Have A Snow Removal Contractor? Get The Cert!

Often times our clients will ask us how they can be sure their contractors are properly insured. Our answer - “Get the cert!” (short for insurance certificate)

As a business owner you have the right insurance in place to cover your business property, the right coverage in place for your general liability, worker’s compensation, health, auto and all of the aspects carefully depicted in your planning and strategy for a successful business.

What about the companies that you use for services to support your business operations? As the weather gets colder we see the snow start to fly and one of those services you may need is snow removal. Is there a liability or property exposure for you as the business owner? The answer is a resounding YES!

In our business culture one of the determining factors that influences who we buy from is price. If you use a snow removal contractor price may not be the end of the story when it comes to choosing the right company. There are some considerations vital to keeping your liability and property damage exposure minimized that may challenge the idea that the “cheapest price wins”. The one factor we’ll focus on here is making sure that your snow removal contractor has the proper insurance certificates showing an active policy with adequate coverage. Without these coverages in place and if a claim is filed, you could be left out in the cold.

Below is a list of the main types of insurance we recommend for professionals in this wintry industry…

  • General Liability Insurance.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance.
  • Workers' Compensation Insurance.
  • Property Insurance.
  • Business Owner's Policy.
  • Umbrella Insurance.

The Big 3

While all of the above mentioned policies are important let’s focus on the “Big 3”. The three most important for you, the business owner contracting this service.

1) General Liability Insurance for Ice & Snow Removal Companies

General Liability helps to protect a business from third-party claims that allege damage to someone’s property (property damage) or caused them physical harm (bodily injury). If the snow removal contractor does not have General Liability Insurance coverage the liability could fall on you in the event of a law suit. General Liability Insurance can help you pay some of the financial consequences of a lawsuit including:

  • Legal defense
  • Settlements
  • Judgments
  • Medical bills
  • Other court-related fees

2) Commercial Auto Insurance for Ice & Snow Removal Companies

Many commercial auto insurance carriers will exclude plowing operations on their policies. In addition many contractors are operating their snow plow business in a personal auto. Personal auto policies exclude business operations. Should a mishap happen in this case, the carrier reserves the right to deny any claim. Make sure that the contractor you are using has the right coverage. Check for a current policy on the certificate of insurance.

3) Workers' Compensation Insurance for Ice & Snow Removers

Workers' Compensation Insurance helps ice & snow removers pay for the medical expenses and at least some of the lost wages incurred by employees who have sustained a work-related illness or injury. As you may already know, Workers' Compensation Insurance is regulated by the state of Michigan and is often required coverage for business owners, even if they own an ice and snow removal service that only operates a few months out of the year. Subcontractors are also required to have a Worker’s Compensation Insurance policy. In the event of an injury to one of the contractor’s employees or sub contractors there is a large exposure to you as the business owner if they do not have this coverage in place. Check for work comp on the certificate of insurance.

To Sum It Up

Check for the “Big 3”

  1. General Liability Insurance for snow plow operations.
  2. Commercial Auto Insurance – That Includes Snow Removal Operations
  3. Worker’s Compensation Insurance – for the Contractor and any Sub Contractors he may use

If you haven’t asked for a current certificate recently from your contractor, perhaps its time you did!


If your snow removal contractor shows up with this…
Get the cert!

Have A Snow Removal Contractor? Get The Cert! - Blog & Announcements - Kennedy Nemier Insurance Agency - snowplow_joke

If your snow removal contractor shows up with this…
Get the cert!

Have A Snow Removal Contractor? Get The Cert! - Blog & Announcements - Kennedy Nemier Insurance Agency - 2015-ford-f-150-snow-plow-front-three-quarter

And everything in between… Get the cert!


We hope this article helps to shed some insight on protecting your assets this winter. As always should you have any questions please feel free to give us a call at 734.454.4058 or visit our website at www.kennedynemier.com. We’ll be happy to review your current insurance policy at no cost or obligation. Kennedy Nemier Insurance Agency is an independent agency and proud providers of Bristol West, Chubb, Encompass, Foremost, Frankenmuth, Fremont, Grange, Michigan, Progressive, Safeco and The Hartford Insurance companies.

By Bill Adams
Kennedy Nemier Insurance Agency

Statements in this article as to policies and coverages provide general information only. This information is not an offer to sell insurance. Insurance coverage cannot be bound or changed via submission of any online form/application provided on this site or otherwise, email, voice mail or facsimile. No binder, insurance policy, change, addition, and/or deletion to insurance coverage goes into effect unless and until confirmed directly by a licensed agent. Any proposal of insurance we may present to you will be based upon the information you provide to us via this online form/application and/or in other communications with us. Please contact our office at 734.454.4058 to discuss specific coverage details and your insurance needs. All coverages are subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the actual policy issued. Not all policies or coverages are available in every state. Information provided on this site does not constitute professional advice; if you have legal, tax or financial planning questions, you should contact an appropriate professional. Any hypertext links to other sites are provided as a convenience only; we have no control over those sites and do not endorse or guarantee any information provided by those sites.



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