they make it so hard...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Angelo585, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Angelo585

    Angelo585 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    First let me state for the record, that when I started my business from day 1 I was 100% insured and legal... now with that said, a friends nephew is trying to start a small lawn mowing business in New York state and came to me for advice, seems he wants to do it right with insurance and all yet no company will provide him insurance cause "the business is too small and too new" 2 brokers actually told him to not worry about insurance till he was at least a year in business or had over 50k in annual sales!!! I could not believe when i heard that!!! This kid is 25 years old and has worked in the industry since 18 years old. I called the local landscapers association on his behalf to get insurance company recommendations and both places turned him down!!! both cited he does not do enough business and has not been in business long enough!!

    For an industry that is so big on being legal and changing the publics perception of landscapers in general, I think it is awful that someone just starting out and trying to do it right has gotten so discouraged by the dead end results that is now starting to believe that maybe some of the "illegal" companies out there are a result of the same brick walls!!!

    Sorry to vent about this but it is discouraging to see someone try the right way to start a business and get shut out cause they are too "small" or told by
    professionals to not worry about insurance in the beginning.... WTF is that???? anyone else run across this type of situation?
  2. JCResources

    JCResources LawnSite Member
    Messages: 109


    I understand completely. Last year I needed to get insurance for my business that was primarily doing range land tree and brush clearing here in Kansas. Almost every outfit I talked to acted like they had no idea what I was talking about, and those that did understand the operation said I was too small.

    Finally found someone to write the policy at a reasonable price and as I eased back into lawn care this year he added that to my policy no problem.

    Auto Owners is the name of the company, don't know if you have them in your area. Keep shopping around, I can't imagine that if he has the money that someone won't take it and write the policy. Personally I think running without insurance is a really bad idea regardless of the size of the operation. It doesn't take a very big f*up to get into six figures nowadays.

    good luck
  3. Angelo585

    Angelo585 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123


    It is simply amazing to me that someone who is trying to be responsible and do the right thing from the start is given so much problems... I even had the kid talk to my broker (who is doing everything he can to help) and my broker is having a hard time getting him written, everyone says the same thing... "Too Small" are commercial insurance companies becoming so high and mighty that they do not care about the little guy anymore??? I always figured that money is green and spends the same way if I do 5k per year and am solo or if i do 10 mil a year and have 10 crews... It seems that at every turn the small guy gets burned whether it be taxes, insurance or just trying to survive. Then you go to association seminars or training and all the associations preach is how the "small/uninsured" "illegal" guys are ruining it for the legit guys... which I agree with but then help the guy trying to do it right not turn him away with "stupid" advice...
  4. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    Try dryden mutual.....
  5. Angelo585

    Angelo585 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 123

    LOL... thats who i have.... my broker uses them exclusively... they are a good company, my vehicles are through Erie and Business is through Dryden...
  6. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,140

    The insurance companies set the premium rate based on last years figures and do not have a way to rate a start up.

    Unless the start up business has a solid business plan and can tell the insurer how much business he will be doing during the first year of coverage. And can show the capital investment to back it up.

    Depending on where you live it is not illegal to mow lawns for money without insurance or a dba. It is stupid if you are trying to earn a living or create a business.

    This would be the situation in any other business where insurance is generally required, but a solo can start up with tiny investment. It is not a landscape thing, this would be the case if your friend was starting out in many of the contractor trades.

    I think your friend should be extremely careful, do everything he can, tax, licensed, keep records, file his tax return, and when he has what the companies need, get insured. He should absolutely stay solo.

    If customers ask he should explain that he was denied insurance and tell them briefly why.
  7. johnny_boy02

    johnny_boy02 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    Must be a east coast thing. It took me one 10 minute phone call to get insurance.
  8. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    No problems here, this is my first year full time and I had no problems getting a million dollar policy, which is the minumum I believe.
  9. GreenI.A.

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

    When I started up a few years ago I was working for a supplier and doing a lot of sub contract work for my customers. I had the same problem finding someone to insure me. Finally my agent got The Hartford to cover me but the rate they gave me was about 20% higher than it should have been and I had to pay in full. We compramised that I would pay in full with the 20% extra, but if I had no claims that first year then the Hartford would credit that 20% to my next years policy. So basically I just had to pay in full and a deposit on the fallowing year.
  10. lawnman24949

    lawnman24949 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    I have Dryden and got insurance from them when i was 14 so there is no reason why he shouldn't be able to get it.

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