New England is known for its cold, white winters. And as beautiful as all that snow can be, it’s also a huge hassle—one that people are eager to pay someone else to handle. It’s no secret that if you’ve got a truck and a plow, you can make great money plowing snow. But before you and your truck hit the roads this winter, it’s important to know what kind of coverage you’ll need to protect yourself and your vehicle. We’re here to answer your questions about Commercial Auto Insurance for your plow business.
Q: Is my plowing vehicle covered by my personal auto insurance policy?
This depends on your policy, and where and how you’re using your plow. If you’re using your personal pickup truck to plow your own driveway—or even your neighbor’s as a favor—it’s likely that your coverage automatically extends to your plow. Of course, you should always be sure to check the existing coverage on your truck.
If you earn income and charge money for your plow work, either full-time or part-time, you are operating a business. This presents additional risks unlikely to be covered by your personal auto policy. This means you’ll need to purchase a Commercial Auto Policy.
Q: What is covered by a Commercial Auto Policy?
It’s important to note that some policies may restrict the type of vehicle you can use for plowing. If you are using anything other than a truck with a plow on the front, you may need to purchase other types of coverage. Commercial Auto Insurance usually includes:
Comprehensive and collision coverage: covers you in the event of vehicle damage from theft, vandalism, flood, fire and damage if your work vehicle is hit by an object or vehicle.
Liability coverage: coverage for injuries, deaths or property damage if you cause an accident while operating the work vehicle. May also pay legal fees.
Medical payments, no-fault or personal injury protection: covers the medical expenses for you (the driver) and any passengers in the event of an accident, regardless of fault.
Un- (or possibly under-) insured motorist coverage: covers injuries and sometimes property damage caused by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver. May also include underinsured motorist coverage in the event the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover expenses.
Q: How much liability coverage do I need?
One of the biggest differences between your personal auto policy and a Commercial Auto Policy is in its liability limits. Whether you work with contractors who require high liability limits, or work alone and need coverage as the sole proprietor operating your vehicle in a business capacity, you’ll likely need much higher limits than the maximum limits available through personal auto coverage.
If you already have a business owner’s general liability policy, you may be able to purchase a snow plow rider to add to your policy, extending coverage and terms to cover plowing. Otherwise, a commercial auto policy can offer higher liability amounts to protect yourself and your plow vehicle. We recommend working with a local, independent Cushman insurance agent to determine the right amount of liability coverage for you and your plowing vehicle.
Q: How much does it cost?
A number of factors influence the cost of your commercial auto insurance, which can range anywhere from $400 per year to $2,000 or more, depending on your coverage, location, places plowed, experience, etc.
We can help you determine the right coverage at the right cost for you. Contact your local independent Cushman Insurance agent today to learn more.