In addition to a contractor-friendly insurance option, the program and association will establish professional standards and advocate on behalf of the snow and ice removal industry.
Cleveland, OHIO – Snow Magazine, in partnership with Shamong, N.J.-based Mills Insurance, has announced the creation of a contractor-friendly insurance program for snow and ice professionals, as well as the formation of the Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA). The new association will govern over the program as well as advance and promote the role of the professional snow and ice management industry in performing high-risk services for society.
The announcement was made to industry leaders in attendance at Snow Magazine’s 2011 Leadership Summit, a two-day executive-level event that took place in Cleveland Aug. 29-30.
“A year ago, we held an open-forum discussion with those in attendance at Snow Magazine’s Executive Summit and we left that event with a mandate from the industry leaders in attendance to investigate an insurance solution for the professional snow removal industry,” said Kevin Gilbride, former Snow Magazine publisher, who will serve as the ASCA’s executive director. “I’m happy to announce that, today, we have a viable solution.”
Gilbride explained that for the past six months, Mills Insurance, in partnership with Snow Magazine, analyzed data, identified snow contractors’ exposures, developed controls for those exposures and is now ready to implement and monitor this process going forward.
“The insurance program we have developed with Mills Insurance takes into account factors such as having proper operational procedures, sufficient employee training, correct contract language and access to available technology,” Gilbride said. “If we are going to drive down insurance claims, we will need to control the risk associated with our business.”
Many snow fighters already follow all or most of these procedures, Gilbride said. However, standards must be integrated across the professional snow removal community to establish a greater level of professionalism.
“These standards must reflect our industry’s very best and encourage contractors to adhere to an accepted level of professionalism,” Gilbride added.
To solidify this new insurance program, GIE Media, the owner and publisher of Snow Magazine, formed the Accredited Snow Contractors Association (ASCA). To be eligible for the insurance program, Mills Insurance will require membership in good standing in the ASCA. This means contractors will have fulfilled the educational requirements, their business practices are in accordance with the industry standards listed above and their nominal dues are up to date.
The ASCA will provide proper education to the industry on an annual basis, represent snow contractors to the insurance industry and represent the industry on the local, state and federal level. ASCA is setting aside 10 percent of all membership dues to be used in the hiring of lobbyists.
“The snow industry has been through a lot of growth and changes in the last 15 years. But it’s an industry still in its infancy,” Gilbride said. “The insurance program is the next big step to impact this industry. We are privileged to be a part of it, and look forward to leading the industry through the next phase of its growth.”
Snow contractors interested in finding out more about the ASCA can do so at www.ascaonline.org, or can call Gilbride directly at 330/523-5368.