Insurance for Contractor Power Washers
When you go to buy business insurance, you naturally go to a business insurance agent. He or she will ask you what business you are in and what geographic areas you serve. You should tell him exactly what you intend to do. The reason he needs to know this is so that he can determine what business insurance code to use. Surprise!!! Most states still do not rate or acknowledge that the mobile power wash industry exists, or how to differentiate between an operator who does trucks and an operator who does aircraft. The agent's response will either be:
- They do not write that kind of insurance,
- They will have to guess at the rates.
Surprise again. If the agent has to guess (estimate) at the rates, the quote you receive will vary in price from $500.00 to $15,000.00 per year.
So how do you buy insurance? Professional contract cleaners buy insurance by getting several quotes. You tell the insurance agents exactly what they want to know as truthfully as you can and expect the rates to vary greatly. Once you have gathered enough information, choose the insurance company that offers the most complete coverage for the smallest premium.
Some insurance companies will only write policies for the power wash industry through one agent. The principal reason for this is because the power wash industry is not rated by state insurance boards, and therefore the underwriters have to determine a rate. This has created a situation in which there are one or two insurance agencies or individual agents that are considered knowledgeable enough about the power wash business to write the policies. Insurance companies can file for special rates with state insurance boards.
To this point in time, there is only one insurance agency who has gone to this effort on a national basis for the power wash industry:
This agency is licensed 45 states.
We asked Joe Walters what insurance package his agents quote for the average pressure wash contract cleaner, this was his response:
- GENERAL LIABILITY
- G E NERAL AGGREGATE LIMIT: The maximum the company will pay for covered losses during one policy period.
- PRODUCTS-COMPLETED OPERATIONS AGGREGATE LIMIT: Includes all Bodily Injury and Property Damage occurring out of your work, except work that has not been completed or abandoned.
- PERSONAL ADVERTISING INJURY LIMIT: Injury arising out of oral or written publication of material that slanders or libels a person or organization. False arrest, detention or imprisonment.
- EACH OCCURRENCE LIMIT: An accident including continuous or repeated exposure to substantially the same general harmful condition.
- FIRE OCCURRENCE LIMIT: Fire coverage which you are legally liable for, which you are renting or leasing.
- PR OPERT Y DAMAGE DEDUCTIBLE: Injured agrees to contribute up to a specific amount per claim towards the amount paid to claimant as damages.
- The Inland Marine portion of the policy provides coverage for the pressure wash unit. The limit will vary for each insured. The washer will be covered for fire, theft, and vandalism to the limit stated on the policy. There will be either a $250.00 to $500.00 deductible depending on the value of the washer.
- The last part of the policy is for the Business Auto. The auto liability portion will be quoted with a $300,000.00 limit unless other limits are requested. Auto liability is for Bodily Injury or Property Damage caused by an accident resulting from ownership, maintenance, or use of a covered auto.
- Physical Damage: This covers loss to a covered auto or its equipment under comprehensive coverage collision coverage. The normal deductible quoted is $250.00 for comprehensive and $500.00 for collision. Policies are underwritten through a major Best Rated carrier. The package consists of coverage for vehicles, equipment and includes comprehensive
- General Liability: Each policy is written specifically for each individual's requirements.
Once you are insured with the Walters Agency, their service department takes over. If you have a claim call 1-800-878-3808 and report the specific details and the information is immediately faxed to the nearest claims office. Certificates of insurance are promptly expedited in the same manner. Financing plans are also available.
The Joseph D. Walters Agency is a professional, full service agency with experienced staff that can answer your questions and provide you with a same day quote. Call an agency with a proven track record in the Power Wash Industry. Call Joe at 1-800-878-3808.
On a personal note the Joseph D. Walters is the insurer of choice for:
Steamaway Mobile Power Wash 1-817-625-6443
If you call Joe, be sure and tell him where you obtained his phone number.
Do Additional Insured Endorsements Do What You Think They Do?
When a client requests to be named as an "Additional Insured" on your policy, do you understand its implications? Does the endorsement do what you think it does? The following is an explanation of this endorsement, and its affect on your policy.
Adding "Additional Interests" or "Additional insured's" to liability coverage has become an important part of business today, and requests are quite common. It is important to understand that naming an Additional Insured on your policy may impair or restrict the limits of liability.
Consider a typical mercantile insured. The owner of the premises asks to be named on your policy as an "Additional Insured" for liability purposes. Standard forms are available and the premium is normally minimal. You usually accept the endorsement without giving much thought as to how this endorsement affects you financial security. Consider this:
If a customer has an accident (a simple slip and fall claim while entering your shop), a suit can be filed, alleging building and/or safety deficiencies. It would most likely name both the building owner and you in the suit. Because both of you are insured under your policy, the policy must respond equally for both you and the Additional Insured. In the adjustment process, a settlement could be reached on behalf of the building owner and a release obtained. Such a payment reduces the occurrence limit available for remaining insured's - in this case you – and also reduces or depletes your aggregate limit.
When dealing with construction sites and combinations of multiple additional insured's, this process gets even more complicated. There are many cases when the entire limit of liability is exhausted settling claims with additional insured's, leaving no liability limits available to the policyholder. It is important to have a complete understanding of what may happen when "Additional Insured's" are requested and added to your liability policy. You could be eroding the limits of liability available for your own benefit.
Joseph D. Walter Insurance Agency
1-800-878-3808 Fax: 412-831-7498
Changing Your Pressure Wash Business Operations
With more than 25 years of experience providing insurance coverage for the pressure wash industry, I have watched operators go through many changes in their business and services they offer. Some of these changes require an immediate review of insurance to assure proper coverage.
An important power wash operation often overlooked is the vehicle washing market. This exposure requires specialized coverage to ensure that claims resulting from the contractor's moving of vehicles are covered. Additional coverage's required when moving a vehicle are:
- GARAGE KEEPERS LIABILITY: This will provide coverage for damages you may do to a customer's vehicle while you are driving it. (This is only for the customer's vehicle that you are driving.)
- GARAGE LIABILITY: This will provide coverage for a person or item to whom you may do bodily injury, or property damage while you are driving that customer's vehicle. (For example: if you hit the wash bay, customer building, or another of the customer's vehicles that are parked on the lot. Also, if you hit a pedestrian on the lot.)
Should you change your business operations, it is imperative that you contact your insurance agent to ensure that your policy is adequate in order to provide coverage for any additional exposures.
If we are your insurance agency, call Bonnie or Susan immediately at 800-878-3808. They can provide you with prompt answers to your questions and apply coverage where needed.
Joseph D. Walters
Joseph D. Walters Insurance Agency, Inc.
2706 South Park Road,
Bethel Park, PA 15102
Do you have "Care, Custody, and Control" Insurance Coverage?
I am sure you are all aware of how important it is to carry insurance on your business, especially General Liability Coverage. All General Liability policies will cover your company for Bodily Injury and/or Property Damage that you may cause while you are doing your job. However, have you ever thought about what may be EXCLUDED from your policy? That dreaded word "exclusions"!!
If you take the time to read the working policy under the exclusions portion, you will probably see that coverage is excluded for "that particular part of any property that must be restored, repaired or replaced because 'your work' was incorrectly performed on it."
What does that mean to you? It means that if you damage the exact thing you are working on, you have no coverage!
An example of this would be if you were hired to wash the siding on a customer's home and the water seeped in at the windows, damaging the wallpaper, drywall, and the carpeting. You would have coverage under a normal General Liability Policy. Also, while washing the siding, the solution dripped down and damaged the plants and shrubs, you would have coverage under a normal General Liability Policy. However, if you damaged the siding (the exact item you are working on), you will not be covered. It is considered "property that must be restored, repaired or replaced because "your work" was incorrectly performed on it".
When purchasing your policy. be sure to advise your agent that you want an endorsement added to your policy called "Extended Broad Form Property Damage Liability Coverage". This endorsement will give you back coverage for care, custody, and control. In other words, you can be covered for the exact thing you are working on. The limit on this is normally $25,000, but you can purchase higher limits on an optional basis for an additional premium. Review your policy today with your agent and make sure you have "Care, Custody, and Control" coverage.
JOSEPH D. WALTERS AGENCY, INC 2706
South Park Road
Bethel Park, PA 15102
Ph: 1-800-878-3808, Fax: 412-831-7498