Trash pickups are always needed. Residential customers need a trash pickup to purge extra items, often before a move or during a home renovation, as the trash piles up quickly. Similarly, commercial customers also need dumpster rentals for cleanups and construction projects. As a result, many clients benefit from a dumpster rental business.
Whether you own one dumpster rental or several, this profitable industry opportunity is not without liability risks. But, even though there are risks, you can protect your business from the financial burden that accidents place on the company with an insurance package. So, what are some of these risks?
What Are Some Risks for a Dumpster Rental Business?
A dumpster rental business is exposed to some of the following risks:
- Automobile accidents
- Employee injuries
- Damage to equipment
- Customer injuries
This list is only a brief review of risks, revealing the importance of carrying a well-rounded insurance package. For example, should an accident or damage happen, your insurance policies will cover the resulting expenses and alleviate some pressure off the company to come up with those funds.
A dumpster rental business’s main risk is a car accident claim. A large portion of the business involves driving between customers to deliver a rental dumpster and pick it up when the customer is finished. Driving the trucks between locations exposes the company to vehicular accidents. For example, accidents commonly happen from sudden stops and narrow turns, which are hard for heavy trucks to do safely.
Additionally, it’s challenging to load and unload the dumpster without causing damage to the surrounding property. Therefore, drivers of roll-off trucks must have special training and licensing, which helps reduce accidents. However, regardless of training, property damage still happens—especially on steep, narrow, or poorly lit driveways.
Employees who operate the trucks and heavy machinery are at risk of injury from cuts, falls, broken limbs, and sometimes death. The nature of the job requires working with heavy equipment and some lifting—which can lead to back and knee injuries. Additionally, hazardous waste can cause illness and injury.
Damage to Equipment
A dumpster rental business requires frequent movement and repetitive use of the dumpsters, increasing their risk of damage and wear. Also, a dumpster involved in a car accident may leave the dumpster damaged and unusable. Since the company depends on the dumpsters to maintain business flow, it is essential to protect them if an incident occurs.
Customers coming onto the business’s premises is usually slight. However, some dumpster rental businesses offer onsite garbage drop-offs, which risks customer injury from falls, cuts, and falling objects. Notably, a too-full dumpster can injure a customer if an item falls out. Additionally, customers can be injured during dumpster drop-offs and pickups.
Proper training and safety measures can help prevent injuries to customers. Still, if an accident should occur, insurance is a great tool to protect the business from lawsuits and financial hardships.
What Types of Insurance Should a Dumpster Rental Business Consider?
Unfortunately, financial hardship from an accident can bankrupt a business, but insuring against liability and damages can prevent that from happening.
A dumpster rental business should consider the following policies:
- Commercial automobile insurance
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Inland marine insurance
- General liability insurance
Commercial Automobile Insurance
A dumpster rental business needs automobile insurance for liability and physical damage claims resulting from car accidents. The liability portion covers at-fault claims for bodily injury or property damage and pays for legal defense fees, medical payments, and property damage repairs.
For instance, if the dumpster rental business rear-ends another vehicle, resulting in property damage and injury to the other driver, the business is responsible for paying for the damages. However, automobile insurance takes on the responsibility and covers the payments.
Any damage to the business’s truck is protected by the physical damage portion of automobile insurance. It pays for repairs, reimburses a totaled vehicle, and often assists with rental car coverage. The physical damage coverage also protects against the perils of theft, vandalism, fire, or hail damage.
Claims can be reduced with training and practice operating the roll-trucks. As such, a CDL (commercial driver’s license) is often required to use the business’s trucks. Even with training and licensing, an accident can still happen; therefore, it is essential to have an automobile insurance policy to protect the business.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
In the dumpster rental industry, employees work with heavy machinery, operate large trucks, and are exposed to potentially hazardous waste. For this reason, it is essential to provide thorough training and enforce safety precautions to protect your employees from unnecessary injury.
Unfortunately, accidents aren’t planned for and can be severe. For example, an employee can be injured in a car accident, a falling object, or become ill from exposure to hazardous waste. A workers’ compensation policy provides financial assistance to an employee injured on the job.
A workers’ compensation policy includes payments for the following:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Ongoing rehabilitation care
- Funeral expenses
Inland Marine Insurance
An inland marine insurance policy offers coverage for the business’s equipment while in transit or away from the premises. It protects portable equipment against hazards such as damage, theft, or vandalism. This line of coverage follows the business’s items wherever they go.
Examples of equipment that need coverage offsite include dumpsters, laptops or tablets, and specialized tools. Although a dumpster would be hard to steal, it can still be damaged. Therefore, an inland marine policy is an excellent option for covering business items that often move.
General Liability Insurance
A dumpster rental business should consider a commercial general liability policy to protect them from bodily injury or property damage claims. This coverage is especially significant for businesses with customers visiting onsite and dropping off garbage. However, customer injury can also happen offsite, requiring the business to carry liability coverage for these accidents.
A general liability policy has a set limit of coverage, which pays for the following:
- Medical payments
- Property damage repairs
- Legal fees
These payments go to third parties who are harmed by the business. Of course, safety measures and training can help prevent accidents, but if an injury or damage occurs, this policy is a great way to protect the business from lawsuits.
How Much Does Insurance Cost for a Dumpster Rental Business?
The cost of insurance will vary depending on the size of the company and the scope of its professional services. As such, a large company with numerous dumpster rentals, employees, and services will need a generous limit of coverage. However, a smaller company with fewer dumpster rentals and only a handful of employees won’t need as large of a policy.
The best way to determine the cost of insurance is to call several insurance companies and ask for a quote. The agent will ask you questions, such as:
- How many trucks do you need to be insured?
- How many employees are on the payroll?
- Do all your drivers have a CDL?
- What is the scope of the services you offer?
- What are the ages, quality, and values of the dumpsters?
After the agent determines the amount of coverage your business needs, they will generate your annual premium (i.e., yearly cost). Many insurance policies can be bundled into a package policy, saving you time and money. In the end, insurance is a great way to protect your business against the potential financial harm an accident can cause.