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Massachusetts General Liability Insurance

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by teatimecrumpet, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. teatimecrumpet

    teatimecrumpet LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Hi all,

    First time caller here.

    So my dad is retired (he's stronger than I am by far) but he's been bored as heck and we have this idea for him to do very basic lawn care (mowing and leaf disposal) and using his snow blower when it snows up here.

    We're not really looking to turn a profit but if so then great.

    My big question is just getting insurance so he never loses his house in case a lawsuit were to pop up.

    He just got quoted for $1M of G&L no equipment coverage (his most expensive thing would be the $1k blower anyway) for $900 a year.

    Does this seem good to you guys? Never done this before but what types of specific language should I be looking for? Would his current auto insurance cover him though if let's say he runs over someone's mailbox or someone while going to a client's house? Or if someone were to steal his equipment out of the truck?

    He's going to be a sole proprietor at the moment.

    Thanks and any and all suggestions for a insurance company in MA on the NH border is greatly appreciated!
  2. GreenI.A.

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

    $900 for gl is pretty good for a solo operator. You're rates will be a little high where you are a new company with no track record. Go a couple seasons without a claim and you should be able to get it lowered slightly.

    As far as auto coverage goes. In massachusetts, auto insurance companies can and usually will deny your claim if you are using the vehicle for business purposes. I've told this story here many times so I'll keep it brief this time. A landscaper got in an accident caused by another driver, he lost control and his truck ended up in a Lexus parking lot, taking out a couple hundred thousand $$ in cars. Police report noted that his truck was being used for landscaping. He had no commercial insurance and regular plates. The insurance carrier for the guy who caused the accident refused to pay for his vehicle of the damage on the car lot because he was improperly registered & insured. His insurance refused to pay as well. He ended up getting sued by the dealerships insurance carrier. He tried to claim he wasn't a landscaper, said he was transporting his mower/tools to mow his mothers lawn. Insurance company easily proved that wrong by showing a past craigslist add with his phone#. At the end the irs, department if revenue, and a few other state departments got involved. He went through an audit and was later charged with tax evasion.
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  3. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    Not only that you should also carry " non owned auto " coverage.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. teatimecrumpet

    teatimecrumpet LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    So he would have to get commercial auto insurance on top of the G&L? Seems kind of crazy to have to get both personal auto insurance and commercial auto insurance for his truck. I mean let's say I was a self-employed graphic designer and I used my car to go get printing paper...

    Man this stuff is tough.

    So there's this thread:

    But does this mean my dad would have to:
    Keep his personal auto insurance
    Get GL
    Then get commercial auto insurance on top of all that?

    Dad might be sticking to mowing his own lawn...

    If he switches to all commercial auto would he be able to drive his truck for personal reasons and be covered?
  5. GVL LLC

    GVL LLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 154

    he would only need commercial insurance. this would cover him all the time. you dont have to have commercial and personal, just commercial. Its alittle more expensive then personal but mines only a few hundred dollars more a year then personal.
  6. teatimecrumpet

    teatimecrumpet LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks All,

    Will go the route of all commercial then. I asked Liberty Mutual who my dad is with now and they don't do commercial and couldn't add some kind of extra protection on to his current personal.

    I thought I read somewhere that you could get a little extra coverage if you used your personal car for less than 2 business drives a day.

    Anyway, I'll let you guys know how it goes.
  7. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,631

    I live in Mass, and I went 3 or 4 years on regular plates/insurance on the truck. I would avoid commercial if you can, you have to pay registration every year, and the insurance is more. Keep a low profile, no lettering or signs on the truck. Once you have lettering, the cops will stop you if you don't have commercial plates. If he plans to put a plow on the truck, I'd go commercial.

    The quote for liability for $900 sounds about right. Make sure they don't quote the pesticide coverage, unless he needs it. I accidentally paid for it for years before I needed it.
  8. GreenI.A.

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

    In other words, he is recommend your father operate his vehicle illegally.

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