Fertilizer Manufacturers Cannot Neglect Insurance

Posted April 18, 2017 by Administrator

Agribusiness Insurance CoverageManufacturing fertilizer, like many things, used to be a simpler process – create and distribute high quality organic material for enriching soil. Now fertilizer manufacturers must remain aware of a variety of factors to avoid potential lawsuits, from pollution liability and cyber liability to employment practices liability and beyond.

For example, individuals who live near fertilizer plants may complain of the smell and raise concerns about water contamination from runoff. There are numerous ways fertilizer can damage the environment. To avoid financial ruin, manufacturers need to ensure they have ample insurance to protect their business.

An Overlooked Risk Within the Industry

Many agribusiness companies invest in the standard types of insurance coverage such as farm liability protection or equipment coverage. However, the fertilizer manufacturing industry has one lesser-known risk that business owners cannot afford to disregard: the combustible properties of stored fertilizer and related chemicals.

In the spring of 2013, an explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant proved deadly. While investigators determined the fire was set on purpose, the explosive nature of materials found at fertilizer plants is undeniable. The investigation determined that the company in question, West Fertilizer Company, failed to take proper precautions when storing chemicals at their facility. The company became the target of numerous lawsuits as a result.

While the West Fertilizer Company explosion is a worst-case scenario for businesses, it represents why fertilizer manufacturers cannot afford to neglect known threats. Investing in the right types of insurance can reduce your risk. Cline Wood can help you manage your risk to protect your bottom line. To learn more, contact us.

Helping Feed the World

Posted April 17, 2017 by Erin

To watch the video, click here.

Argo Group has a role in protecting vital industries across the globe, from agriculture to manufacturing and hundreds of others. One reason for Argo’s success in so many sectors has to do with the partnerships it forms, prompted by its emphasis on collaboration with clients.

One such collaboration is helping Cattle Empire, one of the nation’s largest cattle-feeding operations. Argo, in partnership with broker Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company, covers the herd and property against loss.

Lucas Christensen, chief financial officer for Cattle Empire, grew up on a cattle ranch in Montana. He understands the importance of having an insurance partner dedicated to the concept of sustainability.

Christensen recalls a bumper sticker on the car he drove as a teenager when he fed the animals. It read: “Ranchers: the original environmentalists.”

“I think that’s something I grew up understanding and learning that we live off the land and off the animals, and so it’s in our best interests to take care of those,” Christensen says.

He appreciates the role that Argo plays in keeping his operation running smoothly.

“More so than the monetary recovery of loss, which is important, is the speed in which we are helped,” Christensen says. “If we have a major loss, we need partners with us that will stand by us and be ready to aid us at a moment’s notice.”

Article originally published on Argolimited.com, to view the full article click here.

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.

 

 

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

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.

What To Do If Your Trucking Insurance is Non-Renewed

Posted March 28, 2017 by Administrator

Despite popular belief, insurance cancellations are actually more common than you might think. Perhaps you’ve received a notice that reads something like:

“Attention: Your current insurance policy is being non-renewed due to…”

While a non-renewal notice is something you should take seriously, it typically will not negatively impact your ability to find alternate insurance. Here are some facts you should know before securing a new insurance policy and what to do so that you keep your trucking operations running seamlessly.

Why the Non-Renewal?

A non-renewal is not the same as a cancellation. Unlike a cancellation notice, and non-renewal notice is generally issued when there is a change with the insurance carrier. For example, the insurance carrier may no longer write in your state or has left the market completely, which are circumstances outside of your control.

However, if the reason for your non-renewal notice is due to late or non-payment of premiums, an increase in the frequency or severity of claims, or poor inspection reports or compliance issues, your ability to find new insurance may be impacted.

What Should You Do Next?

You’ve received a non-cancellation notice 30-90 days before your renewal date, so use your time wisely. If you’re insured directly through the carrier, finding a new insurance company may be tricky. It is now your responsibility to find and secure new insurance before your current policy is expired.

If you’re insured through an insurance agency, it is likely your agent is already aware of the situation and will be working to find a replacement company that is best suited for your circumstances.

If you were insured through a carrier and will be shopping around for a new carrier, we recommend you have the following information ready.

  • Driver schedule

Name, driver’s license number, date of birth, hire date, number of years of CDL experience for each driver

  • Vehicle schedule

Year and make of each vehicle, VIN numbers, and value of each of your tractor/trailers

  • IFTA

Last four (4) quarters of Fuel Tax Reports (mileage broken down by state)

  • Loss runs

Loss runs for the last three (3) years

  • Financial information

Financials for the most recent year

  • Insurance certificate

Your most recent insurance certificate that shows your current coverage

  • Commodities hauled

List top 3 – 4 commodities hauled

  • Safety information

Safety director’s name and experience, a copy of your safety manual, copy of driver guidelines, and any safety equipment

Cline Wood represents top trucking and agribusiness insurance carriers across the country. We have access to all types of insurance programs. We treat your company as if it were our own. Contact us today to find out how we can help you manage your risk, which directly contributes to your bottom line.

U.S. Senate Subcommittee Hears Testimony on Improving Truck Safety on our Nation’s Highways

Posted March 21, 2017 by Administrator

On March 14, 2017, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security featured panelists for a hearing on continuing to improve safety for truckers on our country’s highways. Advancements in truck safety and potential future reforms as well as a full range of perspectives on implementation of safety programs were primary focal points. Other opportunities and challenges facing the trucking industry were also expected.

Here is a list of the panelists included at this hearing.

  • Christopher A Hart, Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board
  • Paul P. Jovanis, Professor Emeritus, Pennsylvania State University; Chair, Transportation Research Board Committee
  • Jerry Moyes, Chairman Emeritus, Swift Transportation
  • Adrian Lund, President, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The hearing was held in the Senate Russell Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements and a recorded video of the hearing is available here.

The testimony given by panelists from government, academia and industry focused on the following 3 issues:

  1. Advocacy for fully funding Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and reforms moving forward,
  2. Opposition to legislative reforms by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA), and
  3. Asking for congressional action to improve motor coach safety.

Committee members were presented with an overview of the challenges facing local and state law enforcement in an uncertain funding environment. Captain Christopher Turner of the Kansas Highway Patrol and Vice President of the CVSA, testified about his concerns related to the potential consequences of job loss and cuts to outreach and educational programs that would occur if the states lose Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program Basic and Incentive Grants this year.

Cline Wood represents top trucking and agribusiness insurance carriers across the country. We have access to all types of insurance programs. We treat your company as if it were our own. Contact us today to find out how we can help you manage your risk, which directly contributes to your bottom line.

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.

Insurance Claim Subrogation – How It Helps Get $$$ Back For You

Posted March 13, 2017 by Erin

Insurance Claim Subrogation

How It Helps Get $$$ Back For You

Your company driver was recently involved in an accident that wasn’t his fault. You promptly reported the claim to your insurance carrier, and the claim adjuster just paid the repair shop a significant amount to repair your tractor/trailer.   But shouldn’t the other driver that caused the accident (and his insurance carrier) have to reimburse your insurance carrier for what was paid on the claim?  The answer is yes, and the skilled staff in your insurance carrier’s Subrogation Department is there to help with this process.

 

The term “subrogation” in general terms refers to the process by which a debt is collected from another person or company. A more formal definition is “The substitution of one person or entity for another, especially when the substituted party becomes responsible for a debt or legal claim.”[1] Typically a Subrogation Department does not come into the picture until your insurance carrier has paid your claim.  Common types of claims that are referred to a Subrogation Department include physical damage, cargo, auto accidents, and all types of liability scenarios where another party appears to be at fault based upon the claim investigation.

 

The Subrogation Department representative assisting you will typically send a demand package to the at-fault driver and/or their insurance carrier. This demand package includes documentation obtained during the claim investigation which confirms who is responsible for the accident (example: police report), details regarding how much was paid on the claim, and a request for prompt payment.  Expenses that can be part of a demand include: deductible amount, lost downtime or rental expense, medical bills, hotel bills, and other out-of-pocket expenses incurred due to the accident.

 

Every year insurance carrier Subrogation Departments recover hundreds of thousands of dollars on behalf of their insureds. The money recovered is credited to the corresponding claim files, helping put their insureds back in a pre-accident financial condition.  If you should have any questions about the Subrogation process, please contact your insurance carrier, your assigned claim adjuster, or Cline Wood Agency at 888-451-3900.

[1] Source: “subrogation.” thefreedictionary.com. 2003-2017. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/subrogation (14 Feb. 2017)

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.

 

Developing Your Safety Culture

Posted March 13, 2017 by Erin

Developing Your Safety Culture

The most important thing your company can do to prevent costly accidents and injuries to not only your workers, but also others out on the road, is to develop a strong Safety Culture. Below are 10 key steps adapted from the experts at OSHA that will help put your company on the right track.[1]

 

    1. ALWAYS SET SAFETY AND HEALTH AS THE TOP PRIORITY Communicate on a regular basis to your drivers, independent contractors, and all other workers that making sure they practice good safety habits and go home healthy at the end of each day is very important and the way your company does business.
    2. LEAD BY EXAMPLE Ownership, management, and supervisors must also practice good safety habits, and make safety part of daily conversation and company communications.
    3. IMPLEMENT A REPORTING SYSTEM Develop and communicate an easy to follow reporting procedure for drivers and all other workers to report any injuries, accidents, illnesses, near misses, hazards, or safety concerns. Include an option to report anonymously.
    4. PROVIDE TRAINING Train drivers and all other workers on how to safely do their jobs, prevent accidents, and identify any potential hazards in the workplace or out on the road. Conduct regular follow-up training.
    5. CONDUCT INSPECTIONS While your insurance carrier may send a loss control consultant to conduct a survey from time to time, it’s important that you regularly conduct your own self-inspections to quickly identify and address potential hazards.
    6. COLLECT HAZARD CONTROL IDEAS Ask your drivers and other workers for ideas and suggestions for improvement. They are the ones that typically know what the potential issues are, but may not ever speak up.  Provide them time during work hours if necessary in order to encourage their input.
    7. SEEK INPUT ON WORKPLACE CHANGES  If you don’t already have a Safety Committee, form one. Include good drivers on the Safety Committee. They should meet regularly, review all incident reports and suggestions, and also provide their own insight.
    8. ADDRESS EMERGENCIES Identify any foreseeable emergency scenarios (examples include fire, hazardous spills, and weather events), and develop specific instructions on what to do in each case. Once completed and approved by Management these should be included in all training and posted in visible locations within the workplace.

[1] Source: https://www.osha.gov/shpguidelines/ten-easy-things.html

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.

 

Reducing Environmental Damage Caused by Commercial Trucks in the US: A Worthwhile Objective

Posted March 7, 2017 by Administrator

The environmental impact of the trucking industry has escalated concerns among shippers, carriers, environmentalists, and state and federal governing bodies. Authorities in freight shipping have responded to recent studies on the effects of climate change in the last decade by taking measures to reduce carbon footprint. Even though the new government has promised to ease regulations, the trend toward environmentally-friendly shipping practices is still relevant and beneficial in terms of environmental burdens and accelerated resource depletion as well as decreasing shipping rates.

The measures implemented by authorities include green shipping practices and new regulations designed to minimize the impact of trucks on the environment. For example, a new set of fuel economy regulations was issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency in 2015. The new regulations will require fleet-wide modifications for may shipping providers. The regulations go into effect in 2018; the deadline for full compliance is 2021.

The trucking industry has a long way to go to fully embrace the vision of a green industry by its leaders. Every day in America thousands of trucks travel countless miles, all the while consuming massive amounts of fuel and oil and polluting the air with CO2. Technological advances in the industry are expected to support environmental protection improvements. Investors are taking an interest in new innovations that will clearly reduce emissions.

Autonomous trucks have captured news headlines and the imagination of the American public simultaneously. Expected benefits of these so-called “driverless vehicles” include better controls on speed as well as improved fuel efficiency.

Real-time tracking of delivery trucks is another important technological advancement in the industry. Real-time tracking will improve efficient routing, which translates into less fuel consumption. Emerging big data solutions being implemented by freight providers include filling trucks and minimizing deadhead return trips, which in turn reduces fuel consumption on every pound of freight.

New technologies in the market involve engine management systems that control idling time during driver downtime. These innovative technologies enable trucks to maintain a comfortable temperature without idling the engine, thus saving fuel.

Other trucking-related innovations that are already available and are environmentally-friendly include:

  • aerodynamic panels
  • wide base tires
  • low viscosity lubricants
  • exhaust system upgrades
  • eco flaps
  • auxiliary power units
  • speed limitations, and
  • liquid natural gas powering.

Drivers themselves can increase the efficiency of their trips by paying attention to fuel consumption. Reducing speed by as little as 5 miles per hour can have a significant impact on lowering their fuel consumption. Taking the time to slow down before stopping and increasing speed slowly when accelerating as well as shifting gears progressively can lower fuel consumption by 5-10 percent.

Fleet managers can start by keeping their trucks well-maintained, which will optimize efficiency. Hybrid technology may be a viable option for some fleets. Less aggressive driving practices will set the stage for lowering fuel consumption as well as improving safety for drivers.

There is a long, costly process ahead in the trucking industry toward achieving the vision of a greener freight industry in the U.S. That said, many new innovations in the industry will not only reduce emissions but will also reduce costs and improve the safety of U.S. roadways. It’s time for the trucking industry to make a conscious effort to reduce the negative effects of pollution and over-consumption of fossil fuels. Not only is it the right thing to do, but making an effort to reduce the carbon footprint will improve the bottomline of trucking companies, large and small.

Copyright © 2017 Cline Wood.