Business Insurance is designed to protect a business owner's financial assets and is an essential investment for a snow plow business.
This article will cover the main insurance coverage for snow plow businesses, general liability insurance, and suggest other policies that are suitable for this business.
Recommended: Use our dedicated small business insurance provider, Next Insurance, to get a quote now!
General Liability Insurance For Snow Plows
All businesses, regardless of industry, face risks that should be covered by insurance. The most common and comprehensive type of policy business owners invest in is general liability insurance.
Some of the risks general liability insurance covers are:
- Bodily injury
- Property damage
- Medical payments
- Legal defense and judgment
- Personal and advertising injury
While businesses aren’t legally required to carry general liability insurance, operating without it is extremely risky. If your business is sued, you could end up facing fees totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more). Having a sufficient general liability insurance policy in place to help compensate for these damages is the only way to prevent this type of event from devastating your business.
Check out our review of the Best Small Insurance Companies.
Common Situations That General Liability Insurance May Cover For A Snow Plow
Example 1: After one of your salespeople criticizes a competitor in order to drive new business, your rival files a defamation lawsuit. General liability insurance would cover your legal fees and any damages awarded in a settlement.
Example 2: While climbing on snow removal equipment you store in a commercial customer’s parking lot, a child slips and injures themself in the resulting fall. General liability insurance typically covers such “common nuisance” situations and would pay for the child’s medical bills.
Example 3: While delivering a new plow to your garage, the delivery driver slips on the wet floor and sustains a concussion among other injuries. General liability insurance would cover the driver’s medical bills and your legal fees in the event of a lawsuit.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of perils a general liability insurance policy will cover, and some conditions may result in a particular peril not being covered. It’s always best to talk to your agent in-depth about the specifics of your policy to avoid blind spots in coverage.
Learn more about the risks covered by general liability insurance.
Cost Of General Liability Insurance
The average snow plow in America spends between $450 - $1,000 per year for $1 million in general liability coverage.
Check out the chart below for a snapshot of average general liability insurance expenditure across a variety of industries:
Several factors will determine the price of your policy. These include your:
- Number of employees
- Per-occurrence limit
- General aggregate limit
You may be able to acquire general liability insurance at a discounted rate by purchasing it as part of a business owner’s policy (BOP) rather than as a standalone policy. A BOP is a more comprehensive solution that includes multiple forms of coverage, such as business interruption and property insurance.
Other Types Of Coverage Snow Plows Need
While general liability is the most important type of insurance to have, there are several other forms of coverage you should be aware of. Below are some other types of insurance all snow-plows should obtain:
Commercial Auto Insurance
Any vehicle you use primarily for business requires commercial auto insurance to protect the vehicles, drivers and others on the road in the event of an accident. Be sure to select a policy that covers not only accident-related vehicle repair costs and medical treatment for anyone injured, but also sufficient protection for plows, salters, and your other specialized equipment.
Commercial Umbrella Insurance
While your general liability insurance policy covers most claims, some accidents or lawsuits may be so catastrophic that they threaten to exhaust the limits of your primary coverage. Commercial umbrella insurance protects you from paying out-of-pocket for any legal fees and awarded damages that exceed your primary policy. This coverage is highly recommended because your business faces an increased accident risk as employees regularly drive in winter storms and poor road conditions.
Types Of Coverage Some Snow Plows May Need
In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your snow plow business may require depending on certain aspects of your operations. Some of these might not apply to you, so be sure to ask your agent which policies are right for your business.
Commercial Property Insurance
If you own the building in which you operate and store your snow removal equipment, you’re responsible for all business-related property housed there in the event of a fire, burglary, or natural disaster. Commercial property insurance would cover the cost of replacing your equipment and other business property after an accident so you can recover quickly.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Most states require businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their part-time and full-time employees. This coverage protects your employees if they become injured at work or fall ill after a work-related accident. It not only covers an employee’s medical bills and lost wages if they need time to recover but also any disability benefits stemming from a work-related accident.
Product Liability Insurance
While snow removal businesses mainly offer services, you may want to purchase product liability insurance in case the salt you use accidentally harms an animal. If someone’s pet becomes ill or dies after eating salt from a driveway you treated, this insurance would cover your legal fees in the event of a lawsuit.
Additional Steps To Protect Your Business
Although it’s easy (and essential) to invest in business insurance, it should not be your frontline defense. Yes, insurance will compensate for your business’ financial losses after an incident occurs, but it’s much better to avoid losses altogether.
With this in mind, here are several things you can do to better protect your business:
- Use legally robust contracts and other business documents. (We offer free templates for some of the most common legal forms.)
- Set up a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation to protect your personal assets. (Visit our step-by-step guides to learn how to form an LLC or corporation in your state.)
- Stay up to date with business licensing.
- Streamline your business’ internal processes. This will remove unnecessary variables from common tasks and create a safe, consistent environment for conducting business.
- If your business is an LLC, look into LLC Insurance.
Steps After Getting Business Insurance
Depending on where you are in your business building process, here are some other actions you may need to take before getting started:
- If you’re just starting, finding the best name for your business is a great first step. Check out TRUiC’s Business Name Generator.
- After finding the perfect name, get a logo with our Logo Generator.
- Every business needs a website. Using a website builder like the GoDaddy Website Builder or Wix makes building a website simple and fast! Check out our review of the Best Website Builder.
Business Insurance is the Best Way to Protect Your Business
If you're starting a new business, then you need business insurance. It's as simple as that. The protection offered by an LLC will protect your personal assets, but your business's assets are still open to liability in the case of a lawsuit or other loss.
Be sure that everything you've built is safe by getting business insurance.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is included in a business owner’s policy?
A typical business owner’s policy includes general liability, business interruption, and commercial property insurance. However, BOPs are often customizable, so your agent may recommend adding professional liability, commercial auto, or other types of coverage to your package depending on your company’s needs.
What is the difference between business insurance and general liability insurance?
"Business insurance" is a generic term used to describe many different types of coverage a business may need. General liability insurance, on the other hand, is a specific type of coverage that business owners need to protect their assets.
Do I need insurance before I start a business?
You should invest in insurance coverage for your business before your first interaction with a customer. Although the cost of insurance may seem high for a brand new business, it’s best to be proactive when it comes to protecting your assets. After all, you can’t buy insurance to cover a loss that has already occurred.
Will insurance protect my business from everything?
Not necessarily. Certain exceptions may be written directly into your policy, and some perils may be entirely uninsurable. Be sure to discuss the scope of your policy in-depth with your agent to avoid being blindsided by holes in your coverage.