Viewing posts categorised under: Risk Management

Insurance Solutions for High Livestock Mortality Rates

Posted May 18, 2017 by Administrator

Raising livestock and poultry is a risky business. That is why farmers need adequate insurance to cover their animals from unexpected events. Farmers have a variety of options available to them when it comes to farm animal insurance. They can opt for customized coverage for the specific types of animals they raise or combine several different policies.

Fundamentals of Livestock Insurance

Farmers can often combine their livestock coverage into their overall farm package. This way, they can have adequate protection for their buildings, livestock, and poultry in the event of a death due to accident or injury. Some policies cover animal deaths due to illness as well, but this is specialized coverage.

Farmers can use the following methods to insure their animals:

  • Herd Coverage: This is the most basic and common coverage. Farmers use this type of insurance to cover a precise number of animals.
  • Blanket Coverage: This type of policy insures all farm property. It includes buildings, livestock, equipment, and so on.
  • Individual Coverage: This policy covers animals with higher worth. The policy explicitly states which animals are covered. The corresponding animals often have an identifying feature such as an ear tag.

Farmers can also purchase insurance unique to their livestock. Some examples include:

  • Cattle insurance
  • Pig insurance
  • Poultry insurance

Farm insurance packages often cover animals such as sheep and goats, so farmers do not need specific policies for these animals.

Farmers invest a lot of time and money into their animals. For many farmers, their livestock is their livelihood so they cannot afford to neglect insurance. To learn more about insuring livestock, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

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Safe Parking for Commercial Trucks

Posted May 11, 2017 by Administrator

Truckers need and deserve safe parking. Shipping and receiving facilities are sometimes in very bad neighborhoods. When there isn’t a safe place to park, drivers may be mugged, beat up or have their equipment damaged. Between 2010 and 2014, 40 big-rig drivers were killed while working, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics. And homicides are only part of the problem. Truck cargo thefts occur at the rate of at least twice daily; 86% of those when commercial vehicles are parked in unsecured location such as public parking and truck trailer drop lots.

The issue of safe and adequate parking has been an issue for decades. The FMCSA has conducted studies on the issue. One study, “Commercial Driver Rest and Parking Requirements” was originally conducted in 1996 and was updated in 2014. The study found that there are 1700 miles of interstate highway that are not within 30 miles of a truck stop or rest area. Some drivers choose to ignore important Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) hours-of-service rules so they can keep driving until a legal and safe parking spot is available. The shortage of parking suitable for commercial motor vehicles puts tired drivers in a bad position.

The FHWA has established the National Coalition on Truck Parking. So far, several major trucking organizations, such as the American Trucking Association and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association have joined the coalition. The coalition is looking at concerns such as why $231M in parking projects across the U.S. have been submitted, but only $34M has been allocated. Most of the $34M ($20M) has been awarded to pay for intelligent transportation systems technology that alerts drivers when parking spaces are available through in-cab messaging notification systems. Some drivers advocate for cities to change zoning laws to permit additional commercial vehicle parking accessibility. Other advocates want shippers to take more responsibility and allow truckers to park in their lots when resting or waiting.

Clearly, the truck driver parking shortage remains a stubborn issue that just won’t go away. Trucker parking shortage is costing the trucking industry time, money and productivity, not to mention the risk for drivers in terms of stress, fatigue, security for their equipment and, most importantly, their personal safety.

To learn more about the issues that concern truck drivers today, trucking coverage and risk management, contact us.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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Webinar: Keeping Your Focus on the Road Ahead

Posted April 11, 2017 by Administrator

Truck InsuranceJoin Cline Wood University and industry expert Mike Bohon from Great West Casualty Company as we discuss factors that contribute to rear end crashes. These include (but are not limited to) following distance, vehicle speed, driver distractions, and improper reaction by the driver. We’ll cover a variety of important strategies to combat these issues – improving safety and reducing risk. Topics include:

* Calculating stopping distance
* Gauging proper following distance
* Reducing/eliminating distractions
* Mentally practicing reactions to road hazards
* Preventing/mitigating rear-end crashes

Date & Time: Wed, Apr 19, 2017 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM CDT
To register for the complimentary webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8878248911594592771

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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EPA’s Latest Initiative – Phase 2 Heavy-Duty National Program

Posted April 4, 2017 by Administrator

Fuel-efficiency and carbon pollution standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks in America were finalized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) last year. These new standards, which will go into effect by the year 2027, will improve the fuel efficiency of commercial motor carriers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thereby bolstering energy security and saving vehicle owners substantial fuel costs.

The program, called the “Final Phase 2 Program” is designed to promote a cleaner, more efficient trucking industry by encouraging the application of currently-available technologies and the development of new technologies that will produce cost-effective remedies by the year 2027. The EPA is projecting that the new imperatives will have a lasting positive effect for the industry, the entire economy and public health.

  • CO2 emissions are expected to be reduced by 1.1 billion metric tons,
  • $170 billion will be saved in fuel costs,
  • oil consumption will be reduced by up to two billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program,
  • the buyer of a new long-haul truck in 2027 is expected to recoup the investment in fuel-efficient technology within two years of purchase,
  • $230 billion in net benefits to society, including benefits to our climate and the public health of Americans.

Heavy-duty trucks generate the most greenhouse gas emissions and use the most energy in the U.S. transportation sector. They currently account for 20 percent of GHG emissions and oil use.

The EPA and NHTSA continue to work on fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards for trailers. They are expected to take effect as soon as 2018 for certain trailers, while other trailers will have until 2021 to comply. Credits will be available for those who wish to voluntary participate before the final deadline. Types of technologies that are being considered for the standards include:

  • aerodynamic devices,
  • light-weight construction, and
  • self-inflating tires.

The agencies who were involved in developing the new Final Phase 2 Program are very excited about the new U.S. national standards that were developed with input from a variety of sources including trucking industry, labor and environmental leaders.

To learn more on transportation industry news, trucking coverages, and risk management, contact us.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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Understanding Crop Insurance

Posted March 14, 2017 by Administrator

Crop insurance is a vital part of operating a farm. It allows for competition and innovation while offering protection from the unexpected. This way, farmers can stay in business in the event that their crops fail. Many crop insurance policies are customizable, so farmers can shape their policy to address their specific risks. U.S. farmers have two types of crop insurance available to them: Crop Hail Insurance and Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI).

Crop Hail Insurance

Farmers receive these policies from private insurers rather than the Federal Crop Insurance Program. Farmers can purchase this type of policy at any time during the growing season. Farmers opt to purchase this type of insurance because hail has the exceptional ability to damage substantial sections of planted fields while leaving the remainder untouched. The main purpose of this policy is to safeguard high-yielding crops in hail-prone areas.

Multiple Peril Crop Insurance

Unlike Crop Hail Insurance, farmers must purchase MPCI policies before they begin planting their crops. This type of insurance covers a variety of natural disasters such as:

  • Drought
  • Disease
  • Frost
  • Too much moisture

There are only 18 private companies authorized to write MPCI policies under the Federal Crop Insurance Program. The United States Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency (USDA RMA) regulates the Federal Crop Insurance Program and determines what rates insurers can charge. The RMA also decides which crops these private companies can insure in which parts of the country.

Farmers cannot afford to neglect their insurance coverage. They also need a variety of insurance policies to protect their business. As a leading provider of agribusiness insurance, Cline Wood can help farmers identify risks to their investment as well as provide services tailored to address their specific needs. Contact us to learn more.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

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TMPS for a Safer Fleet

Posted February 16, 2017 by Administrator

Maintaining proper tire pressure is a major component of vehicle maintenance for many commercial truck drivers. However, frigid winter temperatures can make some drivers prone to taking shortcuts while manually checking their tire pressure. For example, they may opt to check only the outer tire of a dual tire set up. It can be difficult to access the inner tire, and many drivers assume the pressure is about the same as the outer tire.

Having a tire pressure monitoring system (TMPS) can provide data for all tires, inner and outer, with much higher precision than a manual check. This will make life on the road easier for many truck drivers. TMPSs can also reduce safety risks related to inadequate tire pressure monitoring such as blowouts and longer stopping distances.

In addition to improving transportation safety, TMPSs provide the following benefits:

  • Reduced fuel consumption and emissions. Underinflated tires reduce fuel efficiency and increase emission output. Fuel costs are one of the greatest expenses of operating a fleet, which is why improving fuel efficiency is a common concern among fleet managers.
  • Improved lifespan of tires and tread. Underinflated tires have irregular wear patterns and can affect re-treading. Ensuring tires have the appropriate pressure can improve the duration of any given set of tires.
  • Reduced frequency of broken down trucks. About two-thirds of road calls relate to tires. The costs associated with these kinds of calls include servicing the vehicle, replacing the tire casings if necessary, and lost productivity/business.

Making use of TMPS can save fleets a considerable amount of money. However, ensuring driver safety is the paramount benefit. Reducing transportation risks is an excellent way to reduce insurance costs as well. As a national commercial property and casualty insurance agency that serves the commercial trucking industries, Cline Wood can help fleet owners manage their risk to improve their bottom line. Contact us today to learn more.

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Know the Risks Your Agribusiness Faces

Posted February 9, 2017 by Administrator

Agribusinesses face a variety of risks that other businesses do not. Some risks, such as events that affect pricing, are the same for all institutions. Other risks are unique to agriculture-based businesses, such as farming. If you own an agribusiness, you need to familiarize yourself with all of the risks that can affect your company. Below are some of the common risk factors farmers face.

Price Risk

Problems with pricing often occur after a farmer has already committed to production. Production is a lengthy process for agribusinesses. For example, farmers must invest in feed and equipment to produce the best possible livestock. It can take months or even years to see a return on their investment. During this period in time, global and local market pricing can shift and have a dramatic effect on farmers’ bottom line.

Production Risk

Agribusinesses face distinctive production risks compared to other industries. Some examples include harsh weather, droughts, insects, and a variety of other environmental factors. These elements are uncontrollable and sometimes unpredictable, which can hinder production output.

Institutional Risk

Changes to government policies can affect multiple industries. For farmers, the biggest risks come with changes to regulations regarding how they grow their crops and raise their livestock as this can have a significant effect on production costs. Other changes that can affect farmers are rules regarding manure disposal, conservation and land use mandates, or tax law updates.

Agribusinesses cannot afford to ignore these risks. The best way to reduce risk is to invest in the proper types and amount of insurance. To learn more about how insurance can reduce your agribusiness’ risk, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

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Feds to Hold Livestock Haulers Responsible for Inhumane Treatment of Animals

Posted October 12, 2016 by Administrator

livestock imageIn an unprecedented ruling, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service has announced a new proposed policy that would hold livestock transporters responsible for the mistreatment of the animals they carry. The new rule would allow civil or criminal action to be taken against instances of animal abuse related to animals with a connection to an official slaughterhouse establishment.

The current law holds farm owners and slaughterhouses solely responsible for the care of animals in conjunction with slaughter. This policy proposal is the first time that carriers will be held accountable for the handling of the livestock they are hired to transport. This is significant because many of the truck carriers are not employed by either the farmers or the slaughterhouses and are therefore exempt from the current law. Policymakers hope that the new policy will improve the welfare of livestock during transport.

One major change policymakers have explicitly included in the proposed rule is that speeding while transporting livestock will be considered inhumane treatment. Speeding while hauling animals bound for slaughter has been known to result in the animals slipping and becoming injured due to falls. Under the proposed new ruling, FSIS can investigate and find the transportation professional liable. The FSIS believes the new ruling will improve conditions for livestock bound for slaughter by making sure the proper procedures for hauling will be enforced.

The official notice will be published in the Federal Register. The proposed policy will go into effect in 90 days unless public comment calls for a revision of the ruling. At Cline Wood we represent top agribusiness insurance carriers across the country with access to all types of insurance programs. We treat your company as if it were our own. Our goal is to go beyond simply providing you with affordable insurance. Contact us today to find out how we can help you manage your risk, which directly contributes to your bottom line.

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Managing Agribusiness Risk: Tank Maintenance Practices

Posted July 26, 2016 by Administrator

Agribusiness InsuranceOperating in the agribusiness industry often requires you to store hazardous material on your property. Whether it’s petroleum, fertilizer or chemicals in large tanks, you run significant risks should a leak ever occur. Adhering to well-organized maintenance practices can dramatically reduce the incidence and extent of leakage, saving your business time and money while preserving your reputation.

Inspecting the Seams – Tanks often develop leaks along the seams. They may be small and difficult to see at first but then the seam will rupture and the resulting leak can cause severe damage to soil and ground water. Routine inspection of tank seams will help you see when it is time to reinforce or replace a tank.

Inspect the Valves – Another common area where leaks occur is at the valves. Valves are turned frequently, the wear and tear of the consistent use can cause threads to strip, and leaks may occur. Frequent inspection and lubrication of the valves will extend their usefulness and prevent the possibility of leaks. Lubricating the valves can help prevent them from seizing, another common cause of leaks. If a valve freezes and an employee has to break it free, then the damage to the valve may cause it to leak or burst.

Inspect the Pipe Lines – Pipelines and hoses are another possible trouble spot for leaks. They can become brittle in severe cold or they may become damaged when they are run over or struck. Sometimes lines and hoses develop pinhole leaks, which will leech into the soil for a long period before the damage is noticed. Frequent inspection of all pipelines and hoses will allow you to change out the damaged lines and reduce the chance of a leak developing.

When a tank ruptures, it can cause financial and environmental damage. However, not all leaks occur because of a rupture in the tank. Inspecting the seams, valves, lines and hoses will help you prevent some leaks before they occur and reduce the risk of contaminating the soil or local water supply. To learn more about agribusiness risk management, contact us.

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Agriculture Act Not A Complete Safety Net

Posted February 4, 2016 by Administrator

Agribusiness Insurance CoverageARC-County was created as part of the 2014 Agriculture Act to help protect agribusinesses who had below average crop yields. Many farmers and others in the agriculture industry believe that with this safety net in place, crop insurance isn’t necessary. That isn’t the case. ARC-County offers limited protection and figures are based on lower levels as part of the county average. Because farm yields are variable, the coverage received from ARC-County wouldn’t be enough to offset losses for most agribusinesses.

In a recent study comparing ARC-County with different types of policies and coverage levels, agribusinesses would need ARC-County and crop insurance to help offset loses. And since 2016 is expected to be a tough year for crop yields, you may want to consider keeping your existing crop insurance coverage. A quick refresher from the USDA/FSA is below:

County ARC: Payments are issued when the actual county crop revenue of a covered commodity is less than the ARC county guarantee for the covered commodity and are based on county data, not farm data. The ARC county guarantee equals 86 percent of the previous 5-year average national farm price, excluding the years with the highest and lowest price (the ARC guarantee price), times the 5-year average county yield, excluding the years with the highest and lowest yield (the ARC county guarantee yield). Both the guarantee and actual revenue are computed using base acres, not planted acres. The payment is equal to 85 percent of the base acres of the covered commodity times the difference between the county guarantee and the actual county crop revenue for the covered commodity. Payments may not exceed 10 percent of the benchmark county revenue (the ARC guarantee price times the ARC county guarantee yield).

Individual ARC: Payments are issued when the actual individual crop revenues, summed across all covered commodities on the farm, are less than ARC individual guarantees summed across those covered commodities on the farm. The farm for individual ARC purposes is the sum of the producer’s interest in all ARC farms in the State. The farm’s ARC individual guarantee equals 86 percent of the farm’s individual benchmark guarantee, which is defined as the ARC guarantee price times the 5-year average individual yield, excluding the years with the highest and lowest yields, and summing across all crops on the farm. The actual revenue is computed in a similar fashion, with both the guarantee and actual revenue computed using planted acreage on the farm. The individual ARC payment equals: (a) 65 percent of the sum of the base acres of all covered commodities on the farm, times (b) the difference between the individual guarantee revenue and the actual individual crop revenue across all covered commodities planted on the farm. Payments may not exceed 10 percent of the individual benchmark revenue.

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