My Tractor Forum banner
  • We have a new contest celebrating your backyard. Sponsored by Walmart, its your chance to win a $400 gift just in time for the 4th of July! HERE Contest Ends on the 30th.

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,065 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I like to help out with snow removal in our neighborhood like the elderly and widows living alone.
Was wondering about those that do also, are you concern about not having snow plowing insurance?

With sue crazy the would is getting today, does this ever cross your mine??
 

·
Just a Tinkerer
Joined
·
1,342 Posts
I do it for about nine houses on my street AND the street itself. I don't worry about lawsuits, my neighbors are GREAT! The only thing I ask is for fuel to top the tank off. But now having a diesel, that's not going to work, EXCEPT one neighbor purposely purchased a five gallon diesel can and filled it up in expectation....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,115 Posts
We carry an "Umbrella" insurance policy that covers things of that nature. If you opt for this be sure it will step in at the start of any legal action to pay the lawyers and that kind of thing. Some policies only cover the final judgement if you lose.

Our policy also stipulates that you must not be doing "for hire" work if the suit involves things such as you are thinking of doing. This include accepting cookies, beer or any other thing of value for doing the work.

An example would be if you are helping at the Church, Grange Hall or other such establishment and something goes wrong. If you have accepted a free lunch with the rest of the crew it's questionable if the insurance is obligated to step up.

If we are helping a neighbor that's sick feed his cattle and we do something stupid we're covered. If, however, we accept a cup of coffee while doing the work we're not covered. Stupid isn't it! Same house, same people and we stop to visit later in the day and have coffee it's OK.

Just what the insurance people tell me, your milage may vary.

Mike
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
36,474 Posts
Most neighbors around me have their own GT's or younger kids that do the work!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
665 Posts
I do the 2 widows drives down the road from me and the family that doesnt own a shovel plus the cul de sac. I mow all their grass, leaf mulching, cleaning up big branches, snowblowing and maintain the grass in the middle of the cul de sac. If they are dumb enough to sue me for whatever, they have lost out on a lot more than what happened. The widows are great I have gift cards dropped in the mail box so often...pays for the gas and it keeps the neighborhood looking clean and makes my property look better too. but to answer your question. No I dont carry insurance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
483 Posts
Check out the snowplowing forum if you wanna hear the horror stories... no good deed ever goes unpunished!!!

Same goes for plowing driveways without being asked.... you'd be amazed what people will sue for. You damaged their grass, they had to fix it, threw out their back lifting a bag of seed, all your fault they can't ever work again boo hooooo.....

Be careful out there, and keep it to neighbours you know WELL! But even then, you'd be amazed how fast they can turn on you when the dollar signs start flying around!!!
 

·
Shop = My Therapy
Joined
·
3,158 Posts
I help out an older couple once in a while when we get a really big snow and I blowout my next door neighbors driveway when he is out of town so his wife can get out. I usually get $20 from my neighbor and cookies or something yummy from the older couple. I don't care an specific insurance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,889 Posts
I'm not worried to much about getting sued, just concerned over the road sand and salt here. I know, why did I buy it if I'm not going to use it, but the underside of these tractors are really nice, and then how long will it take for the snowblower to start rusting.

The other thing is I want to drive this tractor, so far I have stayed out of the road salt, but I don't know how long I can hold out without going after the neighbors driveways.

I also know I'm pretty safe on this cul de sac (dead end street) as far as getting hit by traffic, but if I go down to the end of the street its a 25 mph speed limit, and they go pretty fast, and if your backing out they won't be able to stop and you will get hit.

Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,115 Posts
Check out the snowplowing forum if you wanna hear the horror stories... no good deed ever goes unpunished!!!

Same goes for plowing driveways without being asked.... you'd be amazed what people will sue for. You damaged their grass, they had to fix it, threw out their back lifting a bag of seed, all your fault they can't ever work again boo hooooo.....

Be careful out there, and keep it to neighbours you know WELL! But even then, you'd be amazed how fast they can turn on you when the dollar signs start flying around!!!
It's also well to remember it's not just the person you are helping that must be considered. If something does happen and their insurance company gets involved, or a family member decides to sue, your going to have troubles.

This topic comes up quite often with roto-tilling, field mowing, snow plowing/blowing and such. There are always those that don't believe in having insurance coverage and those that advocate having the protection. Perhaps it all depends on how much a person is putting at risk.

Personally I opt to carry coverage that will protect my family and property from lawsuits, frivolous or otherwise.

Mike
 

·
Have Dog - Will Travel
Joined
·
6,350 Posts
Mike, it is a shame this is such a good topic for discussion. I am uncomfortable in a world where helping out an invalid neighbor opens one to potential litigation. Sad to say, the comments are correct.

All that said, I have mowed for a neighbor, and I have plowed for a neighbor. After our recent October snow storm I've cut up trees, limbs, tree-tops etc for neighbors and folks at church. All more or less opening me up to risk of litigation.

I am a trustee at our church, where we have a large property. I regularly run chainsaws, weed-wackers, pull trailer loads of leaves, climb on roofs, lubricate under elevators, ... I recently got a "survey" from my home-owners and umbrella policy underwriters asking if I serve as "Trustee" for any volunteer organization. Our church carries liability insurance for such things as falls but it is a bit sketchy whether our Trustees, officers, Pastor, and other employees are protected by this insurance from legal action. It has been my observation that no amount of insurance, nor waiver, will keep a lawyer from considering a lawsuit.

I think I'd keep all my efforts on a very low profile basis, and skip the cookies.

YMMV
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,799 Posts
Of course there is the other possibility that you are injured while helping a neighbor .What do you do then ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
483 Posts
.....or if you injure someone while doing it, OR if someone is injured on there AFTER you have left. Could be as simple as a mailman falling in the driveway 8 hrs after you plowed, his lawyer is going to round up anyone and everyone involved in a dragnet, and find out who has the deepest pockets.

Then there is always the argument of taking the work away from professionals who make their living doing this... they pay their insurance etc. and as a result have a forced higher overhead, of course they can't afford to do it for cookies. You may look at this as no big deal, its only snowplowing, but how would you like it if a snowplower took up painting houses, building fences, or roofing, or whatever YOU do for a living for a little bit of cash or cookies on the side?

Also, be sure to check your local bylaws--in some places tractors are simply NOT ALLOWED on the street. Snow is never allowed to be pushed across a street either. You can be ticketed for either, or held liable for anything that happens on that stretch of street due to pushing snow/salt/sand off the road surface. In fact, there was a newspaper article in the past year or two up here where a guy on a tractor was ticketed for having his tractor on a city street where he was just helping his neighbours after a massive storm--I believe the Premier had the ticket quashed due to public outcry but who needs the headache?

Also, there are strict regulations about needing a special license to plow snow in certain areas (outside of your own property), not to mention regulations about required emergency lighting etc.

There is a lot to think about, and you do these sort of things at your own risk!!!

Then, of course, there are the completely frivelous law suits... a quick example someone was being sued for on the plowing forum was at a plaza parking lot he managed, he plowed and salted but there was a slip and fall and lawsuit. Turned out, the Starbucks next door to the plaza hadn't been plowed so people were parking in his lot and walking in (technically trespassing since they were in a closed plaza after hours, and not having business with any of the units on site). The person who launched the suit had slipped and fallen on SOMEONE ELSE'S spilled coffee (from the before mentioned Starbucks) while trespassing on a neighboring parking lot... yet still felt entitled to a million bucks.

In summary, don't ever get to comfortable with people thinking they wouldn't sue you (especially you guys in the USA!). After all, why should they go to work every day and EARN a paycheck when they can just stay at home watching TV and take yours?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
954 Posts
I till the gardens for the neighbors, and help them where I can with the FEL. I asked my insurance agent if something happened would my homeowner's insurance cover it. He said as long as I am not working for hire, all is covered. :trink39:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
WOW, whatever happened to "helping out the neighbors"?

The world has changed I guess, but I won't, not the way I was raised...

I'll always help out...
:ditto::ditto:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,889 Posts
I try to help out but not during the winter yet anyway.

Starting around May 1st and going all summer up until late fall I have any where from 1 to a half a dozen Hmongs in and out of here working in there gardens, they have all been told to just come and go as they like, they never have to ask.

I'm not worried about any of them suing me but they bring there little children every once in a while and something could happen but I'm not concerned they are all really nice.

I'm 70 years old and if somebody wants to sue me I guess there going to just have to do it, but I enjoy these Hmong grammys.

Little lowriders I call them, they are sweethearts.

I'm out and amongst the gardens more then they are, because of the watering and what not. They are doing me a favor, I get lots of exercise and enjoy doing it. I'm lucky I have them.:fing32:

Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
665 Posts
WOW, whatever happened to "helping out the neighbors"?

The world has changed I guess, but I won't, not the way I was raised...

I'll always help out...
:ditto:If it really comes down to insurance i can cover my neighborhood blower/mower under the farm. Yet, I live in a rural community attacking a neighbor you are helping is seriously frowned upon. I do see the points that are trying to be made and I feel that its extreme, but in todays society its not. Thats exactly why i will NEVER live in the city.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,115 Posts
WOW, whatever happened to "helping out the neighbors"?

The world has changed I guess, but I won't, not the way I was raised...

I'll always help out...
Hope I didn't give the wrong impression with my words of caution. I'm a firm believer in helping where I can.

What I'm saying is it's a good idea to protect yourself and family first. The old saying of "Charity begins at home." is very true.

Mike
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top