Canada truly is a vast country with a lot of opportunities for many unique individuals. This is especially true for the citizens of the Ontario province. Being located so far north, the area is oftentimes exposed to harsh winter weather. Citizens will be constantly fighting snow, sleet, and bitter cold temperatures throughout the entire winter season. With winter already quickly approaching now would be the time to look into opening your very own lucrative snow plow business. However, before you just run out and start a business you need to understand how to protect yourself and your employees. There is simply no better way to do just that than with snow plow insurance.
Understanding Your Risks
The first thing you need to understand is that there are a variety of risks that any Snow Plow Company will be exposed to on a daily basis. As a snowplow business owner, you are going to be operating a vehicle with a snow plow attached to the front of your rig. This means there is always a chance that you could get into an accident, damage your client’s pavement or driveway, and hit a vehicle or an individual with snow or other debris. Even if you don’t damage anything there is a change that a client could make a bogus claim that you caused property damage.
This would eventually turn into an expensive and long drawn out lawsuit. Without the right types of snow plow insurance, it is possible that this could not only damage
your reputation as a company, but it might result in you filing bankruptcy. If you plan on operating several trucks at one time, you have to consider the fact that all your employees will be exposed to these same risks and this is why insurance is imperative.
What Is Snow Plow Insurance?
Snowplow insurance is a type of stand-alone policy that offers protection against many of the risks that you and your employees will be exposed to on a daily basis. This policy usually covers companies that are involved in clearing driveways, retail parking lots, apartment building parking lots, and private roads. Whether you are clearing a commercial parking lot or a residential driveway, this policy can offer the optimal coverage that you need.
Understand Your Coverage Options
Snowplow insurance can get confusing and this is because there are several different policies available. It is pertinent to understand each coverage option and what it has to offer your new company.
- Liability Snow Plow Insurance – Liability snow plow insurance will protect you and your employees in the event that you cause property damage or bodily harm to a customer. For instance, if you are plowing a residential driveway and accidentally crack a large in the pavement or damage the front porch, they are going to want compensation. Liability snow plow insurance will offer that compensation. It will also protect you in the event that you cause a customer bodily harm. If you accidentally hit a customer or injure him or her with flying debris, this policy will cover all or most of the medical cost incurred.
- Collision And Comprehensive Coverage Insurance – Collision and comprehensive insurance is really unique. This is another policy that you are going to want to invest in, because it actually covers the snow plow equipment. Plowing equipment is by no means cheap and it is essential for the day-to-day operation of your business. Customers won’t hesitate to call another provider if you can’t make it because your equipment is broke down. Collision coverage will pay to replace your plow equipment if it is damaged in an accident or if it is damaged during a snowstorm.
Other Types Of Coverage Available
As you can already see, liability and collision insurance are without a doubt necessary to protect your business, but it is not the only type of insurance that you need to invest in. Unfortunately, if you are using your own personal vehicle, your regular auto insurance will not provide the type of protection and coverage that you need in the event of an accident. You are going to need commercial auto insurance for every truck that you have on the road.
This type of insurance will protect you in the event that you are in an accident and found to be at fault. While there are a number of coverage options available, the most basic will pay for the cost of repairing or replacing the individual’s car that you hit. It will also cover most or all of the other driver’s medical expenses. There are some commercial auto insurance policies that also offer protection against theft and vandalism to your company vehicles.
Another type of coverage that you need to consider is workers compensation insurance. You can take all the precautions you want, but there is always a chance for accidents and they occur all the time. This type of policy is necessary for any business that is going to have employees. Just remember that these policies will vary from province to province. For instance, it is required by law to have this policy, if you have employees in both Alberta and Ontario, but the requirements and coverage amount might be different.
This is why it is always important to work with a highly trained insurance professional who is familiar with the exposures a snow plow business faces daily. Workers compensation insurance will protect your employees in the event that they are injured on the job. It can pay for their medical expenses and lost wages, which are expenses that you will be required to pay out-of-pocket if you chose to not get covered. Policies from Manulife will even offer survivor and permanent disability benefits in the event that the employee dies or is permanently disabled due to the injuries they sustained on the job.
Always Acquire The Right Amount Of Coverage
Not only is getting the right types of policies important to protecting your company, but getting the right amount of coverage is just as important. Insurance is expensive and most businesses try to skimp by acquiring the lowest amount of coverage possible, but this really isn’t the right approach to take in this situation. Your policy will only offer as much financial coverage as you are paying for. For instance, if you have liability coverage of $10,000, but do $30,000 worth of damage to a client’s car or driveway, your policy will only cover the $10,000 of the damages.
Speak with a licensed insurance broker in Ontario to determine the appropriate coverage for your business. Your best bet will be a customized policy that offers both coverage for you and your employees, as well as your equipment and business property.