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Author Topic: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance  (Read 18218 times)

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Offline Kelvin

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2007, 12:39:09 PM »
I think this is the situation most people find themselves in when buying a mill.  I believe that most mills would get your home owners insurance canceled unless you have a seperate policy on it, b/c its a risky thing to have around.  Just think if you aquired something else that was considered "dangerous" that you put on your property.  It has a potential to injure you and others so why would they want it there?  Insurance companies can tell you what you can and cannot have on your property or they will remove coverage if they sense a dangerous situation. 

This is my point.  I think anyone who buys a sawmill is at the mercy of the agent to make a judgment call as to safety.  Are they inclined to overreact?  I believe so.  I think that quite a few people have had their insurance policy revoked b/c an agent saw their mill.  What constitues a sawmill?  Do you think that any agent that calls their underwriter and says "hey do we cover sawmills on peoples property, even if they say they use it for themselves?"  What do you think they tend to say?  I think this is something that the sawmill industry needs to take up and deal with.  When i called woodmizer after i found out i couldn't get coverage for less than $800 a year just to have a mill on my property they said they had no ideas on how to get any.  I think now they might have some numbers for Lumberman's but this is essentially quite expensive compared to say a quad runner (which is more dangerous?)  Us small guys are getting hosed by the insurance company b/c they just tack on some zeros when they don't know.  Better safe than sorry and we pay the price.  Just my feeling.  I still haven't found any coverage for calling the last two weeks or more.  They are still waiting to hear from their underwriters.
KP

Offline Andy Harden

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2007, 04:34:01 PM »
Here is some addresses of insurance providers from the TimberKing web site.

American Interstate Insurance Company
2301 Hwy 190 West
DeRidder, LA 70634
800-897-9719

Davis-Garvin Agency Inc.
PO Box 21627
Columbia, SC 29221
800-845-3163

Offline bull

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2007, 05:19:50 PM »
I don't know of any adequate coverage for under $1000.00.... If you are going to get any coverage be prepared to pay for it.....  If your a gambler go without "goodluck.......

Offline mike_van

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2007, 07:21:38 PM »
Just my 2 cents on mill insurance - If I had a portable mill [I don't] I'd be worried about theft.  Gas engine, [I don't] I'd be worried about fire. If I allowed anyone to help [I don't do that either] I'd worry about liability if they got hurt. Or, an employee too.  [I don't]  So, the barn has fire insurance, myself & family are under medical coverage, and the mill - Well, I could rebuild or replace anything on it, not counting my labor [which I don't have to] for 2000.00 or less. 17 years now that I've had it & run it with no "claim" type problems.  I hear what you're saying about no-nothing agents Kelvin, I'd rather not have to deal with one, so I don't.  A person with a 9N Ford can be more dangerous than a Woodmzer, a homeowner with a new chainsaw from Wal-mart can be too.  I wonder if the insurance company "drops" them?
I was the smartest 16 year old I ever knew.

Offline Kelvin

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2007, 09:28:07 PM »
Thanks for the all the posts with insurance links.  I'll try them to see if anyone has something for people who are small.  I'll post here if i find anything.  Its weird how one company, say farm bureau, will cover some people in some states and not others.  Wouldn't the same company have the same policy everywhere?  The one post here said farm bureau charges them $800 for coverage on site and mobile.  This seems close to reasonable.  Why wouldn't all farm bureau agents have the same info?  Guess its up to individuals at some point.  We'll get this figured out and i think there is going to be some good buisness for someone who wakes up to the idea as others have pointed out, there are probably a lot of us little guys around.  I think most of us are operating without insurance as we haven't informed our agents, so if something happened it would be not covered. 
KP

Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #25 on: October 27, 2007, 09:33:43 PM »
one of the things I do in my "day job" is pretty intensive risk analysis.  That consists of about 10 people sitting around a table conversing over varying degrees of risk and consequence for a possible risk.  it's somewhat of an abstract way of thinking, but after doing it for a few years, i've become somewhat good at assessing risks, consequences, and mitigations to risk.

all of that said, I'm a firm believer that the the risk of injury with a portable sawmill lies mainly in the back injury area.  as far as "getting hurt" while using the mill is probably quite rare.  I feel the sawyers largest risk is to cut himself while changing bands.  

a woodworking shop in a garage or basement is much more dangerous than a portable bandsaw mill when it comes to "cutting" injuries.  i'm sure more people are missing digits due to a jointer mishap than a bandsawmill mishap.

jointers, tablesaws, and radial arm saws scare the crap out of me when I use them (which is good), i'm relatively "comfortable" while using my woodmizer.

Personally, I'd like to see Wood-mizer jump in the ring here, they understand the risk pretty well, and it would be a great point of entry for a lot of folks.

Woodmizer LT40HDG25 / Stihl 066 alaskan
lots of dull bands and chains

There's a fine line between turning firewood into beautiful things and beautiful things into firewood.

Offline Don_Papenburg

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2007, 10:07:26 PM »
I had my homeowners dropped once for the inapropriate bred of dog . Called the agent and asked what bred of dog do I need to have ? He had no clue what I was talking about . the company had not informed him of any of the crap they were pulling . If they had he would have informed them that we had zero dogs.
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Offline Brian_Rhoad

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2007, 10:57:13 PM »
Nothing against guns, I have quite a few, or hunting, I love to hunt, but you never hear of anyone being dropped for having a gun in the house. I think there are more guns than sawmills and they have the potential to do more harm than a mill. Dropping or refusing coverage because of having a sawmill just does'nt make any sense at all, but I know it happens.

Offline customsawyer

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2007, 07:44:18 PM »
I have a liability insurance that covers my whole bus. which includes reforestation, (tree planting, mowing, herbicide spraying, precomercial thinning, subsoiling, sod scalping) my sawmill with related activities, and I also run my back-hoe commercialy a little bit, plus I do just about anything else someone wants done as long as it don't interfer with my sawmill. All of these things are covered under my one blanket policy as a forestry company through Scottsdale. I don't remember off the top of my head what the premium is but it is somewhere in the $1800.00 range. This is for a million dollars coverage. I also have to maintain a million dollars of coverage on my pickup truck since it is what I use to go onto some of the large landowners property like the paper companies and such and they require it if you are going to drive on to there place. I don't mind having the coverage on my truck since I use it to pull all my trailers with logs, tractors, back-hoe, or lumber and if you ever get in a accident pulling something like that I can just about bet you will get a call from a lawyer in this deal, and he won't be trying to help you.
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Offline srt

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2007, 11:32:22 PM »
Just a thought here.  If they haven't already cancelled you, you may wish to consider either cancelling them first, or making things (at least for now) meet their specs.  I just got some more insurance, and was surprised by the question on the form that asks: Have you ever been denied insurance, or had insurance cancelled ? 

Now I don't mean to put a scare into you.  Could be they're just fishing with that question.  Could be that they use that question to disqualify you if you ever do have a claim and they find you "forgot" to mention you'd been cancelled by someone else.

Maybe someone here knows more about that question, and what insurance companies do with it????

Offline lmbeachy

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #30 on: October 29, 2007, 08:31:36 PM »
srt. That is a very important point srt. I am an insurance agent, and no they are not just fishing when they ask that question. Lester
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Offline flip

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #31 on: November 01, 2007, 05:08:41 PM »
Insurance?  What's that ???  I have absolutely no insurance on my mill and do not intend to, just personal preference.
Timberking B-20, Hydraulics make me board quick

Offline Kelvin

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #32 on: November 01, 2007, 06:18:18 PM »
Well i've only got one person to offer me insurance, and that is for $1500, which is looking like my only option.  I've spent about 10 hours this week on the phone, repeating my story to about every agent in town.  They probably are all calling the same underwriter who just says "That Kelvin Potter guy?  No way!"  I've talked to about 30 people literaly.  A funny thing keeps happening.  I explain this started out as a hobby and gotten bigger, so i'm looking for insurance to cover my woodmizer bandmill and my contracting business as a carpenter.  They always think they can do something.  I always tell them everything about the situation, to do other is pointless b/c they are going to come out and look anyhow.  Then i say what i would like to insure.  I make lumber, i would like to sell lumber here, and make and sell cabinetry and do handyman stuff.  No problem.  Then i usually get a call back in about a couple of hours. 

"kelvin?" 
"Yes?" 
"We found your website!"  Long dramatic pause. 
me... "okay?????"  What about it?" 
"We don't cover operations like that!" 
"You mean a bandsaw that makes lumber that i sell from my shop?"
"Yes"

You mean b/c you see what i told you in pictures its somehow different now?  I guess these people aren't the brightest bulbs in the pack.  I tell them honestly that i've made between $8k-$10k selling lumber last year and it amounts to about 1/4 of my work, the other being handyman.  For those of you who haven't seen my website click on Ravenfarm.com on the bottom of the page i believe.  I assume whats happening is that my website, that we put together in 2 hours, looks so professional, that even though its gotten me about zero actual business it is scaring these worry warts?  What do you think?  Turns out you can't just unplug your website.  Google remembers it for 30 days, so i can't just get rid of it.  Thought about modifying it to say...  "we don't do hardly anything here at Raven farm sawmill.  We certainly wouldn't do anything that would be dangerous like make lumber!"

Here are a couple of things agents have said to me after i ask them some questions.

Them  "We don't insure sawmills operations."

me  "What if i sold the sawmill, its the only piece of equipment i have that is really sawmill specific. iIm not really a sawmill operation, per se.  I mean i'm being lumped in with Home Depot by your underwriters" 

"We still wouldn't insure you b/c those stacks of lumber are a hazard.  If a neighborhood kid comes to steal some, and they pull the stack down on them, you'd be sued!"  (this is what they really said!)

I've been directed to a nearby sawmill that employes about 100 people and probably grosses millions. 
"go ask them who they use!"  Duh!!!

Some things i've found out.  Penn. Lumbermans only insures big operations.  Their cheapest policy is $2,500 i was told by a salesman there.
Farm bureau in michigan will not insure a sawmill period.  Even though they do in other states, not michigan.  All the numbers given by timberking didn't work for me either.  I think they didn't do business in michigan as i recall.  I've started directing agents to my website first now, so they survive the heart attack it induces.  Now i'm in real trouble b/c after picking up a whole whack of logs from a local tornado i've got about 20 stacks of stickered lumber.  Not to mention i can't even sell any, but think of the liablility!
I at least talked to an old agent who at least agrees with me about the underwriters.  He said they are quiver lumps of humanity that don't care if they say "no" cause they make the same amount of money anyways.  Where is the interest to think about a new subject and care if you can write one policy?  If it hasn't been done before, there is a reason!!!! 

Another funny thing is that most of the guy insurance agents all want to buy lumber from me and want to know if i can saw logs.  They say "I know a bunch of guys who are looking to find a portable sawmill guy to come saw up some logs"
I say "well, seeing as i can't buy insurance i probably won't be able to do that for you"  Hmmmm.....

So, with my business policy on my dump truck i will have to pay a total of $2200 to make about $5k this year.  Sound good to you?  I don't understand why they say no, instead of just making it expensive.  I mean, why not insure anybody, just change your rates to make up for the risk right? 

You don't see them bandmill magazine ads with the pictures of money on them, showing insurance agents sneaking around taking it all do you? 
Here's a catchy ad.
"Turn your logs into lumber so you can afford to pay your insurance agent!"
Well, i'll keep you informed of what i ultimately find out.  Most agents just never call back.  Thats an interesting business practice.
KP

Offline logwalker

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #33 on: November 01, 2007, 11:11:34 PM »
That was a good post Kelvin. We live in an age when the last word on just about anything is the insurance companies. They are followed closely by the lawyers.

All you hear about in the current election is the war and health insurance for everybody. We already spend 20% of our GNP in this country on health care. Who knows what will happen once we are all covered. 

What I find intriguing is that in my short lifetime (56), we have gone from almost no one having insurance to the prospect of our govt. insuring everyone.

If I found myself in your shoes I would seriously consider going bare. But I can only do this because I don't carry a mortgage.

Have you considered an LLC to at least protect yourself from a big lawsuit? I am sorry to hear about this as we could all be in the same boat if we aren't already.

Is this forum the longterm answer to this problem? Can we all form a large enough purchasing  block to get the underwriters interested? Was there a thread about this somewhere? Joe

Let's all be careful out there tomorrow. Lt40hd, 22' Kenworth Flatbed rollback dump, MM45B Mitsubishi trackhoe, Clark5000lb Forklift, Kubota L2850 tractor

Offline ely

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2007, 09:54:20 AM »
kelvin i am sorry for your troubles but thanks for the laughs anyway.  i have had the very same discussions with those folks myself.  my all time favorites are the folks who tell me that i owe income taxes because i own a sawmill. i just tell them when they can show me the income i will pay some taxes. :D

Offline johncinquo

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2007, 12:08:21 PM »
Wish I could help you more, but it has been the same battle for me.  I have been calling and talking to every P&C agent and carrier I know of.  Once it comes down to 1. Its no longer a hobby, or 2. its mobile, they can't help you.  The only way they can write it is if they have your home and property, and include it under an umbrella.   
I have talked with several carriers about a group or association plan.  The answer is always "maybe", after we show how the numbers add up.  You have to have enough large nunbers to offset the potential risk. 
I think going back to the manufacturers with this, and getting their support would be a big help.  It takes money and a bigger voice to get companies to listen.  If no owe can insure, then no one can operate, then no one can buy more mills.  Its in their best interest to help out. 
Just to clarify, I dont sell P&C insurance.  I am in the other lines of insurance business.  I have just been trying to help out and find some carriers to work with mill owners.
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Offline solodan

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #36 on: November 05, 2007, 09:20:09 PM »
If you live in an area where logging, timber production and lumber processing are a major industry, than there surley must be a broker that sells logging and timber operations insurance. A sawmill is considered timber operations. Even road building can be considered timber operations. I would have never found my insurance company myself, but my broker knows of lots of these companies that insure companies involved with timber operations. Premiums are not the same for everyone. There are lots of variables based on these figures. If you have no workers other than family, your premiums may be less than if you had a hired full time employee. If your major   business is  skidding logs, than you may pay less than an urban tree climber/faller. Bottom line is you can have insurance and still be sued for everything you have. If you are insured and non-neglegent you may have a running chance in a lawsuit. :-\ Maybe buying insurance is really just buying a piece of mind. It definately would not hurt to ask the larger mills who they use, you may get somewhere, cause the really really big guys are usually self insured anyway,  ??? why would a company worth billions buy coverage for a couple million.

Offline Kelvin

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #37 on: November 06, 2007, 07:46:51 AM »
Well i've had some luck, and its as i suspected.  Turns out its just how much the agents want to work on it.  I have a quote now from Auto Owners and Hastings, two companies that do contracting insurance.  Its funny as they come from two different agents, and each agent said the other wouldn't be able to cover me, but that they had figured out a way.  These were the two agents who wanted my business out of the 30 i called.  So just keep calling and asking.  Someone will make it work.  Quotes are about $1500 for what they call "1 million, 2 million" in liability, $50k on barn, $19k in "inland marine" which is for theft and fire for sawmill and tractor.  I can work off premises, and sell stuff at my business.

I had an agent explain what amount of coverage you should get this way.  Basically if someone is hurt by you or on your property, their insurance is going to sue you no matter if they are your best friend.  The insurance company decides and there is nothing you can do about it but decide to pay all the medical bills yourself.  Now they take a look at your net worth, and your insurance policy and pick between the two.  If they take all your stuff (house and cars, and no, a corporation doesn't protect you automatically.  Depends on how you use it) and get more money, thats what they will do.  If your policy is worth more, they take that.  Pretty simple.  Seems like it makes sense in a time when lawyers are running the country. (well i guess that most of the founding fathers were lawyers so i suppose thats the way it works)

On the corp thing, if you use the corp account like a personal account, they will treat it as no different then a buisness you own outright.  You must keep all the corp money carefully seperate, pay with company checks, pay taxes and everything to make sure the corporate sheild protects your house and personal assets.  I bet people would be surprised, like me, that a company doesn't mean squat until its perfect on paper.

I can't believe its a relief to pay $1500 plus $700 on my business truck, $2200 for insurance, but now my bank won't be able to stick me with their "special" insurance as my home owners got canceled and its their house.  I just live here :)
Whew!!!
KP

Offline Fla._Deadheader

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #38 on: November 06, 2007, 09:15:44 AM »

 Dowh here, safety is of little concern. Guys get legs caught between logs, and jump around stuff.

  First thing I tell them is, there is no hospital close.  IF you break a leg, you are igual (equal) to a caballo (Horse).  I just need a Pistola (Pistol) un Pala (Shovel) and a waco( hole). They look at me a little quizical, then start to smile. I keep a stern look on my face, and they realize I am serious.  ::) ::)  THAT gets all KINDS of looks from them.  ::) ::) :D :D
All truth passes through three stages:
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Offline solodan

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Re: Buzz about sawmill insurance vs. bandsaw mill insurance
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2007, 01:18:54 PM »
 :D :D :D


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