Do you run a snow plowing business? Do you offer the service part-time—throughout the winter months—as part of your business? If you own a snow plow and offer plowing services it’s important to have snow removal insurance in place. Why? A personal auto insurance policy typically does not include for-profit snow removal. It leaves you completely liable if you damage someone's property or worse—accidentally hurt someone while plowing.
If you're operating a snow plowing business, you should purchase a commercial insurance policy. The right combination of commercial insurance (such as general liability and commercial auto) is one way you can protect your company. The right insurance policies may be the difference between operating a successful business long-term—or losing it entirely. You need to make sure you're covered if an accident happens. Let us help.
The Insurance Coverage a Snow Plow Removal Business Needs
What insurance coverage should be included in a snow removal insurance package? Here are the top policies we recommend:
General Liability Insurance
General liability protects your business from accusations of third-party bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury.
Example #1: Let's say someone hires you to remove the snow from their driveway and throw down salt to manage the snow and ice. If you forget to lay down the salt and your client slips and injures themselves, you could be liable for their medical costs. Even worse—they could sue you. General liability insurance policies are designed to make sure you're covered in these circumstances.
Example #2: The visibility is low because it's still snowing, but you have to start plowing the parking lot you've been hired to clear. Unfortunately, you miscalculate the edge of the parking lot and damage some of the store's signage. While the property damage was unintended, you're held liable for the damage. General liability coverage may step in to repair or replace the damaged property.
Commercial Auto Insurance
There are two aspects to consider:
- Coverage for damage to the snowplow equipment
- Liability associated with damage caused by performing the snow plowing
Commercial auto insurance should provide coverage for:
- Liability Coverage: If you are found personally liable for property damage or bodily injury, this portion of the coverage will protect your business.
- Third-party bodily injury & property damage: If your snow plow is involved in an accident, this will cover medical expenses, loss of income, and funeral expenses if necessary. It also covers the damage to their car.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This coverage will pay for medical expenses and lost wages for you if you're injured in an accident. PIP comes into play whether or not you are at fault.
- Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive covers repairs to or replacement of your vehicle if it is damaged.
- Collision coverage: Collision insurance will cover the damage to your snow plow if you are at fault for the damage.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage: If someone crashes into your truck and are uninsured or underinsured, you're guaranteed coverage.
- Hired and non-hired auto: If you have a snow removal business and you hire employees that remove snow with their own vehicles, you need this coverage. The liability from your policy extends to the operations for people that you hire to plow for your business.
Example: While you're plowing a street, you lose visibility momentarily when a large snowdrift obstructs your view. As you pass it, you slam on your brakes—but it's too late. You slide into a car pulling out of their driveway. Your commercial auto policy will provide coverage for both claims.
Make sure your auto policy will include plowing equipment when it's attached to your truck. If it's an exclusion from your policy, you may need to obtain inland marine insurance to cover the gap.
Trucks and plow equipment don’t come cheap should you need to replace them. Make sure you have coverage in place in case you damage your truck or there is physical damage to your plow equipment.
Business Owners Policy
Ask your agent whether a business owners policy may be a good fit for your snow plow company. A business owners policy will often include general liability insurance, business interruption insurance, and other various coverage options for your business—including property insurance. An insurance company will often offer this as a more affordable option than purchasing one policy at a time. Make sure your insurance agent can get you a quote for bundled policies.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
This is another insurance policy you need to consider as part of your business insurance package. If you hire employees to help you remove snow during the winter season, you'll be required to acquire workers' compensation insurance as part of your business insurance package. Workers' compensation requirements vary from state to state, so make sure you work with a professional to determine if you need the coverage. We recommend it to cover your employees if they are injured or become ill while at work.
How Much Does Snow Plow Insurance Cost?
An insurance company determines the cost of snow plow insurance depending on numerous factors, some including:
- Driving history
- Claims history
- Your location
- The coverage you need
- Type of vehicles you use
- Years of experience
- Types of areas plowed
The average price of a standard $1 million/$ million general liability insurance policy for small snow plow businesses can be anywhere from $117 to a whopping $1,249 per month. Costs are more affordable for small businesses whose revenue from snow removal services is less than 40% of their annual revenue. For example, some professional landscapers offer snow removal during the winter months.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Accidents
A snow plow business needs to mitigate their risks in order to protect their business—and to get a more affordable insurance policy. Here are a few things you can do to lessen the risk of an accident:
- Use your hazards/flashing lights while driving.
- Drive safely and slowly. Plows carry additional weight, which can slow the response time of your brakes.
- Make sure your windshield and mirrors are free of snow and ice.
- Operate the snow plow when you have adequate visibility. It doesn't help anyone if you're in the ditch!
While these aren't guaranteed to protect you from an accident, an insurance company will look favorably on a safe driving history.
Get a Free Quote for Your Snow Plowing Business
Let us help you get the protection that your business needs. Our goal at CommercialInsurance.Net is to get you an affordable commercial insurance quote. Complete the form at the top of the page and we will provide you with a quote. Or, call us at 877-907-5267 and one of our agents will help you get the type of policies you need to protect your snow plowing business.
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