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propane insurance clarification/update

...is pretty much like anything else - you usually get what you pay for. There are a LOT of ins and outs, and a good agent or broker will be aware of these, and know what questions to ask you. Many people don't know about separate coverage for employees using their own vehicles for something work related. The once-in-a-while thing where Charlie drives home right past a supplier who has a part you need for tomorrow. "I'll just pick it up on the way home, and bring it in tomorrow morning." If Charlie has an accident in his car that can be tied to this little side errand, that can be very bad news. If you didn't buy the coverage (and it's only a few bucks), you the employer can be facing a claim with no insurance. If my insurance guy had brought this up, I wouldn't have known anything about it.

A lot of people look at insurance as a commodity. They shouldn't.


  • Steve Ebels
    Steve Ebels Member Posts: 904
    Propane insurance clarification

    First off, my insurance guy is a top notch person. He grew up in this area and worked in our store while he was in high school and college bagging groceries. What he said about lying to the insurance company was said "tongue in cheek" between two friends who have known each other for 20 years. He's just started his own agency about three years ago and I don't think he has quite as extensive line of carriers as some older agents do. He explained to me yesterday that what the insurance company wants to do is write an exclusion for LP gas on my policy, not "merely" raise my rates. From what he told me this is a general trend in the industry and will be happening across the board soon. He's currently looking for different insurance carriers that are more familiar with the contracting business and LP gas coverage. Can any of you share either here or by e-mail what companies you are insured with and what you pay?
    Also it might be worth a call to your agent or insurance carrier to check and see if you actually have coverage. My agent told me that a lot of contractors are operating without and don't even know it.
    Thanks in advance.
  • Heatermon
    Heatermon Member Posts: 119
    L.P. and insurance

    We too have went through your "pain" a couple months back and here's what we found:

    1. We lost the insurance carrier we had for over 10 years because they didn't want anything to do with "contractors" in our state (Calif).

    2. All the carriers willing to do business with us had many exclusions and were also lower rated than what we were used to (Went from a A+++ to a A--- rated carrier).

    3. L.P. was a "warning flag" to the insurers and we had to certify that we did not "install" L.P. system (repairs and replacement of L.P. burning equipment was O.K.)

    4. Just When we thought we were all done, my insurance agent asks, "Do you want coverage for water damage? That's extra you know".

    All and all we ended up with a doubling of our premium (it's based on a percentage of payroll - 25% now) and with worman's comp also at 25% now, we are paying 50% of our workers gross wages in premiums to insurance companies. I don't know how we'll survive - Oh wait - we just charge it out to our customers so I guess I better say I don't know how they'll survive :)

    Being from California we have to keep our sense of humor or we'll go crazy - maybe we are already crazy like you guys back east say - that would explain how Arnold's going to be our next Governor (Arnold Jackson from "Different Strokes" that is). Anyway good luck with your insurance crises, I feel your pain - and I'm not even a redneck from Arkansas. Maybe when Hillary gets in charge again, all our problems will go away.

    From the land of "taxed from the moment we use the toilet"

    I om the Heatermon

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
  • John R. Hall
    John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246

    I just did a two-part series on insurance for The News. I didn't hear anything about propane (since the mold issue overshadows all things living these days). I think I'll take a closer look into this topic. Thanks for the alert.
  • Glen
    Glen Member Posts: 855

    Add oil to the list - eventhough the furnace works - the insurance carrier would not insure until new gas furnace was installed. Lost another oil customer - may gain the gas install.
  • Bill_14
    Bill_14 Member Posts: 345
    I checked

    with our insurance agent. We are covered for work on propane gas systems & equipment through our general liability policy. The carrier is CNA. Other carriers that will allow this coverage are Mid-Continent, Ranger & Ohio Casualty...there are probably others.

    The kicker is that if your business with propane installations starts getting into the 20% to 30% of your sales, then you start getting hammered with the propane business policy and your other liability coverage is excluded for propane service work.

    In our case, we do less than 1% propane work if that much. In addition, I was told that some regions of the country are more flexible with various risks within the same insurance company. In other words, the Midwest may be more tolerant than the east, etc. with CNA as the carrier.

    Hope this helps you, but hope you are able to let this agent know that truthful information is all that should be expected.


  • Tony_8
    Tony_8 Member Posts: 608
    LP coverage

    costs me about $30 a year extra. Preferred Mutual is my company (in NY)
This discussion has been closed.