Looking for insurance/ advice for solo work

Location
Batavia
I’ve been in the tree industry for around 6 years and climbing for over three years. I have a lot of requests for side work and small projects here and there. I don’t want to fully commit to starting a tree company at the moment because I like the stability I have with my current employer but I want to supplement my income with small jobs on most weekends and eventually start on my own once I’m in a better spot to make that transition. I’ve done side work before but would like to do it more smart by having insurance and I would like advice on any good companies to contact for quotes and do I need a licensed business to be able to start insurance? Or can I go as self employed to start up? I will be working on my own for most projects and may have occasional help from my wife or brother.
 

AdkEric

Branched out member
Location
Adirondacks
I’ve been in the tree industry for around 6 years and climbing for over three years. I have a lot of requests for side work and small projects here and there. I don’t want to fully commit to starting a tree company at the moment because I like the stability I have with my current employer but I want to supplement my income with small jobs on most weekends and eventually start on my own once I’m in a better spot to make that transition. I’ve done side work before but would like to do it more smart by having insurance and I would like advice on any good companies to contact for quotes and do I need a licensed business to be able to start insurance? Or can I go as self employed to start up? I will be working on my own for most projects and may have occasional help from my wife or brother.
I am assuming you are in Batavia, NY so my response is catered to NY.

NYS doesn't require a tree care business to be "licensed." You should however check with your county/local governments to see if they require anything further. I am quite a ways east of you, but all my county required me to do was register my business name (D.B.A. or doing business as.) If you plan to incorporate or LLC there may be different requirements. Your county clerk's office should be able to point you in the right direction.

You will need to submit an application to the state to register as a sales tax vendor, since you will be selling a taxable service.

NYS requires all employees to be covered by Workers Comp insurance, even if it's occasional, and even if it's your wife or brother. There exist exceptions to this, one of which being a partnership. If your business is structured as a partnership then the partners are not required to be covered by workers comp. Any additional employees will, however.

I used the SIG Insurance Agencies for my insurance because they are close to me and have great customer service. It may be worth contacting them as well as agencies closer to you. www.findsig.com

https://www.businessexpress.ny.gov/app/bw/startnewbusiness Use this site to create a customized business check list.
 
Location
Batavia
Thank you for the reply. It’s great to have all the knowledge and support from good guys in the trade. I’m located in Ohio and probably should have stated that to start. I’ve researched and believe I’m going to go forward with setting up a llc. I contacted a few insurance agencies and found one that is going to be a good fit for the start up I’m looking for.
 

Reach

Been here a while
Location
Atglen, PA
Not to hi-jack or revive an old thread but does anyone have similar info and suggestions for Michigan? Im in a very similar situation as the OP.
@VenasNursery may be able to help you, if I remember correctly he is in Michigan.

The basics are the same anywhere though, insurance is needed if you’re going to work on your own, at a minimum you’ll need a general liability policy and a commercial auto policy (if you’re using your truck for work and hit something, your regular auto insurance company may deny coverage).

Call a few local insurance companies and see who has experience insuring tree services, they can give you some good guidance.
 

Chaplain242

Branched out member
Read the conditions, on most policies in my area I read that there is a witness required for claims. When using casual labor you will have it, but if solo you may not. If local industry requirements require two people on the job, you may have issues on claiming. Read the fine print of the policies.
 

southsoundtree

Been here a while
Location
Olympia, WA
Advice: have and don't use your insurances.

No "probablies".

Always cut with an SRT line to the ground.

Buy a rolling manual carrier, like a modified hand truck and/or Arbor Trolley, then a hydraulic material handler.
 

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