Insurance Question

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by jslawnscape, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. jslawnscape

    jslawnscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    K, First off please take it easy with any bashing. Had some experience with that a ways back when I posted on here. And here we go with my question, I am considering starting a landscape lighting installation/repair/maintainance service. Previously have owned full service lawn/landscape/prop. maintainance business. I have relocated and am looking for something different, have done lighting jobs in the past. I am curious as to what I will be expecting to pay for insurance. My general liability insurance was not too bad for the property maintainance business. Bc this will be a new business in a "foreign" territory I am worried that the insurance (especially dealing with electricity) is going to be quite expensive. Thought I would check on here before scouting out local ins companies just to get a ball park. Thanks in advance.
  2. FoghornLeghorn

    FoghornLeghorn LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 753

    No idea, it's all based on number of employees, vehicles, type of work, payroll numbers etc.

    Call the Hartford, Travelers, or Hortica for quotes
  3. jslawnscape

    jslawnscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 61

    Thanks for reply. If anyone has anything else, please post. I will be owner/operator with one additional employee to start. To get insurance rolling there will be no payroll until jobs start coming in. I will have my auto insurance separate. I need a ball park figure for the liability end of the insurance for installations. Not that I have ever had a problem in the past or even heard of anything but dealing with electricity I always wondered/worried about possibility of a fire. Im sure that the insurance companies take that into consideration. My landscape insurance was a decent rate but as soon as I mentioned any work done from heights my insurance agent informed me that my rates were going to skyrocket. Same kind of scenario I guess im trying to figure out here. Not a big deal I can call around this week just thought id try here while i had nothing else going on tonight.
  4. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,154

    For your General Liability and Work Comp they will ask you to estimate the total payroll for the policy period. With only one other employee this will be easy to do and probably fairly inexpensive since as an owner you will be exempt from the WCI policy. The auto will be based on the number of vehicles.... right now I think we pay about $1000 per vehicle per year for commercial auto insurance which works out to about $83 per month. If you are doing commercial work you may be asked for an umbrella policy in addition to your General Liability Policy. I think we are paying about $8K a year for a $5million umbrella. I don't recall what our Gen Liability is running as it's all lumped in with our Umbrella, EPLI, Inland Marine and D&O policies. Find a good broker that sells commercial insurance... don't bother with Allstate or State Farm or one of those companies who sells homeowners insurance.... they call me all the time trying to sell me auto insurance... I just laugh at them.
  5. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,646

    we use an insurance broker as well. since we also do Christmas lights, our rates are higher as we go on roofs, etc. since landscape lighting can also bring you off the ground doing gutter mounts and moonlighting, you should ask to be covered for some heights, as most injuries and property damage will occur when you fall. the risk of fire from landscape lighting is extrememly small and pretty inexpensive to insure. you will be "rated" at a percentage of payroll and pay that rate at a payroll base of around 10k minimum and it will go up from there.

    workmans comp is the same way, it is required in most states, and you will pay a percentage of payroll, our minimum workman's comp policy here costs around 3k per year and covers for us up to 30-40k of payroll and goes up from there.

    we also carry "professional" insurance to cover us even if we do something wrong and cause property damage.

    we do auto through state farm.
  6. GreenI.A.

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

    Dave - You pay higher rates for holiday lighting? My insurance added it onto my policy for no additional charge, but I do already have coverage for going onto roofs up to 40 feet for lighting and into trees up to 50 feet, so maybe they assume there isn't to much more risk??

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