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Why Your Snow and Ice Removal Company Needs to be Well Insured

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Even though it’s in the middle of the snow removal season, you still need to make sure you have enough insurance coverage for your snow and ice management company. How do you know if you have enough coverage? Or do you have too much?

At the very least, you should have invested in general liability insurance to protect yourself and your company in case of a lawsuit.

Please note: This article is intended for informational purposes only. If you have further questions or want to look at your insurance options, contact your insurance agent.

Type of Insurance

If you’re a landscaping company that goes white in the winter, you need extra insurance to cover the snow and ice management side of your business. The insurance for your lawn and landscape company won’t cover accidents, injuries and property damage caused by one of your snow pushers—whether it’s done by you, your employees or sub-contractors.

There are four main categories of insurance for you to consider:

  • Property
  • Life
  • Health
  • Liability

Your insurance premiums and deductibles will all depend on the following factors:

  • The size of your company
  • The amount of trucks on your fleet as well as other snow and ice removal equipment you own or lease
  • The number of properties you service in a season
  • The location of your snow removal company in the United States.

Finally, there are three main ways you can get sued when you provide snow and ice removal services:

  • Slip and fall accidents: Whether it’s your fault or not, if someone slips and falls on the parking lot you just plowed and salted you may be liable. It really comes down to whether the injured person sues your company or not for the accident happening in the first place. Thus, general liability coverage will help pay the injured party’s medical expenses, your lawyer and any court costs.
  • Property damage: If your truck bumps into a guard rail or hits a parking lot light, you’re are required to repair that damage. Property damage insurance protects you when it happens.
  • Auto accidents: Let’s face it, you’re in a high risk business. You work in the dark under snowy, icy and windy conditions. Your visibility is limited, and no matter how much your state governor told people to stay home, some still need to see what the roads are like. And because the weather conditions are terrible, you may hit a car. Even hitting a parked car requires commercial auto insurance.

For Home-based Snow Removal Companies

If you run your snow and ice management company from your home, your homeowner’s insurance won’t be able to cover you. Instead, you may want to add a rider to your homeowner’s insurance or invest in a home-based business policy.

One final note: You should have copies of your subcontractors’ certificate of insurance. Make sure their insurance and your insurance align. If you’re new to the snow pushing industry, make sure you talk to your insurance agent about how your subcontractors’ insurance policy should mesh with yours—including appropriate documentation.

You can learn more about snow and ice management insurance through the Accredited Snow Contractors Association and Snow and Ice Management Association.

Sources:
Insuron.com, “How Much Business Insurance for Snow Plowing Removal Companies?”
Peterson, Matthew, “Sub Standards,” Snow Magazine: August 12, 2012
SnowandIceManagementAssociation.com, “Insurance and Risk Management: Insured for Snow?”
Ibid, “Insurance is a Must for Snow and Ice.”

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