If you have been thinking the interaction between you and your lawn care business insurance company ends, the minute you hang up the phone with them and send them their check, you had better think again. As we will see in this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, the internet has changed many things about this industry. While it has made it easier for potential customers to find you, it has also made it easier for your insurance company to see what you have been up to as well.
One lawn care business owner shared with us a story about his recent run in with his insurance company. He wrote “I had quite a conversation with my Insurance company today. It has now come to my attention that they visit their client’s websites to see what’s up and compare it to their coverage. Because of the policy I have, they told me I had to remove all references to deck construction or even yard furniture unless I added an insurance ryder. For the price they wanted and also based on the fact I never did have time to take on any deck construction jobs, I removed every reference.
I was very shocked and thank god I didn’t do any decks or outdoor furniture. If I left it on the website, the insurance ryder would have cost me an additional $1,567.00 a year even if I do not have a single sale for that service. They wanted it off the site and off any vehicle or trailer which is a major pain in the ass, as I now have to take 9 pieces of gear in to have the lettering removed. I will replace the space on the vehicles with tree removal and wood chipping as it is a major market on some equipment and pressure washing on other items. Basically not everything will be lettered the same.
In short they told me if I add any service at all, I have to let them know or I will not be covered so I had to list everything we do for them to review. Furthermore I have to meet with them at 9:30 tomorrow morning as I have to sign something stating that is all the services I will offer. What a freaking pain. Basically these insurance companies have you working in a box and it bugs me.
The rules seem to constantly be changing and it’s driving me nuts. I now have to go through scales when pulling any tractor over 2,500 pounds. I think that is stupid. My trailers are rated to 10,000 pounds and I never ever pull more than 7,400 lbs. so why do I have to stop every freakin day to and from, weigh me once and be done with it.
Also your tie down straps have to be certified and you can no longer use chains, not even truckers can. Everything has to be straps and you can only load 75% of their rated weight. Trying to keep up to date with all of these regulations makes me shake my head.
This seems to be the way the world is going. You would not believe what I pay for business insurance that includes 6 vehicles. It’s crazy but what can you do.
If I did built a deck and something happened, say they had twice as many people on it as they should, I would be sued. My insurance would not cover me and I would probably be out of business. They have been doing this for years now. They even check my financials now at year end to see where my revenue is coming from. My annual insurance rate is tied to my gross income. To combat this, many companies keep two or three sets of books. I would probably save thousands doing it that way but in my own case I have to much to lose so I do everything by the book.
I also recently had to add to my site that clients are not allowed to operate my equipment. But what the heck do you do? I can’t operate without insurance. The risk is just too high because of what we do.”