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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Bossman, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. Bossman

    Bossman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Hi all, I'm new to the forums and have a few questions about going 'legit.'

    First though, a little about me. I'm a college student and am looking to get a few accounts to help pay some bills. I'm not looking to create a salary to live on, and I'd be happy with doing this part time and having just 5 residential accounts (around half-acre each in my area), and would be overjoyed to have more than that. I'm using an suv to haul around my beginner equipment which consists of a 22inch self propelled walk behind (I'm used to half-acres with this), trimmer, blower, etc.

    I've read over a few threads concerned with going legit and get the basics. I'm fine with getting a dba, registering my business with the state, getting a tax number, and all that legal jazz. But I feel like I may not be able to afford the insurance, both liability and commercial vehicle insurance for the truck. Maybe 10% of the miles I'd get on the truck would be for the business, and I was wondering how necessary these types of insurance are. I just had my first request for a quote and am in the process of making the biz legal with the state, but the insurance thing worries me. Any advice?
  2. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    Vehicle insurance is really for your own protection. If you cover yourself well, you dont have to worry about getting sued big time in the event of a accident or damage your vehicle causes or to your vehicle. Equally important is General liability insurance, which most commercial accounts require you to have before they will hire you. Gen lia will protect you if (for example) a mower shoots a rock and it hits little Tommy in the eye. Instead of sueing you, little Tommy parents will sue your general liability insurance carrier. Mine covers 1 milloin $$ and only costs $520 per year and worth it. If you hire workers, you will need workmans comp insurance and the rate is based on your gross yearly income. This will cover your employee if he accidently cuts his toes off while mowing for you. Otherwise your employee will sue you BIG TIME for medical expenses, and future loss of income due to this injury and could cost you millions if you dont have workmans comp. Quite honestly, if your in business, you cant afford NOT to have proper insurance. Add it into your pricing structure.
  3. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    I just changed and went with Pekin Ins. and the quote for 1,000,000.00 GL is only $278yr and with equipment its only $575.00yr. Its the best rate I have ever seen but its that cheap since I have never had a claim in over 20yrs.
  4. Bossman

    Bossman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Is general-liability for a college-age guy going to be much more than lets say $300-400? I've seen lots of figures on here and wondering if anyone else 18/19 has it and how much/where they got it? LawnPro724, what do you mean 'with equipment'?

    And as far as my truck goes, I'm planning on using magnetic door signs, but only putting them on while I'm at a site, and removing them while in-transit. So then if I get in an accident, won't my normal insurance (I have full 'non-commercial' coverage) cover me as far as liability and whatnot goes?

    Thanks for the responses btw!
  5. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    if your working with a vehicle, you are not covered by regular auto......and not sure about your state, but if you have signs on the vehicle, you have to have commercial plates too.....

    look, if your going to do this, do it right or find something else to do..... you have to have the proper insurance, its not worth the risk.......
  6. Bossman

    Bossman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Even if the signs are not on while the vehicle is in motion?

    Thanks for the encouragement :confused:

    Normal auto liability alone for me is about $1300 a year, and from what I've been reading on here commercial liability alone is twice that? So I should be expecting $2600 in liability alone? Why is it so much more?
  7. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    My new GL policy without equipment runs $278 a year for a million in coverage and with $25,000 in equipment it goes up to $575.00 year. I have another policy for trucks thats paid up until sometime in July and when its up for renewal I will be switching it over to the new company.

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