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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im asking because this is the first time we've knowingly damaged something ON the house of someones property.

One of our lawn customers has a very overgrown yard, i mean its landscaped but hasnt been trimmed in years. There was zebra grass in massive clumps surrounding the entire AC units outside of the house. There are two units and it grew behind, in between both, in front and on the sides of them, not sure how they worked property or were ventilating, but thats besides the point.

I had nearly all of the other trimming done and the edge of the hedge trimmer cought the high pressure freyon line in the back of the one unit, couldnt see it, know theyre there but usually they stay close to the ground, not a foot up in the air :/ . I call up our hvac local guy and even giving us a slight discount and offering to fix it in the next two days tops vs. going on his normal schedule, hes out about two weeks, its going to cost $500-$600 to replace, clean and re-pressurize the line depending on how far it has to travel inside the house. So much for profit for a small $165.00 trim job huh.

Should we just pay out of pocket for the repair or should the home owner contact his home owners insurance policy? We've never had a claim in 4 years having commercial liabliity business insurance and i'd rather this not be the first one. Ive already assumed were going to eat this 100%, but if there is any other way we should handle it without having to, please enlighten me. thanks
 

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i would just pay for it, you screwed up, so pay the price. i've broken a few things like sprinkler heads, i just went and replaced them, but yours is more difficult then that. i guess pay up, live and learn i always say.
 

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Me three...pay up...It'll be better in the long run.
 

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Prior to me starting my Lawn business i was a EPA Cert A/C Tech and installer for 13yrs. Still carrying my EPA Cert.. I have no worries about hitting or breaking something on the Outdoor condensing unit, I would just eat the cost of material for repairs and just fix it and go..but not everyone is so lucky to have my knowledge, so if i were in this situation i would call my insurance company and file a claim in a timely manner....It will make you look more professional to your customer, then trying to point the finger their way because your trimmer got away from you...:nono:
 

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I would pay to fix it out of pocket. You can always file it with your insurance, but I would not file a little claim like that. Do not ask the Homeowner to file it on their policy, that looks bad to me. I would let them know that you did it and fix the damage.
 

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This is yet another case where seemingly lucrative "cleanup work" jobs aren't always all they're cracked up to be. There is a lot of potential for damage to either your equipment or the properly due to overgrown conditions. Shrub work in tight quarters can also have some damage risk. You're also about 1,000 times more likely to get stung or bitten by some critter. The first time on site on a property is always more fraught with risk of a problem anyway.

I'm extra wary around house mechanicals because often the stuff isn't routed right but you're going to be paying for any damage. It's just assumed to be part of the business. I'd do a careful inspection first or avoid power tools around AC units, in particular.

Charge more than what you initially think you should on these neglected properties, as they often come with "suprises" in the yard good for a burned out clutch, bent blade, etc.

I mostly hate neglected or overgrown props because of what it says about the people involved. It's often either a flipper house you won't have as a customer long, or the home of someone who may not always be able to afford you and will cancel one day, or someone who's just a freaking slob and isn't tidy about things like paying bills on time either.

Would not file an insurance claim on such a small amount. It might cost you more in future premiums and a deductible might even exceed this amount.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
no dont call the ins. company for one you have a deductable which maybe be just as much as the repair..if you claim it then your ins. will go up plus another claim could cost your ins, Just pay it and go on
Yeah, assumed that from the start. Thanks for your opinions guys. I spoke to the customer already and told him an HVAC company would be out sometime tomorrow to take a look at it and hopefully make the repair too. The guy didnt totally flip out but he was freking pissed. Hes like, my house has no AC? I said, its only one of the units, and it wasnt running prior so its probably the upstairs AC unit. Hes like NO ac upstairs? I have a 2yr old kid upstairs :/ Go figure, has to talk to the wife.

Now its 81deg F out in NJ right now, its not humid like it is usually in the spring, I personally have not run our AC in our own house 2 towns over from this place in all of August, its just been mild in NJ lately. It was a high of 87F today.

Tomorrow is supposed to be similar, and the HVAC guy can get out there tomorrow, the customer "thinks" hes gotta check upstairs and see how hot it is because he's probably going to have to get another company "on his own" out there tonight.

I explained that we would cover the costs of repair for the company coming out to fix the damage, I won't pay above what my own company is going to bill me for the repair, which is already expensive, especially if the company bills this guy emergency repair charges for comming out on the spot and making a repair. Im sure that would be well over 1k since its already 7pm now. I can see this one going to court one way or another no matter what we offer to do to rectify the situation even paying damn near $600 maybe for this fix.:cry:
 

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Just pay out of pocket to fix it...and the next time you come across one that is grown up like that spray it with round up.
 

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Now its 81deg F out in NJ right now, its not humid like it is usually in the spring, I personally have not run our AC in our own house 2 towns over from this place in all of August, its just been mild in NJ lately. It was a high of 87F today.
man, tell that guy to chill out...i wish it was 81 degrees out here in florida! its that temp at 6am when i get up and its still dark out!:laugh::laugh: heat index today, 106 degrees:dizzy:
 

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My insurance man swears my rate will not go up if I make a claim. I haven't had to test that promise so far. But really in Lawncare, you are going to have small accidents, so what good is it if you don't use it?. I would talk to your insurance company and ask them if your rate will go up if you file a claim. I don't have a deductable on my business insurance, I don't think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My insurance man swears my rate will not go up if I make a claim. I haven't had to test that promise so far. But really in Lawncare, you are going to have small accidents, so what good is it if you don't use it?. I would talk to your insurance company and ask them if your rate will go up if you file a claim. I don't have a deductable on my business insurance, I don't think?
no deductible at all? Im pretty sure ours is $500, a 0% ded would be awesome, hey we have an unsatisfied lawn acccount customer that wants to be refunded $35 for his lawn cut today :p

btw, were having him sign a damage waiver actually requird by our HVAC guy so that he cannot sue us at a later time for "heating and cooling" related issues after the repair has been made. They said, more often than not, the person stops doing business with you, contacts their homeowners insurance ANYWAY after the repair, claims it wasnt repaired correctly or to their satisfaction, tries to collect for a new system or much more than what was damaged and then their HO insurance co. sues your company for neglegence etc. Thats all i need after forking over the money on the spot
 

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Had this EXACT same situation happen to me 3 years ago. Owner wasn't home, called my ins. agent to see what to do, she suggested I pay it out of pocket to avoid a premium increase since it probably wouldn't be much over my deductible anyway.

She gave me the names of a few reliable A/C guys in my area; called one and he came right out while I was still there and fixed the line, installed a dryer, pulled a vacuum, and recharged it.

Owner never knew till after the fact; he was so impressed I got 3 more yards from referrals from him so it wasn't entirely a bad thing:laugh:

I felt like I broke it, I needed to fix it.
 

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Suck it up and just pay it. I know it sucks but stuff happens. Just to keep in mind, we ripped a wire in half trimming around a a/c unit. We paid for it but I told the home owner we wont string trim around it any more so we edged and put mulch around it. Now no more weeds and no more potential accidents.
 

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O.k question..... You get the A/C guy out there and fixes it and then looks it all over and finds more problems, Who pays??????? i would get something in writing that says that is all you broke and that is all you are paying for.... That is why we have insurance and that is what i would do that way if there is any question about more repairs it isnt coming from my pocket. starting to fix it and then finding more and then calling insurance might be a problem? .... A/C is a wear product and they do break...If you havent had anything claimed in awhile then your rates wont go anywhere. If you call them weekly to make claims then they will...LOL....
 
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