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Would you file a claim on liability over this?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DFW Area Landscaper, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    Guy called us out for a one time cut. Place was a mess. We charged a fair price to clean it up. But when were mowing the back lawn, the customer had one of those water hydrants that comes up out of the ground about a foot or so. Just a copper pipe sticking straight up out of the ground with a valve on the end, basically.

    So we hit it with the Ferris and it was leaking slow. Took the time to go to Home Depot, bought some plumbing parts and tried to fix it. Couldn't get it fixed. A plumber was across the street working on a neighbor's home. Showed the guy my problem and he fixed it for $92.00. With the parts I bought at Home Depot, I'm out about a $105 in repairs. The cut was $55.

    Hartford charges me 4.2% above payroll for liability insurance. They've got me lumped in with the chemical applicators because I have a 50 gallon spray rig. If no one else signs up for service and no one else cancels service, I anticipate my liability will cost me about $4K this year. I paid them $1560 last year.

    I've never filed a claim before. To be perfectly honest, this is the most damage we've caused mowing lawns in three years.

    Would you file a claim with Hartford?

    DFW Area Landscaper
  2. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,852

    No, i wouldn't make a claim over that, just eat the cost.
  3. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 963

    I agree......
  4. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 906

    Not worth the paperwork.
  5. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    Then why have the insurance? The odds of us ever causing real damage, the kind where you really need insurance, are pretty low.

    The insurance is there for the puposes of insuring that we don't lose money on a $55 cut if we cause damage, isn't it?

    To be perfectly honest, I wouldn't have insurance were not for the chemical business and the law requiring it. I dropped the worker's comp this spring. It's optional in Texas and at $20/cut the market dictates we don't pay this expense.

    I'd rather pay workers comp than liability, but I just don't think I can pay both with $20 cuts.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  6. wally world III

    wally world III LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    sweetie pie
    only $105.............
    you must be kidding ..........as real wuzzzzzzzzzzzz.........

    suck it up....................
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    The reason we have insurance is just FOR the times when we cause "real damage". You rates would probably outweigh the $105 you paid for this repair especially over time. You damage something that costs 4-5000 dollars, and you'll be glad you have it. THAT is a claim worth making. Many times, the deductible itself is more than the repair. THESE are definitely times to not make a claim. But like I said, you not only have to look at the deductible, but the possible long term rate increase as well.

  8. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    Liability doesn't have a deductible.

    I guess the question should be: Would Hartford raise the premium on a client over a $105 claim if the client has been with them for 14 months without a single claim?

    The most likely way we would ever cause damage in the thousands of dollars would be scratch a new paint job on a car. There is always the possibility of a rock injuring someone passing by, but I'd say the car scratch is the most likely.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  9. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,867

    there is absolutely...no...way.... that you file a claim for that, and i'm sure you're agent would probably get a laugh out of you filing for that amount. my insurance broker, who writes about a dozen policies for me and is also a golf buddy, gave me the best bit of advice ever:

    --Insurance should not be treated as warranty. Insurance is called "insurance" for a reason.--

    for the same reasons it makes sense to have your car and homeowner's policies at the highest deductible you can handle. you want to dissuade yourself from making claims, which is the easiest way to get dropped, and ultimately pay much more elsewhere.

    my insurance friend faces this issue all the time with older customers who still treat it like warranty. they actually will pay for small damages out of their office account as opposed to putting it through as a claim, which could ultimately result in a lost customer due to being dropped.
  10. Teiman

    Teiman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    If you file, You will pay double that amount in the first
    rate increase. Red flag. Don't even call. They even keep track
    of phone calls when underwriting your policy. Once I called about
    a claim (on my rental property policy) I decided not to file the claim
    but the company dropped me anyway because of the "potential for future claims"

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