Irrigation and Green Industry
I read an article in a very old issue (July of 2005) of the Irrigation and Green Industry magazine
. The title, ‘Liability Insurance… Read the Fine Print’
, caught my eye on their website and the article had some great points. It discussed the costs of general liability insurance and things that had affected the rates. At the end of the article, the author discussed services that insurance agents should offer their clients and that landscapers should ask their insurance agent to provide for their business. Here are the eight services:
Help Reduce Payroll Rates: The larger your payroll, generally the larger are your payroll rates. But there are some guidelines and industry rules that are applied to payroll that most dont know about. You should check with your agent to make sure you dont overpay. For instance, there are different rates for those in the field and those in the office, for full- and part-time employees, and field workers can have lower rates if they also work part-time in sales, in the office, or come to the office for training.
Reduce Vehicle Rates: A lot of liability will fall on automobiles and trucks, says Cason. The more knowledge you have of how rates are determined, the more money you save. For example, where vehicles are garaged affects the rates. If they are parked overnight in a metropolitan area, the rates will be higher. However, if workers drive these vehicles to their homes in small surrounding towns, the rates can be considerably less.
Have Loss Control Service: Landscapers should ask their agents to implement a safety program for loss control, to control risks, and to reduce premiums, says Hartman. Many landscapers are resistant. They may feel they dont have the time or staff. And I think theres a feeling in some, though not all landscapers, that the agents are out to get them and might find something wrong. But if we do find something wrong, we want to help fix it. Were there to help. And if, as a result, you have less equipment theft and fewer accidents, your premiums will be that much less.
Have Your Contracts Reviewed: Theres no reason you should not have your agent review your contracts, says Graham. He should be able to identify areas of concern, make suggestions, strike harmful language, adding this or that. If a renewal is coming up, the carrier might not have certain coverage, so the agent knows perhaps that its time to find someone else. Youd be surprised at what youll find in contracts. Some installation coverage will state that trees, shrubs and plants will not be covered. How would a landscaper feel about that?
Have Your Agent Visit Job Sites: Your agent is a salesman to you, the landscaper, but also your salesman to the underwriter, Graham says. Ask your agent to visit your jobsites, and if he reports to the underwriter that your workplace is great, awesome, wonderful and safe, the cream will rise and that will impress the underwriter. You want an agent who will do more than just fill out forms.
Have Your Agent Provide a Quarterly, Or At Least an Annual Report: If you see where your losses are, especially if there are patterns, you can make adjustments, says Graham. We do what we rarely see anybody else do, and that is prepare graphs for the past five years for accidents, and track it. One landscaper studying the graph and data saw that he had higher claims at the start of the season. Thats when regular employees have been off for a while and are rusty, and new people are hired. He learned to have a special focus on safety at that time of year.
Have Motor Vehicle Reports Made: Expect your agent to flag the department of motor vehicles, says Graham. A stray ticket here and there may not be important. But you want to be aware if any of your employees are having serious driving problems.
Aggressively Manage Claims: Have your agent review all of your claims before they are turned in, Graham says. A lot of claims may not be your fault; they are so small they will give you more trouble than they are worth, as well as other reasons.
If you are unsatisfied with the service you are currently receiving from your insurance agency and would like to understand the variety of services offered by BearWise Landscapers, please contact our office today. We handle the insurance for many landscapers throughout the state of Florida and can provide specialized insurance expertise for your landscaping business.