There are many parts to owning and operating a lawn care or landscaping business that have nothing to do with the work itself.
You must be able to find dependable employees at the right salary. Once you have hired an adequate staff, you must find the right customers. Once you have found the right customers you have to know how much to charge those customers in order to be profitable. Once you have those customers you have to implement quality assurance measures in order to keep those customers happy with your work.
One aspect that frequently gets lost in the mix of all the responsibilities an owner has is purchasing proper insurance coverage to protect the business. There are many aspects of an insurance policy that the business owner should familiarize themselves with that may seem foreign to most first-time business owners.
Here are several tips to help you find the best insurance coverage, find the best price on that coverage and what you should be aware of when you have to use your insurance policy.
How do I find the best coverage?
The way to find the best insurance policies for your business depends on many things that are unique to you and your business. You may be willing to take on more risk than another business owner in the same industry.
For that reason, it is important to find an experienced independent agent with whom you trust. Once you have found a good agent, it is equally important to take a little extra time to speak long and honestly about everything your business does and does not do.
This industry is one that has numerous landscaping general liability classification codes. If you do not give enough information to your agent, they are forced to guess exactly how much risk your business takes on. It is in their best interest to always assume more risk. Doing this protects their business, but may cost your business more in unnecessary premium.
These mistakes usually get fixed in the end of term audit, but even if they find you have paid too much you still have tied up cash in unnecessary premium throughout the year.
Once you have taken care of finding a good agency to partner with and you have spoken with them about all the activities your business partakes in, it is important to ask them what all coverages do you need and what may you be able to do without.
At this point it is important to remember the agent works for you. If you are honest with him about how much risk you are willing to take then they should be able to give you the proper information to cover your business as you prefer. It is important to remember that insurance agents interact with business owners not only when they are selling them a policy, but also when a disaster has occurred.
They may be offering you an extra product not only because they can make more commission on it, but also because they have interacted with a business owner in the past who had a claim occur at their business where they were not covered. Depending upon the size and severity of the disaster, having the right coverage can mean the difference between being closed for two weeks and never opening your business again.
How do I find the best price?
Once you have found a good agent and you have spoken with them about all the ins and outs of your business, it is important to ask for all credits and debits that your business qualifies for.
The best way to do this is to let your agent know what is most important to you as a business owner. If you are a business owner who values price, tell them that. Insurance agents talk with many different people from many different walks of life.
The agent may interact with one customer who wants absolutely every coverage that is offered and at the highest limits possible while another business owner may be willing to take on a higher amount of risk. Some business owners just want the policy in place as fast as possible so they can get back to work.
Other cash-strapped business owners simply want the bare minimum coverage required to be in business because it is all they can afford. Never assume they know what is most important to you. Honesty is always the best policy in life and in business. Tell your agent what is important to you and if they are a good agent, they can work to satisfy your needs.
By Mitchell Sharp
See full story at www.totallandscapecare.com