As an experienced snow removal company, we understand that it’s difficult to compare snow removal quotes when each company packages and sells their services with a slightly different approach. We wanted to provide you with practical tips to help you evaluate each companies quote and find the best fit for your business.
Does the company have adequate insurance to cover any liability issues that might arise from a slip and fall?
I put this as number one on the list because you need to choose a company that has $5,000,000 of liability and property insurance. If they have less than $5,000,000 of coverage, I would consider that a deal breaker and move on to other quotes.
Tip – ask for a certificate of insurance showing the coverage. A professional snow removal provider will be able to easily send you a certificate of insurance by email. Also, ask if they will add your property as an additional insured on their policy. After the contract has been signed you should be provided with a certificate of insurance showing your business as an additional insured. Make sure you have a copy of this for your records before the season starts.
Does the company have WSIB coverage?
This is important because you need to make sure that the employee who may be shoveling your front walkway is not going to be injured on the job and come after you.
Tip – ask for a WSIB eClearance certificate. This will show that the contractor is up-to-date on their WSIB filings and is in good standings. If you are choosing a small one-man snow plow contractor you may be ok to choose an individual without WSIB if they are the only person working on your property. Again, my recommendation would be that no WSIB coverage is a deal breaker.
How often will they plow the snow?
You need to know exactly how many centimeters or inches of snow needs to accumulate before they will plow the property.
Tip – we recommend choosing a snow plowing service that triggers snow plowing at 2.5 cm. Anything more than 4 cm and you are going to run into trouble with freezing snow packing into the pavement and ice.
When will they plow the snow?
Our recommendation is to be very specific about the needs of your property. This is one element in the quote process that you can control to easily compare service levels. Be specific. What time of day do you need the snow cleared by? Do you require snow removal service on weekends?
Tip – a good snow removal company will clear your property from snow every day of the week regardless of whether or not your business is open. The snow plow contractor is legally responsible and should ensure that the parking lot is safe at all times.
How will they invoice you?
You will most likely receive different types of quotes, the standard per-time fee, all-inclusive pricing, and a combination of both. While the all-inclusive pricing will initially appear a lot higher than the per-time fee it protects you from being billed for additional snow events based on the contractor’s discretion. To compare quotes apples-to-apples you really need to break it down and look at it based on a per event charge.
What equipment will be used?
When comparing the equipment that will be used you need to think about the quality of the end product. How will your parking lot look after the snow plow company has finished plowing? For example, if you have a lot of sidewalks and they are going only be hand shoveled or cleared with a snow blower, it will be very difficult for that snow plow company in a heavy snow fall. Your sidewalks may end up getting more and more narrow as the season goes on. If you are looking at two quotes and they are both plowing the parking lot with pick-up trucks, look at the type of snow plow blade that is being used. Will they be using a straight-blade, V-plow or hydraulic wing plow? An experienced operator with a hydraulic wing plow will be able to plow your parking lot quicker and do a better job than someone with the same experience using a straight blade. And, time is money.