The Forestry Forum

General Forestry => Sawmills and Milling => Topic started by: CLL on February 11, 2007, 08:52:45 PM

Title: Insurance
Post by: CLL on February 11, 2007, 08:52:45 PM
I just bought a LT40HDG and the insurance is going to be almost $600 just on the mill. I need liability also. Anyone know of anything better, or a company that sells this insurance. Need it for a skid steer also. Any help is appreciated.
Title: Re: Insurance
Post by: WDH on February 11, 2007, 10:57:59 PM
Try Davis Garvin.  Thier headquarters is in Columbia, South Carolina.
Title: Re: Insurance
Post by: bull on February 12, 2007, 07:53:03 AM
Farm Bureau / Farm Family
Title: Re: Insurance
Post by: LT40HDD51 on February 12, 2007, 12:13:29 PM
I use Woodchuck insurance for portable sawmills up here. I think they cover Canada, as well as some of the eastern States. You might be able to buy it right through your local insurance agent, we can here. I have complete replacement coverage on my mill, so if I flip it over in the ditch or something, they will buy me a new one just like it. Also, one million in public liability for anyone getting hurt around the mill (customers, etc). Makes me sleep easier...  :)
Title: Re: Insurance
Post by: Kelvin on February 12, 2007, 08:21:50 PM
I found that if i thought like an insurance agent you can do better.  What comes to mind when you say "Hi, i'd like to insure a sawmill!"  They usually run like crazy, or add a bunch of zeros on the quote just to make you go away.  If you work with cement you don't buy crane insurance, you buy contractors insurance.  A portable sawmill is a tool just like any other, a chipper, stump grinder, bucket truck.  Don't say sawmill insurance, say contractors insurance, which covers all your heavy equipment.  You see, i'm a woodworker, and i have a lot of different tools.  You don't hide anything, which would negate your coverage, you just switch the emphasis.  Asking for sawmill insurance is like asking for nuclear submarine insurance.  Why would anyone do it?  Portable bandsaws are a good term to list your equipment under.  Make everything in order.  Tell them everything you might do, but watch how you list it.  I build some, so first i remodel, i have a tractor loader, i have a dump truck, these things are all common, and tack on portable bandsaw mill.  They don't blink about it anymore.  I could get coverage this way from anyone.  Lots more common and cheaper.  Call around and give it a try.  "Hi, do you insure sawmills?"  or "Hi, i'm looking for contractors liability insurance"  bingo. 

By the way.  Talk with your auto owners insurance.  Auto accidents are your biggest risk to a portable sawmill and if you are towing without the right insurance, you've may have squat.  I've found this out the hard way with rental equipment.  Its different if something is being towed and hit by a car.  We have no-fault insurance in my state so figure out your exposure.  Especially if you hit someone and they think you are a company with signs on your truck.  They start counting their millions then.  They will be calling the lawyer from that TV commercial before they get out of the car!
Good luck
Title: Re: Insurance
Post by: Robert Long on February 12, 2007, 11:29:47 PM
I use Woodchuck too.......but it is expensive and I don't know if I need insurance to cover the mill if it is lost in a bog, yet the insurance while in tow is the auto policy.

I think Woodchuck could use some competition :-\

Title: Re: Insurance
Post by: LT40HDD51 on February 13, 2007, 10:12:00 AM
I cant complain. I pay about $1000/year for replacement of a $50 000 sawmill and the liability, I think thats pretty reasonable. They can cover kilns and other equipment, too...

When I first got the mill I hadn't gotten insurance yet. I was coming home from a job heading down a steep hill back into the Valley. I touched the brakes and found my trailer brakes werent working, and the truck pulled to the left into oncoming traffic  :o (front brakes were out of whack). Pulled er back, and it went into this big speed wobble down the hill. Didnt wanna touch the brakes again so I rode it out to the bottom, hands shaking and heart beating like crazy. Thought the rest of the way home about how if I had ditched er, I would have been outta luck, and looking for $50 000 for a new sawmill...

Not trying to preach, but good insurance makes me able to not think about stuff like this too much  ;D.
Title: Re: Insurance
Post by: Gabby on February 13, 2007, 12:59:20 PM
As one read the replies to this question remember that in the US insurance can vary a great deal from state to state, Beware!!!!
Title: Re: Insurance
Post by: Warren on February 13, 2007, 04:13:30 PM
I have my mill and other equipment insured thru KY Farm Bureau as a part of my overall farm policy.  Kelvin is right.  Don't start off the conversation with "I need SAWMILL insurance."  Someone will have a cow.  THis is what happened to me two years ago when I started out part time.  Explain your business and that it involves use of a mill.

When I went full time last fall, I explained the business plan to the local KFB office manager and asked for coverage.  After discussing with the head office, they agreed that as part of a farm based business, all of the activities I described were covered.

I asked about liability for portable work off the farm.  They indicated that since it was farm based, the mobile custom sawmilling off the farm would be no different than mobile custom haying / combining, etc...

Having said that, I am also checking with a local independent insurance broker for "liability only" insurance in the event I get serious about taking on a logging job.  So far the best insurance there is about $750 per year for $500K coverage.