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mountain man

LawnSite Member
North Carolina
A buddy of mine has a small construction business. Over the weekend his shop got robbed of at least $30,000 (maybe $50,000 or more) worth of equipment. This made be start thinking it is probably a good time to look at my property insurance policy before mowing season kicks in high gear. <p>Please add thoughts and comments on what you are doing to protect your business. Not only will he have to replace the stolen equipment but he will have to figure out how to get his work done the next week or two until he gets an insurance check. Needless to say it opened my eyes and I am developing a contingency plan and setting up more preventative security measures.


A good insurance agent will sit down with you once a year and go over any changes in your business. Mine did, and he pointed some things out that I was not aware of. You may not think that you bought anything major in the last year, but the small stuff really adds up. <p>Another thing that I have done in the off season is to re-shop everything. Pretend like you are starting over again. Call the banks and get the prices on business checking accounts, get other insurance quotes, shop cell phone contracts. I did this the last few weeks, and have saved over $1000. Ask Phil how it is better to reduce expenses by $1000 than add $1000 in sales.<p>You don't have to shop everything every year, maybe rotate things on a 3 year basis. It is amazing how much things can change in 3 years.


LawnSite Bronze Member
I agree with the shopping. (constantly) However, I would caution against changing repeatedly. I shop insurance every year. But, I've only changed twice in the last 15 years.<p>I believe in long term relationships. I also believe those relationships need to be earned on an ongoing basis, not just once.<p>It's to your benefit to tell your accountant, banker, truck garage, insurance agent, mower dealer, etc., etc. about the other deals you've been offered. They'll keep a sharp pencil for you (which is what you want) and you will maintain a consitant, dependable vendor who knows your business. (which is what you want)<p>


LawnSite Senior Member
I think it's a great idea to shop around. If you are lazy, you can do a lot of price comparing right at home from your PC. <p>One thing I do like is personally knowing my insurance agent. He sits down with me and goes over my policy and any changes I have made to the business. He also sends customers my way. It may cost a little more to do business in town but in this case, I think its worth the extra.<p>The reason it's better to cut costs by $1000 than to add $1000 in sales is because by cutting costs, that is 100% savings in your pocket. If you generate $1000 more in sales, it probably cost you $600-$800 to generate that extra money.


LawnSite Senior Member
West Haven, CT
We provide our insurance company with a list of equipment, its age, serial number, a description, condition, price to purchase, and current value. This way, there are no questions when a claim is made. We have an alarm system and a building now, but before, we got hit a couple of times - somebody moved my backhoe from in front of a storage trailer, then used a porta-power to blow the hasps off!!!. No problem with the insurance company, because we had locks, made a reasonable effort to secure ourselves, and had an inventory list which matched our policy amounts. Bigger equipment - loaders, chippers, trailers - all has separate policies or riders on other policies.<p>Also - I'm big on consistency and long term relationships too. I had a policy with one guy, Ken, for 5 years, he switched companies, and I felt out of touch, so I stayed with the former agency. They turned out to be so lousy that we switch back to Ken after about a year and a half for equal dollars, but 10x the service, and quick (most of the time) responses. Sometimes when you have a good relationship with an agent, like Ken, you can handle a lot of stuff with one phone call or over lunch, rather than have some long drawn out process. As our company grows, Ken does ask me to make time for updates and policy review. Even though he is low pressure, our account is on his mind and that is invaluable.<p>----------<br>Phil Grande - Soundview Landscape Supply - http://members.aol.com/slsnursery<br>Ivy League Landscaping - http://members.aol.com/scagrider