As the ASCA continues to influence the outside world with its programs, the association is actively adapting internally to provide its membership with a diverse array of programs.
Five years ago, the ASCA was created based on the theory that if we created written industry standards, devised education to support those standards, established a verification system to ensure the standards were implemented, then the ASCA, and its members, could begin to influence the outside world. Through these combined actions, we could raise the bar and make it more important to hire a professional snow and ice management company. We could get insurance companies to view the industry differently, insure professional snow and ice management contractors properly -- and at a lower cost. We could also get legislation introduced to protect the industry.
Here are the facts:
• There are 30,000 plus slip-and-fall claims relates to snow and ice each year
• Industry Average
» 35% outright dismissed
» 42% settled (for less than $20,000)
» 8% settled (for more than $20,000)
» 15% go to trial
» $15,132 average settlement
More than 50 percent of the time, claims are lost or settled due to lack of documentation. This was a theory that has been proven as fact, and the facts are powerful.
1. We have written Industry standards accredited by the American National Standards institute.
2. We have education to ensure that contractors have been educated on the Standards
3. We have the verification system (ISO9001/SN9001) in place
4. We are making a difference with the outside world.
Through Snow Plow Risk and Mills Insurance, the insurance program is producing tremendous results. On the whole, we are beginning to see significant reduction in rates. And the data on claims is even more positive!
Industry Average vs. ASCA Insurance Program
35% outright dismissed 70% outright dismissed
42% settled (for less than $20,000) 20% settled for less than 20,000
8% settled (for more than $20,000) 10% remain open
15% go to trial 0% have gone to trial
$15,132 average settlement $4,100 average settlement
These are extremely powerful numbers and prove part of our theory.
In Illinois, the association's legislation was enacted last year, proving that we can influence the outside world. Property owners are can no longer pass their liability onto the snow contractor in Illinois. I have heard from many ASCA members in Illinois and not only does it make contract negotiations better, they are increasing their sales because of the law.
In the end, these items all work together and are positively influencing ASCA member companies.
That said, we are doing what we can to better serve membership. The ASCA-C education is only available online, and while this is very efficient and quite effective we have heard from members that they would prefer face-to-face learning to earn their certification. Therefore, one of the core pieces of the 2017 Snow and Ice Show (May 17-19 in Indianapolis) that we are launching in May is education and certification based. If you would like to earn your ASCA-C, you can do so at the show. The same 101-level courses to earn the certification will be presented at the show. We will also provide education to ASCA-C members that can go towards your certification renewal.
While the educational sessions are only a portion of the Snow and Ice Show, they are a significant and could mean the difference in your business in the future.
Kevin Gilbride is the Executive Director of the Accredited Snow Contractors Association.