January 27th, 2009
by Chris Oakley | No Comments »
I wanted to post an article with some of the magazine publications I receive to stay current with the “Green Industry”:
- Lawn & Landscape magazine (lawnandlandscape.com)
- PRO – Business Success for Landscape Professionals (promagazine.com)
- Turf Magazine (turfmagazine.com)
All three of these offer some great information catered specifically to professionals in the landscape or lawn care industry. Be sure to check out these publications.
Also, please let me know if there are any other good publications that I did not mention.
The learning never stops!
January 23rd, 2009
by Drew Roberts, CPCU, ARM | No Comments »
In yesterday’s article, I discussed the National Equipment Register and the services they provide to equipment owners. When I reviewed their website, I came across the following Brochure with Tips for Preventing Equipment Theft. Please take the time to read this information and incorporate it into your employee handbooks and business procedures. These are great procedures to follow and can even lead to discounts on your Equipment Floater Insurance Policies.
One of the crucial points that they make in the brochure is to keep detailed records and manage your inventory. Here is an excerpt:
Keeping detailed records of your equipment, which can be made part of your fleet management
or accounting functions, dramatically increases the chance that a stolen unit may get recovered. If
you make it known that these records can be made readily available to law enforcement, this may
also deter theft.
- • Keep a detailed and accurate inventory of all equipment on a given worksite including
a record of equipment location assignments, the dates of delivery and anticipated
- • Record year, manufacturer, model number and PIN or serial number from actual
plates/decals. When describing a unit, use actual manufacturer model names; avoid
using generic terms such as “tractor” or “dozer”.
- • Register your equipment on a national database that works with law enforcement,
such as the National Equipment Register (NER). Ask for theft deterring decals to
show thieves that this has been done.
- • Use etching tools, die stamping or a steel punch to duplicate a unit’s Product
Identification Number (PIN) or other serial numbers in at least two places on the
equipment, one obvious, one hidden; record the location of these numbers. This will
help in the identification of your equipment and proof of ownership. Adding another
number unique to you (Owner Applied Number – OAN) will also help in proving
- • Take photos of all units from all four sides. Update photos as needed (when
attachments are added or removed). Photograph units on their transport trailers as
- • Customize the unit with unique paint colors, such as painting the roof a distinctive
color or painting the unit number in large characters. Note such modifications as well
as any decals, damage, company / owner applied numbers, etc… that are unique to
the unit when you record equipment details to aid identification and proof of
- • To aide in the identification of a unit in the even it is recovered after a theft, record any
and all numbers on the unit along with that number’s location. Be sure to include
January 22nd, 2009
by Drew Roberts, CPCU, ARM | 1 Comment »
National Equipment Register
Equipment theft is a large problem faced by landscaping businesses. In addition to purchasing an Equipment Floater Insurance Policy
, landscapers can combat this problem through the National Equipment Register. This organization allows businesses and individuals to report stolen pieces of equipment and they compile a database with that information. They also provide a HELPtech program
to pre-register and deter equipment thefts. For more information, please visit their website at www.nerusa.com
Equipment theft is also a growing problem in the United States. Reports to Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) show an increase of up to 20% in the value of equipment thefts every year since 1996 and show theft as the most common cause of loss for heavy equipment – over 50% of all causes of loss. Inland Marine theft losses alone reported to ISO in 2000 were over $127 million. Some national surveys have suggested that the total figure could be as much as $1 billion each year in losses and indirect costs, such as rentals, downtime, wasted management time and project overrun penalties. Perhaps the most worrying statistic for owners and insurers is that as little as 10 to 15% of stolen equipment is ever recovered. Make sure that your equipment is properly covered by an Equipment Floater Insurance Policy. You can quickly request a quote through the link at the top of this website.
January 21st, 2009
by Drew Roberts, CPCU, ARM | No Comments »
A couple of days ago, I read an article by Seth Godin
. Seth is a writer that publishes books on ‘permission marketing’ and other marketing strategies. Seth was founder and CEO of Yoyodyne, the industry’s leading interactive direct marketing company, which Yahoo! acquired in late 1998. Godin worked as VP Direct Marketing at Yahoo before leaving to become a full time speaker, writer and blogger. He holds an MBA from Stanford, and was called “the Ultimate Entrepreneur for the Information Age” by Business Week. I enjoy reading his blog which has great insights to marketing.
In the article I read recently, Seth discussed creating services that people either ‘love’ or find ‘annoying’. He says that your business should strive to create a service that people love to talk about and promote. He also talks about services that people find annoying and how they could strive to be less annoying. It is an interesting article and could apply to your landscaping business through developing mindset to find ways in which you could improve your service to gain market share. Read the article here.
January 19th, 2009
by Chris Oakley | 1 Comment »
In the previous article, I mentioned some postcards that we are sending out to landscapers across Florida. Below are images of the front and back side of these postcards (click on the images for the full-size view):
Front of Postcard
Back of Postcard
Our goal in these postcards is simply to make landscapers aware of our insurance programs and this website which provides loads or practical information specifically for landscaping businesses. We want to assist more landscapers across Florida with their insurance needs and these postcards are a nice way to spread the word about our services. Our branding partner, Matchstic, designed these postcards to let them know about the free services and information available on our website.
Once these business owners visit our website, we are certain that they will find this information helpful to understanding the insurance needs and concerns of their business operations. One of the most exciting features of this website is the online quote request form that makes it quick and easy for landscapers to share their business information with our agency so we can provide a fast turnaround time on their insurance quotes.
January 15th, 2009
by Chris Oakley | No Comments »
We are a couple of weeks into 2009 and I hope everybody had a great holiday. We have been working hard a few package policies where we have combined general liability, commercial auto, and equipment floaters into the same policy. These landscapers benefit from easy payment plans, few overlaps in coverage, and the ability to build a stronger relationship with one insurance carrier.
We are also putting together some postcards to send out to landscapers across the state of Florida. We want to run a little advertisement to spread the word about our specialized insurance service for the landscaping industry. If you know of any landscaping businesses that could benefit from our services, please refer them to us or contact us with their information. We are excited about our recent growth at BearWise Landscapers and we look forward to serving more landscapers across the state of Florida and as we grow into other states. 2009 will be a great year for us and we hope the same for your landscaping business as well.
As a reminder, remember that there are new workers compensation rates for 2009.