Workmans Comp Questions

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Harleyboy52, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. Harleyboy52

    Harleyboy52 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    I'm getting ready to bid on a motel this week and need some advise on Workman's comp. In the contract they are asking for Workman's comp insurance and I work solo and can't get Workman's comp on myself. I called my ins. agent and he said that he could write a ghost policy that didn't cover anyone for about $950. per year. That seems kinda stupid to me but I may have to do it to get the job. I have everything that I need for this job except my pesticide license and I'm getting that In Feb. I'm going to turn in the proposal with everything but the Workman's comp and tell them if I have to have it I will get it. Do any of you solos have this problem and do you carry insurance that will not cover you?
  2. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    Do you plan to expand in the future? Might not be so bad to go ahead and just get it.
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    They will understand you do not need workers comp because you have no employees.
    Usually they are more concerned with your business liability coverage.

    What they are worried about is all these illegal businesses out here and hiring one that has a worker get hurt on their property. By asking for workers comp they can weed some of this out and also ID the solo operations. If it's a large detailed job they may even be wanting to ID the solos to avoid hiring a single man that they think can't handle the job. They have probably had issues with one or the other before...


    I found out about the dirty little secret about GHOST POLICIES not too long ago.

    Here is what you do about that. Call the agent back and ask him what documents you will have to provide for this GHOST POLICY. Then ask if the certificate of insurance will be from his office and if he will be providing his contact info for verification of coverage. If he says yes, he's providing you a fake certificate and verifing it as in-force if they check up on it and pocketing the $950 for the risk he's taking. Pull all your insurance from him and find a new, honest agent that's not helping your illegal competition appear legal so they can compete with and lowball you.


    If the agent says you will have to wait for the stuff to arrive in the mail from the insurance company, then thank him for his time and info, and tell him you will be in touch if for some stupid reason they do require you to have it as a solo.
  4. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 566

    Our workmans comp allows solo owners to purchase .... I cant remember what they are called, Optional Owners Policy or something. Its the same policy but I get it cause you cant work HOA here without it. Its called optional since unlike our employees, we are not required by law to be covered by it.

    Ive always been to scared to risk it but what WOULD happen if someone had an employee under the table who broke his leg on the job. I guess it depends on whether or not they "drop a dime".

    edit. I agree though, why the hell does the HOA care that if I have no personal optional disability? So I lose money if I get hurt and have to hire someone, I dont see what thier risk is. Like you say, thier concern shouldnt go beyond Liability.
  5. Harleyboy52

    Harleyboy52 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    I will ask him about the policy and see what he says. I'm sure I can handle this job solo. I figure it will take me about 1 day a week from April till Sept and then 2 days a month for the other 6 months. They require 39 cuts (26 actual cuts in the summer and 13 visits in the winter). The trees (about 20, 10' tall) trimmed 2 times a year, hedges (800') trimmed 2 times a year, mulch 2 times probably 50 bags, but I'll buy in bulk, color (flowers, my choice) bed about 10X20 2 times a year, soil sample 2 times (free to me) if it needs fert then that's a new contract. Also there is a containment pond that will need to be trimmed about 13 times. It's about 250' long and 60' wide. I figure I can weed eat it in about 3 hours solo, maybe use a 21" to push some of it. This is probably going to be about $18,000 a year. There is probably about 1 and a half acres of land cut up into islands that will have to be mowed. About half of it can be mowed with my Exmark 60".
  6. pjslawncare/landscap

    pjslawncare/landscap LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,410

    Before I had wc I had to contact my state workforce commision and obtain a "certificate of exemption" as a solo operator. Cost $25. Now my wc covers me, but I have 5 or 6 guys working in season. Just me now
  7. DuallyVette

    DuallyVette LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,957

    Some states have laws that don't make sense to me. I have wc. Only two employees and me. ( I can opt out if I choose ) If a single LCO gets hurt on your property , I guess he could sue the property owner. The idea of having wc insurance protects the LCO from his employees and the customer is protected from the workers. So If a state won't let a owner have wc. The owner can't do any of the labor. ????????
  8. For what it is worth have you joined any associations
    me I am a member of a home builders association
    my w\c is included in my membership that is to say I only pay for what hours I turn in as worked check and see if you can join looking at my dues letter 250. a year membership
    w\c based on logged man hours per month I only log man hours for those jobs that require it.
    just my opinion it is a whole lot cheaper than buying a policy ghost or not per year ghost was 900.-1000.
    standard w\c policy requires at least 5000.00 deposit\bond to start 02
    also if you list yourself as an employee\owner you can get workers comp need at least a dba setup though
  9. Harleyboy52

    Harleyboy52 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    Thanks J&C, I'll try Homebuilders and see what they say. Where do you live? I have some great friends in all the counties that you work in, especially Clayton and Smithville.
  10. I'm about 18 miles from Smithfield near the little area of dobbersville west of mt. olive.
    hope the info helps you it saved me right much money which is something everyone needs to do when in bis. for yourself
    the liability is the only thing that I couldn't get a discount on.
    I got a separate policy through my ins. agent for that.
    you all have a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year

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