Winter is here and snow is coming! Do you plan on making extra money plowing? (Updated 1/20/2022)
Don’t let an uncovered snow plowing claim plow over your business!
Snow is in the forecast for this winter. Do you plan to plow?
If you are doing snow plowing you need to contact your insurance agent. Plowing with your vehicle can be problematic for your auto insurance, general liability insurance, and workers compensation insurance. You need to make sure that these policies are structured to cover the snow plowing exposure.
Many general liability insurance policies have a snow plowing exclusion, unless the policy is rated with snow plowing.
It is not just a matter that you may owe money at audit, you may not be covered.
What if you do not tell your agent that you are plowing snow?
Let’s go over a scenario that could cost you or your business tens of thousands of dollars.
Scenario: You snow plow a parking lot and leave the property. After you leave, someone falls on some ice on the parking lot. That person then gets an attorney and files a lawsuit against you for $50,000 for injuries and pain and suffering. if you are not rated for snow plowing there is no insurance coverage for this claim and therefore, no defense coverage to defend the claim.
This means that even if you did nothing wrong, you will have to hire and pay for your own attorney to defend you in the lawsuit. Defense costs alone, can add up to thousands of dollars pretty quickly. This could be a huge cost to your business.
What can you do to make sure your business does not get plowed over with an uncovered claim?
Fixing the problem is pretty simple.
Call your insurance agent and let them know that you are snow plowing.
They will need to know where you are doing the snow plowing, such as driveways, parking lots or public roads.
They will then make sure that you have the snow plowing exposure rated on your policies. That way, when you are pushing that snow, you can be assured that you are covered.
How is snow plowing rated on your insurance?
Your insurance company will either use your snow plowing receipts (income) ore the payroll associated with the snow plowing operation to determine your insurance premiums.
For the past few years, mother nature has taken it easy on our area. Therefore, snow plowing receipts have been minimal. So the exposure for payroll or receipts for the snow plowing on the policy might be if any or a minimal amount. Keep this in mind.
BUT, if mother nature decided to dump a lot of snow on us this year, this could result in those plowing receipts increasing by a lot. If this happens, you could have a large audit at the end of the policy term. So please keep this in mind as the season progresses and make sure that you are budgeting for the increased audit as you are getting this money now.
On the auto insurance, there is additional equipment for plows that needs to be added to the policy. Make sure that the equipment is calculated in the cost of the vehicle. If you have an accident while snow plowing, it may be an issue with underwriting if the vehicle is on a personal auto rather than a commercial auto policy.
Give Huff Insurance a call today at 410-647-1111. We want to be sure that you are properly covered for plowing before there is a claim.