Types of Insurance for Your Snowplow or Snow Removal Business
Commercial auto insurance is usually the biggest expense for MA snowplow business owners. That makes your commercial auto insurance a great place to try and save money and control expenses. But insurance policies vary with some even limiting the types of places you can plow and still have coverage. And you don't want to save a dollar to cut coverage and end up owing thousands with the first fender bender.
For some the only equipment needed is a truck, plow, and snow shovel. For other snow removal businesses, they may employ an full armada of snowblowers, dump trucks, front loaders, graders, spreaders, and more.
Some states in New England have laws that help protect snow removal businesses from 3rd party lawsuits. Massachusetts is NOT one of those states. What does this mean?
It means that if someone slips and falls on a parking lot or sidewalk that you cleared . . . Yup, they can sue you.
Will my current business liability insurance cover snowplowing and snow removal?
There's a good chance the answer to that is 'No.' If you run a landscaping or contracting business that switches over to plowing and removal in the winter, you'll likely need a special endorsement (coverage) added to your policy or even a separate policy designed to cover your winter activities.
If you have employees, then you'll need work comp as well. It's law and you don't want to get slapped with a work-stop order in the middle of snowstorm.
Whew! I hire independent contractors not employees. And I pay them as 1099 for IRS tax purposes. I dodged a bullet here right? Do I need work comp coverage on 1099 employees?
Without tackling the details here, the odds are good that these 'independent' or 'sub contractors' are going to be considered employees by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. You can read more about it here on the state website but you're probably going to need work comp on those drivers (or be able to provide proof that they have work comp themselves).
Other Insurances For Your Plowing Business
In addition to what we've already discussed, there are many other insurance products designed help you manage your risk and protect your business. Depending on the size and nature of your plowing business it may be wise to look at coverage ranging from cybercrime & data breach to group disability.