The simple answer is yes! If you plan to charge for plowing snow anywhere beyond your own property, you should carry snowplow insurance.
Technically, you don’t need commercial snowplow insurance if you simply intend to do a few neighbor’s driveways as a favor, or you voluntarily do your church’s parking lot. But if you don’t have the coverage and there’s an incident where property is damaged, a person gets injured, etc. – your personal auto policy may not cover the costs because snow-plowing is not an “ordinary”, or a “standard” use of the truck.
If you’re a New Jersey snow removal company or just a friendly neighbor looking to protect yourself a little better while servicing the community, getting a snowplow insurance policy is a great start. There aren’t many things worse than being hired to do a residential snow removal job, only to fall prey to the elements yourself and damaging something on their property. Or, trying to do your daily “good deed” in the neighborhood, only to accidentally injury a person badly enough where they could sue you.
Unfortunately with the rising cost of medical bills, people are more likely to pursue litigation even if you thought you were being a good neighbor and plowing their yard. Even if you have been hired and paid in cash for a residential snow removal job, you’re exposing yourself to a potential lawsuit without snowplow insurance in place. A good rule of thumb is that if you are being paid to use your snowplow if you intend to be paid to use it, get snowplow insurance to protect yourself.
There’s another reason to protect your endeavors- you probably invested a lot of money in having a snowplow if you have one big enough to clear larger properties. You need to protect that investment and the business you complete with it by obtaining snowplow insurance. Much like other vehicles, a snowplow can be a worthwhile investment, but for that very same reason you need to protect it.
A New Jersey Snowplow Insurance policy will cover a business and the risks associated with the snow removing industry such as.
- Property damage– (You ram into the client’s garage door, car, property, etc. with your snow plow.)
- Bodily injuries to others– (You accidentally hit the client with the truck.)
- Medical billings– (Covers the costs associated with paying the client’s medical bills due to injuries you caused them.)
- Theft– (Will cover you if your truck is stolen.)
- Optional Riders– (You can buy at an extra cost an inland marine rider and cover your snow tools such as snow shovels, ice picks and even a smaller snow blower used for sidewalks.
- Collisions– (Covers the snowplow truck if it gets into a covered auto accident.)
- Comprehensive– (Covers other than non-collision damages such as cracked windshields and more.)
In an effort to save business dollars, you can also add snowplow coverage to your general liability policy in most cases. This will save you money as you are adding a coverage and not an entire policy. However, some insurance companies may make you purchase a commercial auto policy before they issue you a snowplow policy. This is only if you choose to go this route.
Something business owners need to think of is the type of truck they plan to purchase for their business. Not all trucks qualify for a commercial truck policy.
According to the State of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, a non-commercial truck is defined as: “A vehicle designed primarily for transportation of property, but not used for commercial transportation of goods, wares, and merchandise or used for hire.”
In closing, if you only need your New Jersey Snowplow policy during the winter months, and would like to drive your work truck for personal use now, you have the ability switch this with your auto insurance company. This can lower your monthly payment significantly as you typically do not drive as many miles when driving for personal use versus business use.
If you have a separate personal vehicle, and won’t be driving your work truck at all, you can also inform your auto carrier of this too and switch your policy to a “comprehensive only” policy. This way your work truck that’s now just sitting in the garage will be protected and you will save cash too! Anytime that you run a business that handles multiple plows, make sure you’ve properly determined the right amount of snowplow insurance to protect all the vehicles you have. During a major snowstorm, you may have a range of vehicles deployed to help manage the snowfall, and you should always have enough protection for the fleet you manage.[call_to_action color=”green” button_text=”Request a Quote” button_url=”http://dempseyweiss.com/quote”] Get Your Complimentary Snowplow Insurance Quote.