2014

Important Insurance Policies for Garbage, Ash, and Waste Collectors

For a waste collection business owner, it can be hard to know where to start with insurance. There are many different kinds and each only covers part of your liabilities. To help make sense of your insurance, we've written this outline of the important policies your business needs to know.

General Liability Insurance for Small Garbage Removal, Trash Collection, and Waste Disposal Businesses

General Liability Insurance protects your garbage removal business from many common (and expensive) lawsuits. GLI pays for…

  • Lawyer's fees.
  • Paralegal expenses.
  • Settlements to prevent a lawsuit from going to trial.
  • Judgments awarding "damages" to the plaintiff.
  • Court expenses for witnesses, evidence, and other miscellany.

General Liability Insurance doesn't protect your business from all lawsuits, but it does cover third-party lawsuits where customers, clients, vendors, contractors, and others sue your business, claiming it…

  • Damaged their property.
  • Injured them.
  • Harmed their reputation.
  • Slandered them or committed libel.
  • Caused an advertising injury.

If one of your garbage trucks hits a pedestrian and breaks their leg, General Liability Insurance can pay for the lawsuit. If a mail carrier falls walking up the steps to your office, General Liability Insurance can cover your business's liability.

Property Insurance for Garbage Pickup and Waste Removal Companies

Property Insurance helps your business survive the sudden loss of property that occurs with events like…

  • Theft.
  • Vandalism.
  • Fire.
  • Certain weather events.

Not all natural disasters or weather events are included in Property Insurance coverage, so remember to ask your agent if there are any coverages you need to add.

Property Insurance covers your commercial property, including…

  • Equipment.
  • Supplies.
  • Inventory.
  • Office space, garage, building.

Here's an example of a typical Property Insurance claim. A fire breaks out in the garage of a garbage collection business. The garage burns to the ground, reducing the business's equipment to cinders. Collection trucks, tools, and other property are destroyed. The fire department investigates and finds that the cause was faulty wiring.

If this business has Property Insurance, their policy can cover the value of the lost property, and the insurance company will send them a check. The business will be able to rebuild and replace their lost equipment. If the damage is so extensive that the business has to shut down while they rebuild, Property Insurance can actually pay them for the income they would normally earn (this policy is called Business Interruption Coverage).

Without Property Insurance, a business like this would have to pay out of pocket to replace their lost equipment. They might not be able to complete their contracts and the expenses could be so overwhelming the business is forced to file for bankruptcy.

Business Owner's Policies for Waste Disposal, Garbage Removal, and Trash Pickup Businesses

If you want to buy Property Insurance and General Liability Insurance for less, you should see whether your waste disposal business qualifies for a Business Owner's Policy (or BOP for short).

BOPs can provide the same coverage you would have in General Liability and Property Insurance policies, but often come at a discount.

How do you qualify for a BOP? Insurance companies sell these policies to businesses that they consider "lower risk." Your business might qualify if it…

  • Is a small business.
  • Has fewer than 100 employees.
  • Doesn't need more than 12 months of income insurance with its Business Interruption Coverage.
  • Doesn't work in a dangerous or high-risk industry.
  • Has a small- to medium-sized office space.

By bundling Property and General Liability Insurance, your business may be able to save money on two vital insurance policies.

Cyber Liability Insurance for Garbage, Ash, and Waste Collectors

Cyber Liability Insurance (also commonly called Cyber Risk Insurance or Data Breach Insurance) helps your business recover when its computers and networks are hacked.

Any business with electronic data is vulnerable to a cyber attack. That's another way of saying any business is vulnerable to a hacking. Cyber criminals actually target small businesses more frequently than large business because smaller firms tend to have fewer defenses in place.

Hackers will attempt to break into a company's computers in order to…

  • Gain access to the company's bank accounts.
  • Install malicious software.
  • Extort money from the business (by threatening to install viruses and other malicious software).
  • Steal information about clients and employees in order to access their bank accounts.

When this happens, your Cyber Liability Insurance can protect your business by…

  • Contacting your clients, customers, and other parties whose data may have been stolen.
  • Monitoring clients' financials for signs of fraud.
  • Hiring a PR firm to restore your company's reputation.
  • Investigating the attack and finding out where your company is vulnerable and who was responsible for the hacking.

Every year more and more businesses are the victims of a cyber attack. Make sure you're covered with Cyber Liability Insurance.

Errors and Omissions Coverage for Garbage Removal, Trash Collection, and Waste Disposal Businesses

Like the name suggests, Errors and Omissions Insurance (also called Professional Liability Insurance or E&O Insurance) covers your liabilities when your business makes errors in its professional capacity.

A garbage removal business might have a number of contracts with neighborhoods and businesses to collect their garbage. If a customer becomes dissatisfied and sues the garbage removal business, Errors & Omissions coverage can pay for the business's legal defense.

Customers may be dissatisfied for a number of reasons. E&O covers lawsuits where customers claim your business…

  • Didn't fulfill its obligations.
  • Performed shoddy or incomplete work.
  • Made mistakes or oversights.

The timing of your coverage is more significant with E&O Insurance than it is for other policies. Errors and Omissions Insurance only covers incidents that happen while you are covered. That can be a problem if you are sued for something that happened months (or years) before you started your policy.

If your business buys E&O coverage today and is sued for a mistake you made two months ago, the lawsuit (even though it was filed after you purchased the insurance) probably won't be covered. Ask your insurance agent about additional ways to protect yourself.

Workers' Compensation Insurance for Garbage Pickup and Waste Removal Companies

In order to protect your business from the costs of a workplace injury or illness, your business should purchase Workers' Compensation Insurance (aka Workers' Comp or Workman's Comp).

When an employee is injured or made ill from work, Worker's Comp can pay for…

  • Your legal defense (as the employer) if an employee sues the business.
  • Expensive settlements or judgments the court awards to injured employees.
  • Employee medical expenses.
  • Paid recovery time for employees unable to work.

One commonly misunderstood thing about Workers' Comp is that it actually covers your employees immediately after an accident and is a useful way of avoiding a lawsuit altogether. Many employees think that their employer is not on their side when they are injured. But that's not how Workers' Comp works.

Workman's Comp pays for employee's medical expenses when they happen. Insurance companies want you to contact them as soon as an employee is injured. They'll want to know and can pay for the medical expenses in order to prevent a more costly lawsuit down the road. In this way, Worker's Comp is one way you can let your employees know that you take their wellbeing seriously.

If an employee slips a disc in their back while pulling garbage bins from the curb, your business can be liable. You might end up having to pay for their medical expenses and their salary while they are unable to work. No one likes paying medical bills - or legal bills for that matter. The costs of something as simple as back surgery can devastate your business. Workers' Compensation Insurance can cover these costs and pay for the lawsuit that might follow.

Insureon: Small Business Insurance Custom-Built for Garbage, Ash, and Waste Collectors

Contact insureon and get customized insurance for your garbage, ash, or waste collection business. Submit our online application, and get a free quote today.

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