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6 Steps to Properly Insuring Your Truck for Snow Plowing in Central New York

February 19th, 2024 | 4 min read

By Daniel J. Middleton

Central New York winters bring stunning landscapes, but also brutal snowfall. As a snow plow operator, you brave the elements to keep communities moving. But have you ever worried your truck insurance might not provide adequate coverage? 

You’re not alone. Many CNY plowers face unclear policies and hidden gaps, leaving them exposed in the face of accidents or damage.

At Horan, we understand your unique situation. As a Baldwinsville insurance agency, we’ve seen firsthand the challenges CNY plowers face, and we’re here to help.

This article is your guide to securing the right insurance, so you can focus on clearing snow, not worrying about coverage. We’ll break down essential questions, navigate common pitfalls, and equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions. 

Buckle up, because a smooth season starts with the right insurance on your side.

Step 1. Get a Commercial Auto Policy

If you use your truck to plow driveways or commercial lots, you need a commercial auto policy. A personal auto policy won’t cover you if you have an accident while plowing. You’re risking a lot of trouble if you plow snow with a personal auto policy.

A commercial auto policy covers your truck as a business vehicle. It also covers the blade, the attachments, and the mechanisms that you installed on your truck. 

A personal auto policy only covers your truck as it was when you bought it. It doesn’t cover any modifications or accessories that you added for plowing. You need to add accessory coverage to your commercial auto policy to cover those parts. Otherwise, you will have to pay out of pocket if they get damaged or stolen. 

We discuss this a bit more in the next section.

Step 2. Add Accessory Coverage for the Blade

You also need to cover the blade and its value. The blade is the critical addition that turns your truck into a winter workhorse. You need to know the brand, make, model, year, and cost of the blade. With that info, add accessory coverage to your commercial auto policy for the blade. 

Accessory coverage pays for the damage or theft of the blade and its parts.

The blade can get damaged easily if you hit something while plowing. It can also damage someone else’s driveway or property. You don’t want to pay for those repairs yourself. You want to get the blade fixed as soon as possible. If you have accessory coverage, you can get the blade repaired or replaced without spending too much money.

6 Steps to Proper CNY Snow Plow Insurance.Step 3. Get Business Insurance for Snow Plowing

The truck and the blade are not the only things that need coverage. You also need business insurance for snow plowing. Business insurance protects you from the risks of running a snow plowing business. 

For example, if someone sues you for damaging their property or injuring them, business insurance can help you pay for the legal fees and settlements. Business insurance can also cover your lost income if you can’t plow due to an accident or a weather event.

Commercial auto insurance only covers your truck and the blade. It doesn’t cover the work that you do with them. You need business insurance to cover the work that you do as a snow plower. Don’t overlook getting business insurance for snow plowing. It can save you from a lot of trouble and expense.

Step 4. Tell the Insurance Carrier What and Where You Are Plowing

The carrier needs to know some details about your plowing activities. They need to know:

  • What you are plowing. Are you plowing driveways, commercial lots, or both?
  • Where you are plowing. How far do you travel from your base location to plow? What is your radius of operation?
  • Who your drivers are. How many drivers do you have for your truck or trucks? What are their names, ages, and driving records? Do they have any tickets or accidents?

These details affect your insurance rate. The more you plow, the further you go, and the more drivers you have, the higher your rate will be. That’s because you have more exposure to risk. You need to tell the carrier these details so they can give you the right coverage and price.

Step 5. Insure Your Truck Year-Round

Don’t cancel your insurance when the snow season ends. Keep your insurance on your truck all year. You never know what can happen to your truck when it’s not plowing. It could get damaged by a tree, fire, theft, or vandalism. 

You don’t want to pay for those losses yourself. Having comprehensive coverage on your truck will make the difference. It pays for the damage or loss of your truck caused by something other than a collision.

If you cancel your insurance, you’ll have to go through the hassle of getting it back when the snow season starts. You might miss the opportunity to plow if a big storm comes and you don’t have insurance. You might also get in trouble if you drive your truck without insurance or registration.

Keep your insurance on your truck all year. It’s safer, cheaper, and more convenient in the long run.

Step 6. Insure Your Blade When it’s Off the Truck

When you take the blade off the truck, the blade is no longer covered by the commercial auto policy. The commercial auto policy only covers the blade when it’s attached to the truck. When the blade is off the truck, you need to have another way to cover it.

You can cover the blade with your business coverage. Your business coverage can include personal property protection. This pays for the damage or loss of your business property, such as the blade. When getting this coverage, you need to tell the carrier the value of the blade and where you store it. You also need to secure the blade from theft or vandalism.

So, insure your blade when it’s off the truck. You don’t want to lose your blade or pay for a new one. You want to have it ready for the next snow season.

Proper Snow Plow Insurance is Within Reach

Winter’s fury is inevitable, but facing it with inadequate insurance is a choice. By following the advice in this article, you can step into the season with composure. Imagine the security of knowing a fender bender won’t derail your business, or a damaged blade won’t leave you scrambling for repairs. 

That’s the power of having the proper insurance for your snow plowing business.

Skimping on coverage is a gamble with high stakes. Don’t let a single misstep turn a snowy day into a financial blizzard. 

Click the Get a Quote button below to secure the right insurance, and focus on what you do best: keeping Central New York moving, one cleared path at a time.

Get a Quote

Daniel J. Middleton

Daniel is an accomplished content creator. He has been working in publishing for almost two decades. Horan Companies hired Daniel as its content manager in November 2022. The agency entrusted its messaging to him. Since then, Daniel has written insurance articles, service and pillar pages, and more. All in an effort to educate CNY readers. He's helping them understand the world of insurance so they can make informed decisions.