1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Catch up on the conversation about fertilization strategies for success with the experts at Koch Turf & Ornamental in the Fertilizer Application forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Workers Comp Renewal Problem

Discussion in 'Employment' started by JMarshall, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. JMarshall

    JMarshall LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I have a lawn care company in Central Florida. We had a workers comp claim last year (First one in 5 years of trading), and now our carrier has advised they will not renew the policy. They are claiming that because we do tree trimming they are not willing to cover us. We only do a small amount if this work, generally palm trees once a year. Has anyone else had similar problems regarding coverage for tree work? Can anyone suggest an insurance company we could try?
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2010
  2. Equipguy

    Equipguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    Had a similar thing happen my 2nd year in business. Switched to Blackadar Insurance in Longwood. Great service and no problem since. There # is 407-831-3832, you can contact then through their web site too @ www.blackadar.com. Good Luck!!
  3. BearWise Landscapers

    BearWise Landscapers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456


    I would be happy to take a look at it for you. We have access to over 35 insurance carriers and also have a sister company that is a third party administrator for workers' compensation claims. This allows us to handle policies for businesses that have had bad experiences with claims in the past.

    Here is an article with the 2010 workers' compensation insurance rates in Florida.

    We also specialize in insurance for landscapers and are very familiar with class codes 9102 and 0042 and how those should be correctly used to control your premium costs.

    You will find that the rates in Florida between insurance carriers are the same because they are set by the state. The policy must be rated correctly and there is also a difference in service and other pricing options between insurance carriers. Let me know how I can help with information and if you would like a comparative insurance quote.

  4. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    ever look into a payroll company to do "employee leasing" my cousin uses one and loves it. They take care of everything from payroll to workmans comp to w-2 and 1099 ect...
  5. BearWise Landscapers

    BearWise Landscapers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    Professional Employer Organizations (PEO's, payroll companies, or employee leasing as it is sometimes called) can be very helpful to some businesses, especially those in industries with higher workers' compensation rates. The problem with these companies is that they are not regulated, so many of them are not run properly and go out of business in a few years. Some even evade taxes and get into bigger problems for companies insured through them.

    For the ones run properly, they can be beneficial to landscapers when you can't find workers' compensation coverage in the marketplace and have to go to the FWCJU (Florida Workers Compensation Joint Underwriters Association). A better option to consider may be using a CPA or other payroll service that allows you to have your own workers' compensation policy. This allows you to build a good claims experience (often called an experience mod or modification factor). That will keep your rates lower in the long run and also avoid the administrative fees that are tacked on by PEO's.

    With all of that being said, we do recommend PEO's to some of our clients and have helped with gather comparative PEO quotes. If you have some large ($500,000 or greater) claims, then it is helpful for landscapers. But since the current work comp rates are so low for landscapers, it may still be better to have your own policy. We moved 3 landscaping businesses in Florida away from PEO's in January and set them up with their own workers' compensation policies and all three of them were very thankful.

    If you are interested in reading more, please check out this article about the downside to having workers compensation insurance through a PEO.

    I hope that helps answer your question. Let me know if you have any further questions or if any of you reading this thread have workers compensation in Florida through a PEO and are looking for comparative quotes on having your own policy and doing payroll in house or using a regular payroll company.
  6. richard1103

    richard1103 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    my rates for Niten Lawn Service is around 5%,my tree Service (Niten Services LLC )rates are 43.7% .was the claim on tree work?
    I keep both separate
  7. BearWise Landscapers

    BearWise Landscapers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    Here is a link to an article I wrote for PRO Magazine about ways landscape maintenance buisnesses can reduce their workers compensation costs:

    Lower your Workers' Compensation Costs

    I thought all of you might enjoy checking it out. It has some practical ways to audit your own policies and also take a long term approach to keeping premiums low by doing what you can to avoid workplace injuries.

    Let me know your thoughts about it or if you have any questions.
  8. JayD

    JayD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    What other states do you work in/for?
  9. BearWise Landscapers

    BearWise Landscapers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456


    I am licensed in about 20 states, but we currently only provide insurance in Florida. We can write the other states, but only do so if our clients expand their operations and are based out of Florida.

    We plan on opening up to write insurance throughout the southeast in the next year or so. We don't want to rush into those other markets before we are confident that we represent all the best insurance carriers that operate in those states and we can offer the best rates to our clients. We are very confident about this in Florida, so that's why we are sticking to our expertise in the landscaping industry down here. I will make an announcement to let you know when we expand into other states and your home state of Indiana.

    I would still like the opportunity to assist your business and any other landscaping guys outside of Florida. I write the articles on our website so that they will be applicable to lawn care and landscaping businesses all over the United States. If you would like for me to take a look at your current insurance policies or get my opinion on comparing quotes you received, please do not hesitate to ask. I specialize in insurance for landscapers and want to be a resource to help you understand the insurance options available for your business.

    Thank you

Share This Page