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Why Have Insurance?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by furball3, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. furball3

    furball3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    As I was looking around in this part of the board I noticed some questions about insurance. This is why I have it.

    Years ago right before I started my LCO I was mowing a sisters 5 acres. Its right on a fairly busy corner in a very well to do area.

    As I was mowing along the street the blades grabbed a exhaust hanger(near as could be figured out later. It was about 1/8th in dia, 8" long, had a few 90 bends in it and a broken weld) I heard it hit but didnt see anything so I started mowing again.

    Well that peice of metal flew out from my deck across a lane of traffic - broke through a side window of a school bus (full of grade school kids on their way home) struck the ceiling of the bus(leaving a good size dent) and ended up on a kids head.

    Somehow No kids were hurt badly. The ones sitting by the broken window were talking to other kids facing away from the windows. They just had some glass in their hair and down their shirts. When the peice hit the ceiling it pretty well stopped all forward motion so that it just landed on the kids head. He had a small scratch from it. Not enough of a scratch to require stiches. Tetnus booster to be safe.

    For maybe a half hour or so I watched as the bus sat at the side of the road. There was an ambalance and some cops. I figured somthing had happened but still had no idea what.

    Finally a Sherrif drove up the drive to where I was with his lights on. He asked me about what I had seen & what I was doing there. I told him that it was my sisters house that she rents & I was doing it since their tractor had broken. (All true)

    That was when I found out what had happened. I had to prove to him that it was my sisters house (used pics of me and her growing up and as adults).

    In the end I was not held liable for anything since I was just being a helpfull brother for a sister in need of a mowing. The parents involved were just thankfull that their kids were safe and not hurt.

    I wonder what would have happeded if I was a scrub trying to make money mowing her yard. I do believe that things would have turned out greatly differant for me.

    When I decided to start using my equipment to make money Liability Insurance was first and formost on my list of things to do. At about a buck a day for a million dollars worth of insurance it is paid willinglly every year. (buck a day figured on 7 months of mowing a year for me)

    My advice? We cant afford NOT to have liability Insurance.
  2. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    Thats a good story, I am glad you shared it. Why risk your financial future to save a few hundred bucks? If this item would have seriously hurt someone, or worse yet killed someone, his financial future would have been ruined. If he was doing it for pay of course. You are using a deadly weapon, treat it as one. One of the reasons why I mulch is to help keep done the chances of something being thrown from the mower.
  3. woodycrest

    woodycrest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 435

    Great story.

    and you are right!!
  4. LCME

    LCME LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    Where is a good place to get liability insurance?. I called my current insurance co. and there estimate was $3000.00. They wanted to cover all my equipment. Truck, trailer, tools, etc. This estimate is the minimal they would consider to write. All I asked for was liability. maybe I'm asking the wrong questions. Any advise please.
  5. birdmann

    birdmann LawnSite Member
    from fla
    Messages: 13

    Ive seen a few people on here say that Erie insurance was very reasonable ..

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Yup, they were the best I found, and I looked at a lot of carriers. I pay $235 a year for $1 million in liability. This DOES NOT cover my equipment, however. I plan to add that on next year.

    I've been doing this around 15 years, the last 3 for myself. As careful as I am, I still have the occasional "close call" with projectiles. That's why you need insurance.
  7. furball3

    furball3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I tried to get liability ins through the comapny that I have my home, auto & health with. That was a waste of time. My agent finally said for me to call Erie. He agreed with me that what his company (and the insurers he sells) could do were out of the ball bark one way or another.

    Chances are if you call Erie you will be taken care of & wont be wasting any more time.
  8. LCME

    LCME LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    That's good enough for me. Thanks for the info. Erie here I come. One more thing. Is it necessary to get licensed too?. If yes, what steps needs to be taken?. Thanks in advance.
  9. Bengo

    Bengo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Erie is the best and most reasonable. A lot of other insurance companies classify landscaping/lawn services in the same category. Doesn't matter to them if you are raking leaves or operating a front loader. I have 10 years in the business and when starting out, my insurance company ( who I had been accident free for over 25 yrs) quoted me $1600 for one million in strictly liability. Though I never got burned, I foolishly ran with out insurance for several years. One of my new customers happened to be an insurance man, coupled with the fact that Erie recently ( maybe 2 years ) set up offices in the Midwest. I get $2,000,000 in coverage for about 4420/year.
  10. Bengo

    Bengo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Correction on Bengo's misprinted price for Erie coverage


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