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View Full Version : where to get insurance from and how much


j.a.lawnervces
02-24-2012, 04:44 PM
i am a one man operation and am looking at getting insurance.
i have a 2010 doge ram
bad boy 60 inch
echo hand equitment.
as of rate now it is just me,
I would like to know what's the right kind of insurance and how much i need to get, and some of the insurance company's you use.
i am not a LLC i will be getting my dba and business lic here this week.
any help would greatly appreciate it
I live and work in TN near Fort Cambell KY

dpld
02-24-2012, 04:58 PM
i am a one man operation and am looking at getting insurance.
i have a 2010 doge ram
bad boy 60 inch
echo hand equitment.
as of rate now it is just me,
I would like to know what's the right kind of insurance and how much i need to get, and some of the insurance company's you use.
i am not a LLC i will be getting my dba and business lic here this week.
any help would greatly appreciate it
I live and work in TN near Fort Cambell KY

commerical auto and general liabillity is all you need.
you can get workers comp for yourself but for some odd reason it cost more to insure the owner then the employee, go figure.

in my state workers comp is only required by law if you hire people.

j.a.lawnervces
02-24-2012, 05:18 PM
ok what company do you use for insurance?

HAMPTON ROADS LAWN CARE
02-24-2012, 05:35 PM
A few questions for you???


Why are you starting as a DBA?? Im sure it is not that expensive to start as a LLC or Corp in your state just go to your states corporation commission website and im sure you can do it on there. Here in VA it cost me $75 to register with the state and then you are covered and you can go on the irs website or call and get your EIN # for free (tax id).

Secondly for insurance I went through USAA which directed me to Hartford (I think) but I have $1m in general liability and I just added a commercial rider to my car insurance that I have through them because for commercial insurance they wanted almost $400 a month and so they asked do you have employees and I said no so thats when they recommended me do that to save a ton and so my policy with the $1m and $6k for my equipment and the commercial rider to my car insurance was almost $300 down and then 3 more payments of $246 so a total for the year is just over $1k

Hope this helps!!!!


Also i have a 2009 GMC Dually and all brand-new everything and all echo so thats where I have come up with the 6K figure for the property insurance!

j.a.lawnervces
02-24-2012, 05:58 PM
well here in tn the mininum is $300 to start a llc..To get a business lic for county and city is $30 for both with being a S.P they do not reserve your business name only for a llc or a corporation will they reserve your name. since i do not have he cash to pay for a llc rate now i was going to get 1mil for vehicle insurance and 12k for trailer and equit and 1mil in liability.

Hedgemaster
02-24-2012, 06:33 PM
Some things vary by state.

Here in PA, I do not need commercial insurance on my vehicle unless I have it registered/titled in my business name and/or I have any employees who will drive it.
My standard auto policy has remained in effect and unchanged - no rate increase for use in my business.
If I wish, I can get extra coverage to cover the trailer/equipment, as that isn't covered under the auto policy.


Liability insurance varies as well. Here in PA, the minimum required coverage is $500,000. Most people get 1 million since the cost is literally only a few dollars more.

Get out your phone book and make some calls. Explain what you are looking for and see what they have to say. Some companies are more familiar than others when it comes to insuring landscapers. When I called around, some simply gave me a price, while others asked me very specific questions about my business. They asked because they wanted to be sure they were offering the coverage I NEEDED and not covering me for things that I wasn't doing - like felling trees.

I ended up using the Erie agent that we have our homeowner's insurance with. The price was about $50 more than my lowest quote, but the low quote was from some place I've never heard of and they also asked no questions - just gave me a quote. In talking to my agent, I realized that she has years of experience dealing with lawn care operators. I felt comfortable with what she was offering.

I think I pay $450/year for 1 million business liability.

HAMPTON ROADS LAWN CARE
02-24-2012, 06:35 PM
well here in tn the mininum is $300 to start a llc..To get a business lic for county and city is $30 for both with being a S.P they do not reserve your business name only for a llc or a corporation will they reserve your name. since i do not have he cash to pay for a llc rate now i was going to get 1mil for vehicle insurance and 12k for trailer and equit and 1mil in liability.


Look @ doing an S-Corp thats the way to go not a LLC imo........and yeah see if your insurance company will allow you to use it for commercial use and personal (if need be) because commercial auto seems to be wayyyyy 2 expensive so thats why i say talk to them and see if they will cover you commercially with your existing policy.

The equipment coverage is optional but needed just in case some clown wants to steal your trailer and gear! But yeah thats why you go corp or llc to get your name because if not you could have a competitor go and file with the state and you are S.O.L. then you will need to change your name.

But anyway good luck this will be my first season as well but I have started and ran a few other successful businesses so all of this has been like second nature for me just ready to get started!!!

dpld
02-24-2012, 06:50 PM
Look @ doing an S-Corp thats the way to go not a LLC imo........and yeah see if your insurance company will allow you to use it for commercial use and personal (if need be) because commercial auto seems to be wayyyyy 2 expensive so thats why i say talk to them and see if they will cover you commercially with your existing policy.

The equipment coverage is optional but needed just in case some clown wants to steal your trailer and gear! But yeah thats why you go corp or llc to get your name because if not you could have a competitor go and file with the state and you are S.O.L. then you will need to change your name.

But anyway good luck this will be my first season as well but I have started and ran a few other successful businesses so all of this has been like second nature for me just ready to get started!!!

LLC is the way to go Screw the S-corp. ask any accountant and they will tell you the same thing for a small business.

Fireman Gus
02-24-2012, 07:08 PM
In Oklahoma the liability insurance for lawn business is very minimal. I had $100,000 for $300 with an Independent agent. Now we are with USAA, since my son is ex-military, and we have 1 Million liability for $900 per year. Includes theft, and accident.

HAMPTON ROADS LAWN CARE
02-25-2012, 12:47 PM
LLC is the way to go Screw the S-corp. ask any accountant and they will tell you the same thing for a small business.

Thats funny that you say this but this is my 3rd business I have started and all S-Corps. But the big problem with an LLC is that you have to pay tax on ALL of your profits. I would rather pay tax on my NET not my Gross.

And to answer your question is that my 3 different accountants and my 2 different lawyers I have had they all have suggested S-corp due to the taxation and the covering of my personal assets.

I know an LLC covers your personal assets as well but an S-Corp is a better deal for taxation.......IMO!!!!!

wandfsmall
02-25-2012, 01:03 PM
I know an LLC covers your personal assets as well but an S-Corp is a better deal for taxation.......IMO!!!!!

It all depends on what state your in. Different laws for different states.

j.a.lawnervces
02-25-2012, 07:29 PM
thanks guys for the info im looking onto llc and scorp if you wouldnt mind telling me some benefits of both and the bad

dpld
02-25-2012, 08:48 PM
Thats funny that you say this but this is my 3rd business I have started and all S-Corps. But the big problem with an LLC is that you have to pay tax on ALL of your profits. I would rather pay tax on my NET not my Gross.

And to answer your question is that my 3 different accountants and my 2 different lawyers I have had they all have suggested S-corp due to the taxation and the covering of my personal assets.

I know an LLC covers your personal assets as well but an S-Corp is a better deal for taxation.......IMO!!!!!

i have no issues with the llc on taxation and outside of the 15% self employment tax on all my income for me in my state it works out cheaper then the 35% tax on the profit as a s or c corp.
as a llc i can lose a lot of my profits by giving myself a higher salary which is also a cheaper rate then the corporate tax.

last year we did about 575,000 so for me the 15% tax was cheaper in the end then the corporate rate.
as well as the same protections of the s or c corp i have the benifits of a sole proprietor and i don't have to have as stringent of a paper trail as a s corp and c corp.

plus it all varies from state to state and you also have to take into consideration that being there is a few year window in determining the survivabillity of a new business and the guys here that are asking about which is the better route to take as a new business owner the llc would and will be the best route to take in the event that their business does not pan out and they need to disolve.

do you think a new guy starting out is going to be able to afford and keep up with all the accountant expenses as well as the paper work involved in a corporation?

what about profits? in my state being a llc i am entitled to divy up the profits any way i wish and the 15% self employment taxes that i pay also goes towards my own personal social security and medicare contributions.
if i were a s corp my contributions to ss and medicare would only come from the portion i am given in my salary and all other income would be exempt and i would get absolutely no benefit from.

llc also require far less paper work and legal documentation then a s corp as well as a s corp with its profits issues stocks and shares certificates as well as must appoint a board and must keep minutes of all meetings and procedural decisions.
llc also has no ownership restrictions where as a s corp are only allowed up to 100 share holders and non of them can be other corporations.
so if you have 3 other businesses they can not own a stake in each other.

in the end they both have their advantages but to give advice to a everyday just starting out john Q landscaper it would be foolish to start out right from the gate as a s corp when he has no clue or any guarantee how his business will thrive and with the llc he can have the benefits and saftey net of the corp but can still manage his finances and when he does his taxes at the end of the year he can still do it in the same manner as he does now as a individual.

if you were starting out your business today and were limited in finances and were not in a position to give yourself a salary how would you use some of the money to pay your personal bills?
as a llc you can dip into the money anyway you wish and even though it still has to be accounted for there are no real major consequences in doing so.
as a s corp or c corp you can not just dip into the till as you wish.

i would assume if you started 3 businesses and still have all 3 that you are making good money, right? i know i am making boat loads of money and thats good two. but we can not look at it from our point of veiw, you have to look at it from the point of veiw of who is asking which to me sounds like someone in the early stages of a business and may not be making money and if they just want to jump into the world of being a corporation for protection purposes they should do so that gives them the most options based on their financial situation.
you can always make the change if you find yourself making so much money and you are getting swamped with taxes because when it comes to incorporating it is easier to work your way up then down.

mark123
02-25-2012, 09:25 PM
Some things vary by state.

Here in PA, I do not need commercial insurance on my vehicle unless I have it registered/titled in my business name and/or I have any employees who will drive it.
My standard auto policy has remained in effect and unchanged - no rate increase for use in my business.
If I wish, I can get extra coverage to cover the trailer/equipment, as that isn't covered under the auto policy.


Liability insurance varies as well. Here in PA, the minimum required coverage is $500,000. Most people get 1 million since the cost is literally only a few dollars more.

Get out your phone book and make some calls. Explain what you are looking for and see what they have to say. Some companies are more familiar than others when it comes to insuring landscapers. When I called around, some simply gave me a price, while others asked me very specific questions about my business. They asked because they wanted to be sure they were offering the coverage I NEEDED and not covering me for things that I wasn't doing - like felling trees.

I ended up using the Erie agent that we have our homeowner's insurance with. The price was about $50 more than my lowest quote, but the low quote was from some place I've never heard of and they also asked no questions - just gave me a quote. In talking to my agent, I realized that she has years of experience dealing with lawn care operators. I felt comfortable with what she was offering.

I think I pay $450/year for 1 million business liability.

I also go through Erie. My insurance is a bit more because it also covers pesticide applications and I also opted for the commercial vehicle coverage.

yourscape
02-25-2012, 10:18 PM
It all depends on what state your in. Different laws for different states.

I live in Ohio we have to LLCís. We actually went to an Attorney to get then and costed us $375 each. When we were doing some research on just doing it our selfís for the extra $100 we decided the protection of have a lawyer knowing exactly what need to be in the paper work was the best bet. If you donít it right and end up in a legal mess you could lose the protection of the LLC. We actually were with our tax accountant today and he explained for taxes the LLC was the way to go. It makes it simpler and gives you the safety net and protection of protecting each business and our belongings.

I donít know much about the corp. choices but I do recall my attorney telling me unless I am planning on expanding out of state with either business that it is not necessary.

Hedgemaster
02-25-2012, 10:47 PM
My head was spinning when I was trying to figure out how to set up my business. Of course everyone wants to protect their assets and who wants to risk loosing their home, so an LLC or SCorp is the way to go, right?

After thinking about it a bit more and talking to an accountant, I decided to just start simple as a sole proprietor. Like the accountant said, "If you're just doing basic lawn care, what are the odds of doing something SO bad that you risk losing your home over?" Pretty slim, really especially considering most people already carry 1 million in liability coverage.

He also mentioned that it's a LOT simpler (and less costly) to change your mind later if you want to go from sole proprietorship and become an LLC/Scorp, than it is to go the other way around.

Just throwing it out there. I don't have any recommendations one way or the other.