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N.J. Associations Convey Liability Insurance Worries to Legislators

The growing number of slip and fall injury claims being leveled against snow and ice managers, and the subsequent increase in liability insurance premiums to them, prompted a group of members from two industry associations in New Jersey to take their case to their state legislature.

In an example of the important role that local associations can play as a collective voice on industry concerns, Jody Shilan, the executive director of the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association, recently related how members from his group and the Accredited Snow Contractors Association traveled to their state capitol in Trenton to raise awareness on a particular matter.

At issue, was the commerce-impeding increase in snow management liability insurance due to the high number of slip and fall claims that are being made against snow plow contractors. According to Shilan, insurance companies often settle these cases, some of which are false claims, for $15,000 to $20,000.

The association members scheduled meetings with state legislators to express their worries that as the cost of these payouts get passed on to the contractors in terms of higher premiums (not to mention the possibility of not being able to find insurance as providers drop snow management liability coverage) they in turn will have to raise prices, leading to their customers having to raise prices, and so on down the line.

Shilan reports that the government officials were welcoming to the group, sensitive to the issue, and impressed with the group's professionalism and numbers as well as their message and proposed solutions.

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June 16, 2019, 10:36 pm PDT

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