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Looks like GIE Media/Snow magazine is forming a new association for the snow business. It appears that the big deal is to us an acrediting process to get lower insurance rates via Mills Insurance. (a NJ agent that brokers insurance, not an underwriting company). Seems to me to be a lot of effort to get lower insurance rates. Anybody got a different take on it? See http://www.ascaonline.org/
 

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I could be wrong but the way I understand it, it is going to be an alternative to SIMA. Maybe these folks won't let the USM like companies in.
 

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I could be wrong but the way I understand it, it is going to be an alternative to SIMA. Maybe these folks won't let the USM like companies in.
Ha

Ha ha

Ha ha ha

You do know who the "main" columnist for their rag is?
 

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Seems to me to be a lot of effort to get lower insurance rates. Anybody got a different take on it? See http://www.ascaonline.org/
It will take quite a bit of effort to accomplish this. Insurance rates are not only the contractors concern....but also the property owners concern.

I understand there are record amounts of slip & fall claims on the east coast. The big players in the biz are trying to combat this buy promoting an accreditation program that will offer lower rates to property owners when they hire accredited contractors.

Being a CSP doesn't really separate one company from another. I think they are trying to accomplish more than just this.

Not to say getting your CSP isn't an accomplishment. Anyone who ever studied and took that test can confirm this.
 

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SIMA has been "working" on an insurance program for the past 11 years. Has it ever happened yet? I don't know, I dropped out years ago. I also avoid anything to do with GIE.

I don't plow here in NJ, but I can tell you just to make it affordable, you need a main business with a snow add on, AND you better be plowing in a town with a low population too, or you can't afford insurance. Of all the States to have a broker based in... geeez. We are not allowed to have amber lights, and back up alarms are not mandatory on plow trucks. This State has no clue about safety when it comes to plowing. Many towns will even stop you from plowing late at night because it is "too noisy". REALLY? Yes, really.

I wonder why NJ? HMMMMMM.

~Chuck
 

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It will take quite a bit of effort to accomplish this. Insurance rates are not only the contractors concern....but also the property owners concern.

I understand there are record amounts of slip & fall claims on the east coast. The big players in the biz are trying to combat this buy promoting an accreditation program that will offer lower rates to property owners when they hire accredited contractors.

Being a CSP doesn't really separate one company from another. I think they are trying to accomplish more than just this.

Not to say getting your CSP isn't an accomplishment. Anyone who ever studied and took that test can confirm this.
I see there is at least one reputable person on the board, but based on who else is, I have serious doubts about the intentions of whoever came up with this idea.

And as Chuck said, SIMA has been trying to do something for several years, but good luck.
 

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There's a real concern and need for a viable insurance solution for the snow and ice professional.

Last year at the top 100 executive summit this topic was brought up by many different companies.

Kevin Gilbride is taking on this concept and recruited the advisory board amongst its members/participants.

To keep the board balanced, Troy has volunteered to be on it. The intention is to protect the interest of the professional snow removal community through political lobbying.

It's a big picture goal no doubt that will be very political in nature.
 

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If they (ASCA) were saying they were in partnership with Progressive, Mutual of Omaha, American Family or other true insurance "companies" rather than just another "agent" I would be more inclined to look at it. Insurance companies are some of the biggest companies in America and slower than most to affect change. SIMA has been pushing that button for 10 years now with minimal success. Outside of the insurance aspect it looks like a SIMA wannabe. I for one will stay with the "original". Not perfect by a long shot, but pretty good.
 

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I'm not advocating ASCA. You asked for takes on it, and since I do know a little about it I answered to the best of my knowledge without spinning it.

All involved are SIMA members to different degrees. Fair to say one in particular certainly has a past. They're trying to make a difference....that's all.
 

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Just wanted to bring this topic up again. It's not a big company scheme, nor is it an ad campaign. This association is to protect and separate real snow and ice management companies from the guy that pushes snow because he bought a truck with a plow.
 

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This association is to protect and separate real snow and ice management companies from the guy that pushes snow because he bought a truck with a plow.
It sounds like a protection racket for a few "good ole boys" that despise the free market & the competition they are getting from small business owners.
 

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RPM ~ Are you attending ASCA's Executive Summit meeting next week in Florida?

If so I would like to meet up with you sir.
 

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It sounds like a protection racket for a few "good ole boys" that despise the free market & the competition they are getting from small business owners.
I tend to agree with Meezer on this.
SIMA does a decent job, just in membership enrollment, the CSP program, education, etc. and is reasonably affordable for most companies that are in the snow & ice business. Yet SIMA still only has 2000 or so members, and under 200 CSP (or so), nationwide. Enrollment with SIMA ALONE seperates you from the "guy with a truck", before you even participate in any of the educational programs available.
I understand why ASCA was/is being created, there is a HUGE issue with liability in this industry. I personally looked into it but as a contractor that is industry percentage wise large (average snow contractors does well under 100K, I believe), we do much more than that. The ASCA fees were more than I was willing spend, especially after the last year & a half (tight budget), nor do I believe the cost/benefit is there.
I have talked with my insurance broker at length about the liability issues on several occastions, I have been with him a number of years (10+) so we have built a decent relationship up over time. He has spoke with the state legislators about it at length, not just our idustry, but personal injury in general. There take is more or less, in quick summary, is someone is injured & can't work someone has to pay to support that person so there are two options they can go on some sort of public assistance program which raises taxes and makes them look bad OR the insurance companies can payout & have to raise premiums (or refuse to insure), and make insurance companies look like the bad guys. For these reasons all the lobbying in the world won't work. Bottom line this is about politics, plain & simple nothing else.
It sucks to say the only solution I see in the future, and it isn't far down the road I'm afraid. Is that if insurance companies refuse to insure snow clearing operations, we will be shut down completly as an indstry, HOWEVER snow clearing still needs to happen or it will be really bad all around (everything will shut down). Then the legislation will have to be fixed. We are already down to a handful of companies that will insure us, its only time.
My goal is to get as close to debt free as quick as possible, because once this happens, the companies that survive will be in an excellent position.
 
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