional landscape crew and learned a shitload. Still drove my truck around. This past year in march i bought a 60" zero turn and 16' trailer. I had begun subcontracting for the company that i originally started with. they have good priced lawns and i would just cut them for them and they didn't charge me for them to bill them such and such. this winter, i made a legit LLC, i will be getting a bank account and all that fun stuff. when it comes to insurance what would you guys suggest? I'm currently trying to sell my truck to get a duramax. my truck is under my families plan just so its cheaper for me to pay. say i do get a duramax (around 28k) would it be better to put the vehicle in the company name or back under my family insurance so its cheaper and just claim it as my work vehicle? i know if under the family plan i could make .55 cents a mile tax claimable on it.But what happens if i get into an accident while using the vehicle to tow my company insured trailer when my truck is insured by my mom essentially? What do you guys think I should do? Pretty much I need business insurance to cut lawns, mulch, and other stuff like that and maybe will be putting the duramax on the company insurance.
  2. CRC_PP

    CRC_PP LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    Get quotes for both. You will pay more for a business auto policy, but it will protect your business in the event of an issue. I use ERIE for my liability and state farm for my commercial auto policy. You should shop around to see who offers the best coverage and prices for you.

    Liability is not too expensive. I pay a little under 900 for a year and that includes roofing and carpentry riders. Also make sure you have enough Insurance coverage on your truck. Especially with the added risk of trailering.

    Better safe than sorry. Good luck
  3. Regal Landscapes

    Regal Landscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 202

    If you're using the truck for the business I would have it under a commercial auto policy. If you didn't do that it could create big problems with the insurance company if you had an accident.

    For general liability I would get at least a $1 mil policy, I have gotten quotes that were around $500 per year for a $1 Mil general liability insurance policy
  4. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    If you are going to be using the truck for business purposes while insured personally be sure insurance will cover it. I have told the story here of a guy up this way that got into an accident,it wasn't his fault. After the accident he lost control and hit some cars I front of a Lexus dealership. He caused a few hundred thousand in damages. Normally the other driver would be liable,but since he was using a personal vehicle for business purposes he was liable. The Lexus dealers insurance company came after him, then the irs and dor came knocking too.

    I know for me my personal insurance was expensive when I started. I had a brand new Chevy 3500 ltz, insurance was 3800 a year on it. I switched over to commercial plates and insurance and it. Dropped to 1,800 a year. But that was 4 yrs ago and each state and situationist different.
  5. TuffTurfLawnCare

    TuffTurfLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 667

    you are using your truck for business purposes and you dont have a comercial policy, the insurance co could refuse coverage when something happens. When you are shopping for personal insurance, they ask if the vehicle is used for business purposes. If it is, then they wont insure it, and will direct you to get a commercial policy.

    I am actually switching mine right now. Full coverage on the truck, trailer, with 1 million combined single limits on the truck, 1 million/2 million general liabilty, and inland marine coverage on the equipment will cost me 1200 for the year. Thats business insurance, equipment coverage, and full coverage on the truck and trailer. I am signing this policy later today from a local Erie Insurance agent.

    He dropped my rate nearly in half from last year. 1st year in business is usually the most expensive.

    But yes, you need to get a comercial policy so you are covered if you hit someone, something, or its stolen. In PA, if you are using it for business, and get stopped, the police could cause an issue if its not a commercial policy also. I don't know if its ever happened, but it could.

    Comercial may cost more, but its worth it to know you wont have to pay for the damages. Also, make sure you have enough coverage. Not the minimum. IIRC, the min in PA is 5/15/30 limits. Minor whiplash will exhaust the 5k. Total a mid size sedan and the 15k 30k limits would would be exhausted. Hell, you could run out of those limits if you slid off the road in the snow and took out some landscaping and a retaining wall in a driveway/yard. The other party could then come after you/your family/company for any damages beyond your insurance coverages.

    Go talk to a couple agents at least call them. They will get you covered.
  6. Schrock Lawns

    Schrock Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 944

    I pay 460 a year for 3 mil liability a year 1800 a year for a 2013 chevy 2500 with 1mil of liability and 2 trailers and then 1650 a year for a2013 f550 with 500k of liability and. Around 3000 for workers comp for 50000 payroll it's really not that much to insure commercially
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  7. TheSandman

    TheSandman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Erie quoted me for 12 months $2833. for vehicles that covers 100k-300k bodily injury, 100k property damage, and i believe a 1-2 million liability. my vehicle is an 07 gmc 2500 duramax, trailer is covered and so is my equipment. is that a bad price? I am only 19.
  8. CRC_PP

    CRC_PP LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    I'm sure the number one factor is your age. As soon as you hit 25 your insurance rates will go down substantially. Younger drivers=higher premiums. They will go down as you get older and get more years of experience with the business.

    You should get a few quotes just to test the waters. Some companies will be cheaper than others so don't just go with the first quote you got.
  9. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    Keep your business and personnel insurance separate. If you know why you set up your business as an LLC, you would not be asking questions about insurance.
    easy-lift guy
  10. TheSandman

    TheSandman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    limited liability company i know that. im more worried about the small **** and lawyers these days. if my truck was under personal insurance yet trailer and equipt under my biz insurance i think that could potentially give a lawyer or an insurance company a reason or way to screw me over if i got into an accident or hit somebody god forbid.

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