Sometimes it seems you can’t win one way or another. That’s what this one lawn care business owner was thinking when he brought up the topic of lawn care business insurance. He wrote us on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and was concerned if he should advertise that he is insured or would that simply be like rolling out the welcome mat to invite lawsuits? Let’s look into this further and see what others thought on the topic.
He wrote “do you advertise that you are legit and carry insurance? Do people ever question that your company is?
We all know that some are and some are not legit. The question that I always think about is does that scare away people if you say you are because it might be showing you have accidents and need insurance for it, or does that help you? I have lawn care business insurance and a business license and it’s very affordable, but when I advertise I, always feel concerned about if I should add that in my lawn care marketing.
My concern is, the more people who know you are insured, the more may be ready to sue you or come up with some crazy story that you broke their window or did damage to there roof or gutters or whatever to get something for free. Is this a valid concern or am I just a little to anxious over it?”
A second lawn care business owner shared “Yes I advertise LICENSED & INSURED and I have had many lawn care customers ask about it. It is an excellent closing tool as well, when you can say you carry 2 million in insurance.
Most all of the gated communities we service do ask for proof of insurance. Residential homeowner maybe ask 25% of the time and commercial lawn care customers all ask for documentation.
I have never had a claim nor have I had a client state that we broke something, however I sleep well at night and during the day when I have staff at several sites. It is simply something I don’t have to worry about.
We do everything by the book. I even refuse to do cash jobs under the table. Aside from audit issues that may arise, you never know who the prospect works for. It’s just a headache I don’t want.
I think if those lawn care business owners that operate without a license and lawn care business insurance really thought about what could happen if something went wrong, they would probably all go legit.
Last year I was at a conference talking with a bunch of guys from the lawn care industry and the topic came up on the things they ran over while mowing. It was something to take part in. I think the one story that really stood out was a fellow mowing very tall grass and hit a golf ball that launched and went through the windshield of a car. It’s scary but if you consider the gear we all run it will launch whatever we run over.
Then beyond the business liability insurance, we also have to have commercial vehicle insurance. I have been pulling trailers for almost 30 years and consider myself well experienced, yet I had a few heart pounding moments last year. One was when I was on the highway last fall pulling a 16 foot landscape trailer with a tractor and my lawn vac on it, when a gust of wind came out of no where. Even though I am running 6 ply tires, a weight distribution system, and sway bars, the trailer started to sway like crazy. Without thinking I reached down and locked up the trailer brakes, but in those few seconds it was enough to snap the sway bar right out of the plate and I was only going around 50 mph.
Another time I was pulling my 3 ton excavator and took an exit ramp off a four lane highway. There was a serious accident ahead in my blind spot off the ramp. I might have been going 25 to 30 mph at the time and as soon as I saw the police standing in the middle of the road and a car upside down, I locked everything up, however there was no way I could get stopped in time and had to go between a concrete median and the car that was upside down. I cleared it by less than a foot. It was wild as there were 4 police cars present, yet not one was on the highway slowing traffic taking this exit! So I stopped and had quite a discussion with the police and they quickly moved one of their cars to the highway.
The point I am trying to make here is at any given time stuff can happen. Minimally, it would be quite an embarrassment to get a stop work order while on a clients’ property because you were not licensed/insured but worse yet what if something did happen without insurance to protect you?
So get licensed and insured and don’t be afraid to advertise it. It is one more thing you can do to help you stand out from those fly by night operations and help you charge more for a professional service performed by a licensed and insured professional.”
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