I’m often asked about the motivation behind the ASCA’s creation. Recently, this caused me to reflect how many times since our inception I’ve heard this question. In 2011, Snow Magazine sponsored a two-day event with 60 of the Top 100 snow and ice management companies in attendance. The last 1½ hours of the conference included an open-forum discussion. This was an opportunity for Snow Magazine to tap into the knowledge of so many business leaders in one setting and to gain insight on the issues owners were facing.
After 90 minutes, everyone agreed the top three issues facing the snow and ice management industry were insurance, insurance, and insurance. At the time, I recall thinking: “Ha, I can’t believe they are complaining about insurance again!” But I remained neutral and committed to investigating the insurance issue.
After a year of intense due diligence the team came to a stunning conclusion. Insurance was not the problem. Instead, it was a symptom of a much deeper and more complex problem. Sort of like grouchy behavior and a runny nose precludes a winter cold.
First, the snow and ice management industry had been deficient in presenting itself to the outside world (clients, insurance companies, attorney’s and lawmakers). Second, the insurance companies did not understand the snow and ice management industry. As a result, they buried it under other policies. This is the reason they lose $2 for every $1 in premiums for their snow programs. Lastly, our lawmakers had absolutely no understanding that we, as an industry, were in peril. We desperately needed voices and advocates to lobby for our best interests.
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