First Steps On A Long Road

First Steps On A Long Road

ASCA Executive Director Kevin Gilbride explains the process of bringing an insurance solution to the industry, and how certification impacts getting insured.

March 6, 2020

Many of you attended this Tuesday’s “The State of Insurance” webinar with McGowan Insurance Companies’ Michael Moncoda. Michael did a great job providing a compelling behind-the-scenes look at how insurance carriers view the professional snow and ice management industry. As many of you know, while we continue to make progress other factors muddy the waters and have made this area of your business a real challenge.

The forward progress that has been made is the direct result of the Industry Standards, the Industry Standards-based online education, ASCA-C certification, and establishing ISO9001/SN9001 certification for the snow and ice industry.

As I have stated in the past, snow and ice management companies that have completed the ASCA’s certifications are a much better risk to insure and much easier to defend against questionable slip-and-fall claims. Mesa Underwriters Specialty Insurance Company (MUSIC) verified that, in their book of business, ASCA-C companies preformed 400% better than companies that had not earned ASCA-C. This is a tremendous change for the industry. In fact, ASCA-C companies get dubious slip-and-fall claims dismissed 70% of the time. The industry average is only 35%.

I would like to address a few related items:

  • Why MUSIC pulled out of the snow and ice market?
  • Our new relationship with The McGowan Companies; and
  • Defending claims moving forward.

While the performance of ASCA-C companies is impressive, it is also the reason MUSIC pulled out of our marketplace. The losses they were incurring on the non-certified snow contractors was simply more than they were willing to accept.  Please note:  These were not ASCA members and had nothing to do with the ASCA. We did approach them about writing business for only ASCA-C contractors. However, the distaste the higher ups have for snow and ice management contractors is just too bad right now.

The McGowan Companies bring many things to the table, including tremendous success in managing specialty programs like this one. Likewise, they have deep relationships with 400 insurance carriers. These relationships allowed McGowan to start writing business for our industry from the get-go. We are working together with these carriers to fill both short-term needs, as well as put in place a predictable long-term solution with one or more carriers. McGowan also has unique resources at the ready to construct specialty programs when traditional approaches do not work, especially for very large, snow-only companies.

Lastly, and most importantly, The McGowan Companies is committed to aggressively fighting claims that should be fought. Settling a claim when a contractor has done nothing wrong just to make it go away is a problem this industry has had to live with.

I feel great about the early progress we have made with The McGowan Companies and I look forward to a long and fruitful partnership that benefits the professional snow and ice management industry.

Kevin Gilbride is the ASCA's Executive Director.