Developing an Effective Hazardous Materials Training Program

Posted April 19, 2018 by Erin

As the American economy has developed over the years, the transportation of hazardous materials has become a vital service to businesses and consumers alike.  These materials are used in so many ways, including cleaning our water, helping to grow our food, running our cars, and providing medicine to our families.  However, with these types of materials come significant safety risks (including chemical burns) – to truck drivers and anyone else who might come in contact with the materials.  In fact, #2 on OSHA’s Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for 2017 involved improper communication and training as it relates to hazardous chemicals.1

As an example of hazardous materials training in action, just recently a tanker truck carrying hydrochloric acid was involved in an accident with a train in Pennsylvania.  According to news reports, the acid spilled onto the roadway and billowed into the air.  Another truck driver familiar with hydrochloric acid was working nearby when the collision took place.  He knew what to do, grabbed his safety equipment, and rushed to the scene to give the driver of the tanker truck an oxygen mask while getting him to safety.2

To take the first step toward preventing risk of injury and becoming a safe operation, we strongly encourage you to develop a comprehensive hazardous materials training program.  Whether it’s a program that you develop from scratch or an existing training program that you enhance, an effective training program has many benefits, including3:

  • Develops a strong safety culture
  • Heightens employee safety by helping employees protect themselves
  • Improves a company’s effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity
  • Increases employee skills
  • May prevent regulatory sanctions
  • Aids in ensuring safe and secure shipments of hazardous materials
  • Reduces likelihood of catastrophic events such as fire or spill
  • Provides employees with understanding of why compliance and safety are necessary

Please click HERE to review and download a free guide from the USDOT, and get started developing your program TODAY!  For questions on this topic or to request a safety consultation contact Cline Wood’s Safety & Risk Management Team at 888-451-3900 or safetrucking@clinewood.com.

 

Scott Dunwiddie
Director of Risk Management
Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company

 

Sources:

1 “Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards”, https://www.osha.gov/Top_Ten_Standards.html, Accessed 3/28/18

2“What You Should Know: A Guide to Developing a Hazardous Materials Training Program”, U.S. Department of Transportation – Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

3 “Road reopens, residents allowed back in homes after train crashes into truck hauling acid”, https://www.wpxi.com/news/top-stories/road-reopens-residents-allowed-back-in-homes-after-train-crashes-into-truck-hauling-acid/711807985, Accessed 3/28/18

 

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.

 

 

 

Four Critical Skills for Running a Successful Agribusiness

Posted April 17, 2018 by Administrator

In previous decades, farmers only needed to know how to grow and sustain crops to be successful. Now, the ability to produce a product is a given in farming. With improved technology and communication, almost anyone can grow crops with a modicum of success. Standing out above the competition, however, takes much more work. Farmers now must possess growing power and business savvy to differentiate and remain relevant.

Business Skills and Leadership in Farming

Bringing business skills into the farming industry increases the complexity but also the rewards. Farmers can no longer only rely on their skills at cultivating crops. The following are just some of the areas farmers must learn to navigate to keep ahead of rival operations:

  1. Innovative finance administration
  2. Consumer research and marketing
  3. How to apply and use agricultural technology
  4. Risk management strategies

Risk management, in particular, is a multi-layered concept. Farmers must consider how to avoid risks as well as deal with them should they occur. For example, farmers can take several measures to prevent fires; however, failing to establish a system to manage the aftermath of a fire is foolhardy. Even with the best preventative measures in place, accidents can happen. That is why farmers need to incorporate a number of insurance policies to protect their farm. Failing to invest in insurance coverage can bankrupt a farmer and destroy his or her operation.

The time has come and gone where successful farmers only needed to be good at production. Farmers that fail to improve their business expertise will find themselves falling behind those that invest in marketing, technology, and more to protect their assets. Cline Wood can help struggling farmers navigate the changing landscape of the agriculture industry while putting safeguards in place to protect their farm. Contact us today 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.

Propel Your Trucking Fleet Into the Future with IoT Technology

Posted April 10, 2018 by Administrator

The trucking industry drives the economy, literally.

Trucking fleets carry more than 70 percent of the freight that is transported throughout the U.S. Since so much cargo is being transported by tractor trailers, it is critical that trucking companies manage their fleets with as much efficiency as possible by keeping their expenses low and productivity high. Today, many trucking fleets are achieving this through the power of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Businesses in a wide range of industries are eagerly adopting IoT technology, and the trucking industry is no exception. Experts predict that 80 billion IoT devices will be online by 2025. All of these devices will be generating a great quantity of data – perhaps as much as 180 zettabytes. Companies are leveraging this wealth of data to improve customer service, increase productivity, reduce operating costs and automate processes.

In addition to these advantages, trucking companies that want to upgrade their fleets with IoT can further leverage the technology to increase safety and provide greater product and asset visibility.

Here are some innovative ways trucking fleets are using the IoT.

  1. IoT sensors

Sensors that are attached to rigs are able to collect valuable data about the vehicle. This data can then be used to gain useful insights to track, monitor, analyze and maintain all assets in real-time, wherever they are in the network.

  1. Sensor data and condition monitoring

Sensors collect and transmit key data to a central location, enabling fleets to monitor the condition of their trucks. For example, if the tire pressure on a vehicle gets low, an alert can be sent to the driver or maintenance shop so the tire can be properly inflated before there is a blow-out on the freeway.

  1. Data analysis

IoT and sensor data is useful for more than identifying maintenance issues. Data can be used to track patterns and needed areas for improvement. For example, if a certain brand or type of battery is dying too quickly, a report can detect the issue quicker than in the past.

  1. New business processes

IoT can help your company optimize your day-to-day operations. The types of logistics optimizations that could be impacted include:

  • Enhancing delivery strategies
  • Cutting travel costs
  • Reducing emissions
  • Routing optimization
  • Reduce tolls and fees
  • Fuel conservation.

Do You Know All of the Hours of Service Rules?

Posted April 3, 2018 by Administrator

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces several rules regarding how many hours a commercial driver may operate his or her vehicle as well as how many hours he or she can be on duty before taking a break. FMCSA drafted these hours of service (HOS) regulations to reduce drowsy driving and the related accidents. Commercial drivers need to be aware of these rules to avoid fines and out-of-service orders.

Commercial Drivers Carrying Property

There are different rules depending on the type of cargo a driver is transporting. Drivers delivering property must adhere to the following:

  • 11-hour driving limit. Drivers can drive up to 11 hours provided they had 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time prior.
  • 14-hour limit. Drivers may not operate their vehicle after being on duty for 14 hours. The 14-hour rule only applies after the driver completes 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time.
  • Rest breaks. Drivers must allow up to eight hours after they came off duty or rested in a sleeper berth for a minimum of 30 minutes before driving again. Short haul exemptions and mandatory in attendance time exempt certain drivers from this rule.
  • 60/70-hour limit. After being on duty for 60/70 hours in 7/8 consecutive days, drivers must take 34 hours or more of consecutive time off duty. The 7/8 day period resets after the driver completes the 34-hour restart.
  • Sleeper berth provision. Drivers who opt to use the sleeper berth provision must take at minimum eight sequential hours in the sleeper berth as well as a separate two sequential hours in the sleeper berth, off duty, or some combination of the two.

Commercial Drivers Carrying Passengers

Commercial drivers that transport living passengers have slightly different rules. While the 60/70 hour limit and sleeper berth provision are the same, there are notable differences such as there is no regulation for rest breaks. Other variances include:

  • 10-hour driving limit. Drivers can drive up to 10 hours provided they had eight consecutive hours of off-duty time prior.
  • 15-hour limit. Drivers may not operate their vehicle after being on duty for 15 hours. The 15-hour rule only applies after the driver completes eight consecutive hours of off-duty time.

Failing to comply with HOS rules can land drivers in hot water. FMCSA may subject them to fines or place them out of service entirely depending on the severity and frequency of the violation(s). These are just some of the numerous safety regulations commercial drivers need to know. As a transportation insurance expert, Cline Wood can help drivers and fleets identify areas of risk as well as implement solutions to mitigate them. To learn more, contact us today.

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.

What You Need to Know About the Livestock ELD Exemption

Posted March 27, 2018 by Administrator

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) electronic logging device (ELD) mandate went into effect in December of last year. However, the effective date was not without some exemptions.

  • The mandate grandfathered in individuals driving commercial vehicles with automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRDs) through December 2019
  • Drivers operating vehicles manufactured prior to the year 2000 are exempt as well
  • Farmers and agricultural deliverers received waivers as well, exempting them so long as they were delivering agricultural commodities within a 150 air-mile radius

This final agricultural exemption, however, is set to expire on March 18. Farmers and agricultural haulers have submitted waiver extension requests, some as long as five years. The transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, however, has indicated a shorter waiver is more likely.

The issue with this looming expiration date is there is no indication when agricultural commodities transporters will receive this extension. While the answer remains murky, experts agree it is unlikely to come to fruition before the current exemption expires. This is a significant problem when considering the wellbeing of the livestock being transported.

HOS Regulations and Restrictions

Current hours of service (HOS) regulations limit drivers to 14 on-duty hours with no more than 11 hours of active driving in any given 24-hour period. Once a driver hits those numbers, he or she must stop and rest for 10 straight hours. This creates considerable difficulty for the animals and the driver relocating them.

Detractors point out that FMCSA set the HOS regulations for legitimate safety reasons. Allowing or forcing drivers to push beyond those limits can result in drowsy driving, accidents, and fatalities. The Department of Transportation (DOT) was not without sympathy for this conundrum, hence the original 90-day waiver. However, now that this waiver is about to expire, livestock transporters have little choice but to comply until the DOT agency releases the next waiver or enacts a long-term solution.

Solving the Livestock Problem

One proposed option is to plan routes with facilities that can handle livestock along the way. Even though this helps solve the problem of the animal’s wellbeing, it creates several other headaches. There are not enough of these types of facilities along common routes, meaning more would have to be built. This drives up costs for the livestock, which could be prohibitive. There are also other concerns such as security, the weather, and having the appropriate food and water on hand for the various animals.

While lawmakers continue to debate potential solutions, the agriculture industry needs to prepare for this shift. As a dedicated service provider to both the agribusiness and trucking industry, Cline Wood can help your business prepare for this change. To learn more about protecting your agribusiness, contact us today.

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.

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.

How Will New Tax Reform Laws Impact Fleet Truck Drivers?

Posted March 19, 2018 by Administrator

The new tax laws that were passed in December 2017 include good news and bad news for trucking drivers, but mostly good news for independent owner-operators. While nothing changes for the tax year 2017, starting in 2018 company drivers will no longer be able to itemize their expenses. This law will dramatically change the number of itemizations a driver is entitled to deduct, especially per diem expenses, which traditionally has reduced drivers’ taxable income and put more refund money into their pocket.

In the past, drivers were able to deduct per diem and other expenses, such as:

  • Mobile phone and service
  • Work boots
  • Gloves
  • Bed linens for the sleeper
  • Other necessities required for on-the-road travel that was not provided by their company.

These itemizations disappear under the new tax law. However, don’t panic! The standard deduction that everyone is entitled to has almost doubled to $12,000, which should help offset the impact of the loss of the expense deductions, but it doesn’t offset all of it.
Luckily enough, there is a workaround.

Fleets will still be able to deduct the per diem that the company pays drivers as part of their wage. If a driver is paid per diem, a percentage of the cost will be per diem wage that is not taxed. Under the old laws, per diem paid to the driver by the company was almost always added back in because it needed to be reported to the IRS as income. Since this could be itemized by the driver, it made sense to claim this as income. But under the new law, per diem reimbursement pay can be written off by the company as part of their corporate expense. Everybody wins if the company chooses to operate this way.

Independent owner-operators and small fleet owners will still be able to itemize per diem deductions. They will also receive a 20 percent tax break, which will save them even more money. As long as trucking companies raise the amount of reimbursement per diem paid to drivers as wages, everyone will come out ahead under the new tax reform laws.

Regardless of the type of trucking company you operate, it is imperative that you seek out the services of a reputable tax preparer that is knowledgeable about the trucking industry. And, by the same token, it is vital that you seek out a reputable insurance carrier that understands the trucking industry. Click here to learn more about how the experts at Cline Wood can help you manage your risk.

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.

Monthly Safety – Driver Safety

Posted March 12, 2018 by Erin

At Cline Wood, it’s our mission to partner with you in ensuring your drivers are safe, accident-free, and avoid costly claims that can have a major impact on both your drivers and your business.  Below are several great safe driving tips that we strongly encourage you to share with your drivers and incorporate into your safety training.

Use these safe driving tips to elevate your safe driving practices in the workplace.  

Leverage Management Commitment. Strong management commitment means that your organization recognizes driving as one of the most dangerous work tasks and does what it can to protect those employees who drive on the job. That includes identifying risks, training, and providing resources.

Select Drivers Carefully. Check Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) for all employees who drive on the job. Screen out drivers who have poor driving records since they are most likely to have accidents or cause issues. The MVR should be reviewed at least annually to ensure that the driver maintains a positive driving status. Clearly define the number of violations an employee can have before losing the privilege of driving for work, and provide training where indicated.

Prohibit Distracted, Impaired and Fatigued Driving. These risk factors are the greatest contributors to crashes and fatalities today.

  • Alcohol and drug impaired driving – Alcohol use is involved in 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes
  • Distracted Driving – More and more organizations have strong policies to prevent the handheld use of mobile phones for any purpose while driving

Enforce a Driving Policy Agreement with Employees. Your driving policies and procedures should clearly state your expectations. Establish a contract with all employees who drive for work purposes, whether they drive assigned company vehicles or drive their personal vehicles. By signing an agreement, the driver acknowledges awareness and understanding of the organization’s traffic safety policies, procedures, and expectations regarding driver performance, vehicle maintenance and reporting of moving violations.

Provide Driver’s Training. Make your driver’s training dynamic. Include videos, ride-alongs, driver observations, and other methods that engage employees. OSHA provides a variety of training resources you can provide your employees.

  • Driver Observations and Feedback – Nothing shows you care more than getting in for a ride. Giving your honest feedback can reinforce your commitment to safety. Use MMA’s Driving Observation Report Form as your guide.

Require seat belt use. It’s not optional. Seat belts are the single most effective means of reducing deaths and serious injuries in traffic crashes. Seat belts save nearly 12,000 lives and prevent 325,000 serious injuries in America each year.

Consider Using Driver Behavior Monitoring Technology. Many options are available for monitoring driver performance including OBD2 devices, telematics, and in-vehicle video cameras.

Make Vehicles Safe too. Pay close attention to vehicle selection, maintenance and inspection. A safe vehicle starts with the best safety features, and the best on-going care including excellent tires and brakes.

Investigate and report vehicle incidents. Ensure your drivers know what to do in the event of a crash. Use MMA’s Vehicle Accident Reporting document as a guide. Ensure that every driver has a copy or similar information.

Ensure Regulatory Compliance. If your fleet is subject to Department of Transportation regulations; embrace regulatory standards to improve your fleet’s safety.

 

For more information or for help putting together a safe driving training or policy for your organization, contact your local Marsh & McLennan Agency representative.

 

By David Rumsey, Senior Risk Consultant, MMA

February 28, 2018

 

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.

Four Categories of Critical Agribusiness Risk

Posted March 12, 2018 by Administrator

Farmers and farmhands expose themselves to several risks on a regular basis. Some of the top threats include heat-related illnesses, vehicle hazards, fall hazards, and more. By familiarizing themselves with these risks, farmers and their workers can ward off injuries.

Heat Risks

Heat illnesses can prove lethal; however, they are 100% avoidable. Many farms are hot and humid, which puts workers at risk for heat exposure. Heavy lifting or wearing heavy protective gear can compound this risk so it is important that workers take the proper precautions to protect themselves from heat illnesses. Farmers and workers need to ensure they stay hydrated and rest often in the shade. Dehydration happens faster than many realize, so workers should try to drink water every 15 minutes even if they do not feel thirsty.

Vehicle Hazards

Vehicle injuries account for a significant portion of farming accidents every year. Farm tractors, harvesters, and ATVs all cause accidents on farms. Rollovers are one of the most lethal farming accidents. Equipping vehicles with roll bars or roll cages whenever possible can help save lives. Other safety measures include wearing a seatbelt, prohibiting passengers from riding in farming equipment, and only operating vehicles on the appropriate terrain (e.g. do not operate ATVs on streets or paved roads).

Fall Hazards

Fall hazards are not unique to farming. However, compared to other industries, farming experiences a much higher rate of fall-related injuries. To mitigate this risk, farmers need to take three steps. Identify fall hazards, assess the likelihood of an injury occurring from each hazard, and implement control measures to eliminate or minimize the risks. Examples of control measures include eliminating the risk, substituting the risk with a less hazardous option, isolating the risk to minimize the number of employees that must interact with it, utilizing personal protective equipment (PPE) to minimize the effects of the risk, and more.

Grain Bins and Silos

Compared to the above, grain bins and silos may not seem so threatening. However, these structures can combust, cause engulfment, or dust exposure. Of those three, engulfment is most likely to prove lethal. Moving grain acts like quicksand and can engulf workers, sometimes resulting in suffocation. Establishing procedures such as never walking across moving grain can eliminate this threat.

Farmers and workers that familiarize themselves with common hazards can take steps to reduce the likelihood of those risks occurring. Cline Wood can help farmers identify the risks that are unique to their operation as well as what steps to take to mitigate them. To learn more about farming safety, contact us today.

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.

Cybercrime Experts Warn Trucking Industry: Beware IT Vulnerabilities

Posted March 5, 2018 by Administrator

Truck drivers are the most vulnerable element in the freight supply chain because they interact daily with IT systems that use connected mobile devices and vehicles, experts warn. Electronic logging devices (ELDs) are specifically a concern, as ELDs can be an entry point for cybercriminals to access a vehicle’s controller area network (CAN) and IT systems.

Researchers stress that there is a need for more cybersecurity, especially when it comes to the human element of transportation. In a study conducted by PeopleNet, “Connected Truck Security: Slamming the Door on Hackers”, considerable concerns were raised about cybersecurity and the more-than three million ELDs deployed in the federal mandate requiring truck drivers to use ELDs.

Consider the case involving a transportation company that lost $340,000 in a single transaction. The crime was started by a hacker that infiltrated the home laptop of an employee. The cybercriminal gained access to the employee’s transactions and correspondence with other workers and was able to misdirect funds. Cybercriminals today are very adept at breaking into automatic bank drafting systems and accessing intellectual property.

Motor carriers should restrict their connected devices, such as tablets, to trusted websites. Cybercriminals can use links in websites to introduce malware to devices. Malware is a code that is downloaded on devices that can read emails, capture passwords and gain other sensitive data.

Experts caution against opening attachments such as Word or PDF files from unknown email senders as these files may contain malware. Stay away from free products, such as a free ELD, which could contain malware that can access your data.

Drivers that access Wi-Fi hotspots through mobile devices and in-cab telematics platforms are vulnerable as well; cybercriminals use hotspots to find and exploit data on connected devices. Once connected to the CAN bus, hackers can control the engine and even disable the brakes.

Even more frightening is the possibility that once a single truck has been compromised, a cybercriminal can use an over-the-air update process to hack into all trucks on the same mobile platform. It is conceivable that a vehicle could be hijacked by accessing its CAN bus remotely, although there is no record of this ever happening in real life.

If a fleet does become a victim of cybercrime, it is unlikely that the FBI will retrieve any lost money, especially if the money has been transferred to an overseas account, as their focus is on tracking down criminals, not tracking down lost funds.

Cline Wood recognizes that protection from cybercrime is a significant component of any business. We are a committed partner in managing the risk cybercrime poses to your business. To learn more about what we can do for you, 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.

What You Need to Know About the Crop Insurance Deadline

Posted February 26, 2018 by Administrator

Agricultural is a risky venture from several different standpoints. Weather events like hurricanes, wildfire, and drought can decimate crops; safety hazards such as grain engulfment, vehicle rollovers, and fall hazards lurk in every corner of the farm; and even the sun can pose a threat to farmers if they work too hard for too long during the heat of the day.

While farmers can control some of these risks by taking safety precautions, they cannot do much to prevent natural disasters. That is why crop insurance is so important. It can mean the difference between surviving an extreme weather event to plant again the next year and complete financial ruin.

Who Needs Crop Insurance?

All farmers need crop insurance, but young and new farmers need it the most. They are more leveraged than established farms. This makes them vulnerable to extreme weather because they cannot afford to lose a significant chunk of their income. Some weather events cause so much damage that it equates to an entire year’s worth of farming income. Without crop insurance, weather events such as droughts or natural disasters such as wildfires could wipe out an entire generation of new farmers.

Crop Insurance Deadline Approaching

Hurricanes, droughts, and wildfires accounted for more than $1 billion in crop insurance indemnities in 2017. Farmers need crop insurance to survive such costly and catastrophic events. However, farmers cannot insure crops at their leisure. The 2018 deadline for eligible spring crops is rapidly approaching. Farmers have until February 28 or March 15 to invest in crop insurance. The sales closing dates vary depending on the type of crops the farmer grows. The dates can also differ by county or state as well.

Regardless, the deadline is drawing nearer. Farmers need to insure their crops now to safeguard against natural disasters and extreme weather. As 2017 proved, no farm is immune to these events. Parts of the South, Midwest, Northern Plains, and California all experienced the devastating effects of these catastrophic incidents. To learn more about protecting your crops and your livelihood, contact the experts at Cline Wood.

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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