I risked not having lawn care business insurance and lost.

We often talk, on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, about the importance of having insurance for your lawn care business. As with all kinds of insurance, everything is fine without it, until you have an accident and need it. Then after your accident, you kick yourself for not previously buying it. Here is a great example of how quickly things can go wrong when you are out there mowing lawns and are uninsured.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I was out weed wacking in a customer’s backyard when it picked up a rock and flung it into a dual pane glass window.

The homeowner informed me that the estimate cost to fix it will be $350. I don’t have that kind of money laying around. I am not licensed, nor am I insured, and it was an accident. The home owner told me he doesn’t have insurance either and that I have to pay for this out of pocket.

Am I at fault? What if I were to get hurt on the customers property, wouldn’t they be at fault? Also shouldn’t the lawn care customers be more alert about hiring unlicensed yard cleaners?

I am just not sure how to handle this situation. I offered the customers free yard clean up until it’s paid off, but so far they said they are going to have to get back with me on that. I am starting to get worried.”

A second lawn care business owner responded “To answer your main question, yes you are at fault.

This is a lesson for the both of you unfortunately. If you were hurt on their property without workman’s comp insurance then they could probably be held liable for any injuries on their property. This would not cover damage to the property, that’s what liability insurance is for. However the damage you caused may not be high enough to meet your deductible so you would be left paying the whole amount any way.

I don’t know what your work schedule is like but if I were you and I couldn’t afford to pay to repair for the glass, I would get a job fast. Either delivering the newspaper or pizzas, to pay for the window you broke and be happy that was all the damage that happened.

If the customer had been more alert you would have no work. Sorry this happened, but it may make you take a closer look at your business as a whole to reduce the amount of exposure you have in the future.

What is the reason behind not being licensed and insured? That really is something you need to have because you never know when an accident will happen. It is relatively cheap to have the insurance. Being licensed and insured opens up your business to so much more work also. When you can tell a potential customer that your licensed & insured it gives you credibility. Furthermore, I don’t a single commercial customer would ever hire you without you being able to provide proof of insurance.

My insurance deductible is $500.00. I guess the thing to learn is what if someone were inside the house or even outside and the rock hit them. For the price of lawn care business insurance, the risk simply isn’t worth it. Another thing you really need to investigate further is if your current auto insurer would still cover you if you were using your personal truck for commercial purposes and got into an accident.

I learned early on that if my personal auto insurer were to discover I was using a personal vehicle for commercial purpose(s) and I had gotten into an accident, they would drop me like a hot potato.

This also brings up another very important point of having an emergency fund. In my case, if it were me who had broken that window, the glass would have been replaced the same day and paid for out of my emergency fund. The thing you have to keep in mind is that people talk to neighbours, friends, and their social network. Such a negative story can have a very bad effect on our name. Even in a big city, it’s a small world and with the Internet, a tremendous amount of damage can be done to our name if the client is upset.

If you are concerned that having to pay for insurance will increase your overhead costs, you need to get over it because it will. Having insurance not only protects you and your customer but it is also a great sales tool. Competition is very tough and sometimes we have to educate our clients why we may cost a little more than others. We all know it costs us a lot to do everything by the books and those costs are reflected in our quotes.

Sometimes we have to put ourselves in the clients shoes. Would we hire an electrician, plumber, roofer etc. to work on our property knowing they are not licensed or insured? Some may, however most will not. Our business is not much different. Insurance protects us from the what if’s? Even in the mowing business, a lot of things can happen.

Do an internet search on lawn mower accidents and you will see there were over 180,000 accidents in the USA last year alone. I suspect most are by the homeowner that may not know quite as much as we do but the point is accidents happen no matter what industry we are in and we should be covering our butts.”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Check out the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum for great prices on new and used lawn care equipment:

Chain Saw

Dethatcher

Garden Tools

Hedge Trimmer

Lawn Aerator

Leaf Blower

Leaf Vacuum

Mower Blades

Mower Ride On

Mower Walk Behind

Multi Attachment Trimmers

Pole Saw

Pressure Washer

Salt Sand Spreader

Shop Tools

Snow Blower

Snow Plow

Stick Edger

String Trimmer

Stump Grinder

Sulky

Tractor Attachment

Trailers

Trailer Landscape Racks

Trencher
Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
How To Get Lawn Care Customers Vol. 2
The landscaping and lawn care business plan startup guide
A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
Stop Lowballing! A Lawn Care Business Owner\'s Guide To Success