BLOG NUMBER 19.58
Hiring a snow removal company is the best way to keep your residential or commercial property hazard-free, looking good, and easy to access all winter long. These professionals are properly trained and equipped for clearing walkways, paths, sidewalks, porches, decks, parking lots, and many other common areas. With their help, you can avoid premises liability issues resulting from slip and fall events, maintain property aesthetics, and more. The best snow removal companies are available for service even on holidays and during winter storms. Best of all, they can complete their work quickly and thoroughly, and their efforts mean that you don’t have to do any hard labor yourself. However, before hiring a snow removal service, it’s always important to verify that the right commercial insurance policies exist.
It’s not uncommon for small businesses and homeowners to outsource these jobs to young neighbors, local handymen, and others who haven’t been licensed and who don’t have basic coverage. Just as coverings of ice and snow can be dangerous to you and other building residents, they can also put snow removal professionals at risk of serious injury. Depending upon the locations in which they’re working, the type of terrain their addressing, and the snow removal equipment they use, workers from these companies may be subject to:
- Slipping accidents
- Equipment malfunctions
- Injuries caused by hand-held tools
- Falls from elevated heights
- Frost nip or frostbite
Whenever you hire a contractor or company to perform work on your property, verifying general liability insurance is a critical step. With the right coverage, if someone becomes injured during the course of your project, you won’t be held liable for the damages. Business insurance can protect you in other ways. If a snow removal service causes any harm to your property, your provider’s coverage will compensate you for your losses. No matter how large or small the jobs you’ve hired them for may be; absent of the necessary policies, uninsured contractors can wind up costing you a fortune.
How to Check for Snow Removal Insurance
Many property owners are already aware of just how important it is to verify insurance before hiring someone to work on their projects. As such, a number of snow removal companies are currently posting their insurance certificates right on their web pages. This is information that you should request before accepting a proposal and allowing work to get started. However, even when you find insurance certificates that have been published online, you should always request proof of insurance directly from a provider’s insurer. This is the only way to know for certain that a policy hasn’t lapsed due to non-payment, violation of contract terms, or for any other reasons. When you contact insurers directly, they’ll also keep you informed of any lapses in coverage that occur during the duration of your project.
Every service provider should have general liability insurance with sufficient limits. In many instances, this policy will cover between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000 worth of damages per occurrence. For companies that only handle relatively small-sized projects, modest insurance limits such as these will likely suffice. However, if you own a small, medium, or large-sized business, will have multiple snow removal professionals working on your property, and have a project that requires the use of snow plows or any other heavy equipment, your provider will need to have higher limits for covering all potential damages. If you’re unsure of how much coverage contractors will need to keep you protected, you can always consult with your own insurer for guidance.
Hiring uninsured parties to complete work on your property might seem like the easiest and most affordable way to go, especially if you’ve got a limited budget for snow removal. In reality, however, this is a decision that can put you at serious financial risk. Not only will you have to cover the costs of any property damages that are sustained, but you may be held accountable for anyone who gets harmed while working on your project. Worse still, this is a decision that can result in the cancellation of your own homeowners’ or business insurance policy. Insurers aren’t willing to assume the risk of covering property owners who don’t take steps to protect themselves. If you want to keep your property free of snow, ice, and other dangerous cold-weather accumulations, we can help. Call us today at (816) 564-9131.
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