New crane causing insurance issue

TheArborMan

Active Member
Hey guys, wondering if anyone else has run into this problem before. I have had my auto and liability insurance with West Bend for about 6 years. I have never had a problem until recently. I bought a 26 ton boom truck this spring, they added the truck to my existing auto policy without a problem. A few weeks later my agent told me I needed a separate liability policy for operating the crane and west bend would not do it.

Any other tree guys out there that own a crane have to deal with this before? It seems weird that I would need 2 separate liability policies? I don't even know how they would determine a cost for the crane policy without being a complete cluster..
 

dbl612

Active Member
crane insurance is a specialized area and there are only 8-9 carriers in the country that write policies. tree crane work has snuck under the radar for tree companies in the past, but as cranes athat are used in tree work are getting bigger, the insurance companies are realizing the added exposure.
 

classictruckman

Well-Known Member
crane insurance is a specialized area and there are only 8-9 carriers in the country that write policies. tree crane work has snuck under the radar for tree companies in the past, but as cranes athat are used in tree work are getting bigger, the insurance companies are realizing the added exposure.
only one carrier in Canada for hook ins., many brokers but only one carrier.
 

cerviarborist

Very stable member
I just had a similar conversation with my insurance agent today, when I told him that I'd become a state certified beekeeper and might start offering a bee removal service for arborists. Bee capture and removal services are far enough out of the customary tree work realm, that he suggested that I operate and insure it as a separate LLC. Plainly stated, he said that It would be next to impossible to find an insurance underwriter who would insure both practices with the same policy.
 

craneguy1

Well-Known Member
Hey guys, wondering if anyone else has run into this problem before. I have had my auto and liability insurance with West Bend for about 6 years. I have never had a problem until recently. I bought a 26 ton boom truck this spring, they added the truck to my existing auto policy without a problem. A few weeks later my agent told me I needed a separate liability policy for operating the crane and west bend would not do it.

Any other tree guys out there that own a crane have to deal with this before? It seems weird that I would need 2 separate liability policies? I don't even know how they would determine a cost for the crane policy without being a complete cluster..
We did run into a minor gliche the first time around.....about 12 or so years ago...our agents did their homework and labeled the truck as a "hydraulic boom truck"; which they technically are...mention crane and it can send underwriters running for the hills....hope this helps.
 

dbl612

Active Member
We did run into a minor gliche the first time around.....about 12 or so years ago...our agents did their homework and labeled the truck as a "hydraulic boom truck"; which they technically are...mention crane and it can send underwriters running for the hills....hope this helps.
the underwriters have done their homework now. boom trucks are classified as cranes. when you apply for insurance they will ask you the capacity and boom length of cranes you own and the types of crane work you do.
 

treevet

Well-Known Member
I am coming up for a renew here in a few weeks and sought a competitive bid and for the first time ( I have owned cranes forever) I am coming up against resistance to, as you say, cover the operations of the crane not the crane itself....from both of them. I think tip over is the resounding strike they hear (from what I hear) and certed or not hedging is going on NOW. I was just about to start a thread myself. We'll see where this leads.

Timber.....LadderRoof_0.jpg
 

dbl612

Active Member
I am coming up for a renew here in a few weeks and sought a competitive bid and for the first time ( I have owned cranes forever) I am coming up against resistance to, as you say, cover the operations of the crane not the crane itself....from both of them. I think tip over is the resounding strike they hear (from what I hear) and certed or not hedging is going on NOW. I was just about to start a thread myself. We'll see where this leads.

Timber.....View attachment 31642
tree care companies are going to discover big cost increases as insurance companies realize the increased exposure the crane use brings to tree care activities.
 

dbl612

Active Member
if you are a tree company that owns a crane, its very important to keep your vehicle liability insurance separate from general liability/crane insurance. the likely hood of a little fender ender is much greater than a crane accident, but if they are lumped together, the overall loss run looks bad and reflects poorly on your crane activity and your rates go up dramatically or they may refuse to cover/renew.
 

allmark

Well-Known Member
With mine my truck is covered under collision. The crane is covered with an inland marine policy. Liability is covered under my general liability. I also have what is commonly called hook insurance. This covers what is attached to the hook(the load). Hook insurance isn't neccesary for tree work since there isn't a loss of value if it drops. You would only need it if you are lifting things of value such as havac units trusses etc.
 

SJ_Treeguy

Active Member
my renewal was December and my agent said i needed two policies ,one for the truck going down the road and one for when the crane is in the air. This is the first time in ten years , but as allmark said i also lift many other things that are valuable as he does .
 

dbl612

Active Member
guys what i meant was your over the road liability needs to be separate from your general liability. the probability of a minor fender bender or just backing into another car is much greater and also much less costly than a crane accident. if they are lumped together, when your insurance co. reviews loss runs, your accidents reflect poorly overall and your premiums rocket upwards. crane and equipt loss is covered by inland marine and is based on your stated value of the equipment.
 

TreeClimberMike

New Member
No I just ran into the pict with no story.
That one happened about 5 minutes from my house. Dead tulip tree with a relatively inexperienced climber and a crane op who had only done steel erection. The stub you see behind the house was going to be the second pick . Chart said he was good for about 8,000 lbs, LMI went up to 9'500 before the pick left the "stump" Called for a bigger crane, waited 4 hours, wind came up and twisted the pick off the stump. Later that day I saw the boom dollies for the cranes they brought in to recover the crane. I believe they caused $79,000 in damages to an $85,000 house. I got this from talking to several of the local crane ops I had worked with.
 

TheArborMan

Active Member
So last year I was able to fly under the radar with the crane. I think my agent pretty much just annoyed the shit out of West Bend who eventually caved in and said they covered crane work without changing my liability rates at all?? I guess it worked out good for the year. :hueco: This year we are back in the same spot. West Bend will not cover any crane work under my current liability policy. Here is a little more background on where I'm at.

Last year I started with a green operator, we took things very slow, mostly in house work, only subbed out about 10 times to trusted friends. I always went with the crane and did the climbing when we subbed out. I was ok with the insurance debacle because we were running very low risk.

This year I plan to sub the crane out when we are not using it in house, 2-3 days a week. My op went to Associated Training Services 3 week class and got his NCCCO. I don't want to fight West Bends decision this year, I want to be properly covered.

My questions for you guys that own a tree and crane service is, do you only have a single liability policy covering in house tree and crane work, also covering subbing the crane out, tree, trusses, hvac, etc? If you do have a single policy covering all tree and crane operations, who is it through? My agent asked if I would want to separate the crane service into a new business with another insurance plan, i'm not a fan of that, I think it will over complicate things. I have a good relationship with my agent and do not wish to leave, unfortunately he does not work with anyone else who owns a crane and has not been much help with the situation.
 

TimBr

Well-Known Member
That one happened about 5 minutes from my house. Dead tulip tree with a relatively inexperienced climber and a crane op who had only done steel erection. The stub you see behind the house was going to be the second pick . Chart said he was good for about 8,000 lbs, LMI went up to 9'500 before the pick left the "stump" Called for a bigger crane, waited 4 hours, wind came up and twisted the pick off the stump. Later that day I saw the boom dollies for the cranes they brought in to recover the crane. I believe they caused $79,000 in damages to an $85,000 house. I got this from talking to several of the local crane ops I had worked with.
Wow, TreeClimberMike, what a great post! Amazing that someone on this forum had so much detailed information about a random photo plucked from the internet by another forum member!

Thanks for telling the tale.

Tim
 

Mark Chisholm

Administrator
That's a little hard to believe that his chart was only 8000? That looks like a pretty good radius unless it's the picture playing tricks via interent?
 
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