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16 most common questions answered


General Business Discussions

A place to talk about general business discussions.
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Old 10-13-2003, 05:47 PM
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How often have you had questions about business insurance but just didnít get around to asking your agent. Itís possible you are just starting out and donít have insurance yet. As we have found through our investigation on this topic, no one knows better what your insurance needs are than your local insurance agent. Each companyís needs are as unique as the services they provide. Each state will also have different insurance requirements of you.
Since these questions come up quite often, we decided to compile a list of the most common insurance questions asked by owners of LCOs (Lawn Care Operations) and found a friendly insurance agent, James E. Brown of Kiely Hines & Associates located in Louisville, KY to give us answers.

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1. Q: How does an LCO determine which liability policy should be purchased? What percentage of LCO's have the following coverage? $500,000.00, $1,000,000.00 or $2,000,000.00

Answer: Most all carry $2,000,000 the difference in premium is minimal between 1 & 2 million worth of coverage.

2. Q: What is a reasonable rate for a $500,000.00 / $1,000,000 / $2,000,000 liability insurance policy?

Answer: Rates are based either on number of employees or sales. For an operation with 4 employees an approximate premium would be $2500.

3. Q: How much more on average is a $10 million or $20 million dollar liability policy, what percentage of LCO's have this coverage?

Answer: Most lawn care companies donít carry these high limits.

4. Q: What is the average LCO deductible for liability and theft?

Answer: I recommend carrying deductibles of $1,000

5. Q: How does a LCO's business size effect their liability insurance needs?

Answer: The larger the company the better ability we as insurance agents have to market them and get credits for their insurance.

6. Q: Is it a good idea to get your business liability insurance through your homeownerís insurance carrier. Why or why not?

Answer: No, it is better to have your liability insurance separate from your homeowners due to the limits on your homeowners.

7. Q: Does snowplowing effect your insurance needs if so how?

Answer: Yes it will increase rates 8-10%.

8. Q: Does applying pesticide effect your insurance needs if so how? Does using "restricted use pesticides" increase my premiums?

Answer: Yes it increases premiums slightly however if you get into tree spraying it greatly restricts the markets.

9. Q: Does installing sidewalks, ponds or pools effect your insurance needs if so how?

Answer: It only affects rates if you install swimming pools.

10. Q: Does using an ATV in your business effect your insurance needs if so how?

Answer: Not really

11. Q: Does hanging holiday lighting effect your insurance needs if so how?

Answer: No

12. Q: If damage to a customer's property occurs, at what dollar amount is it worth it to file a claim on the damage? How will this effect future rates?

Answer: $1,000. Insurance companies worry about the frequency of claims.

13. Q: If a piece of your equipment is stolen at what dollar amount is it worth it to file a claim on the replacement cost? How will this effect future rates?

Answer: $1,000.

14. Q: Is it advisable if you provide aeration services to have customers sign a liability waiver for buried / non-visible items that might be damaged?

Answer: It helps but most of the times you will still be found responsible for damages.

15. Q: What are the liability pitfalls of using a personal truck to perform commercial duties?

Answer: Your personal insurance can deny any claims if you are in the course of your employment. Also a personal umbrella does not cover business liability.

16. Q: What are the biggest mistakes the average LCO makes when it comes to insurance?

Answer: Not talking an agent and telling the agent what they are doing so, the agent can make sure there are no gaps in coverage.



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What are some insurance issues that you have experienced? Are there questions you have about insurance that we didn't cover?
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Reprint permission granted in part or whole when the following credit appears: "Reprinted with permission from www.gophersoftware.com (©2003 Ditech 888-606-5150)."
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