UKTC Archive

Re: Time to think - INSURANCE

Subject: Re: Time to think - INSURANCE
From: Scott Cullen
Date: Dec 30 2003 23:08:54
It is a nice idea to do work at the "ideal" times but it seldom seems to 
happen that way.  It is
most often I think when the clients wants it that decides.

The employee is an employee and that ain't ever going to change.  The "bloody 
boring" part, the
"that's what you got it for part," none of it will change.  Deal with it.  
Good saftey training,
good pricing of work, good kit is where the effort should go.  Saftey 
awareness should go hand in
hand with attitude training..... would you rather get a wee bit of cash for 
having your thumb be the
only thing that swells up or be a swell guy without an accident?  Do you 
really want us to buy you a
plastic arm?

As to stats, it will take strong industry organization.  And it depends on 
the organization's
mission.  ISA has mad great strides in saftey education.  But NAA has always 
been the body in the US
that helps with the business side of the industry.  Because it is by mission 
a TRADE organization.
Not a technical, scientific one.

I know it sounds like more money out of pocket... ISA, AA, NAA too?  But all 
these organizations
should be looked at as productivity tools.  The dues should not be a net 
cost.  They should wind up
reducing other costs and/or increasing revenues.  A single company will never 
surmount the insurance
hurdle.  An organized industry may manage it.

The problem will always be for the small company.  Minimum premiums.  An 
inability to spread org
dues etc. over a large enough revenue base,  Etc.  High insurance rates can 
indeed drive the small
operator out.  Nad you have to come to grips with that too.

Tree companies in the US sems to be coping quite well, largely becasue there 
seems to be lots of
work.  But every month there's a magazine article about physicians just 
giving up and selling
computer software or opening a frozen yogurt shop becuase of skyrocketing 
malpractice premiums.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Quaife" <>
To: "UK Tree Care" <>
Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2003 5:43 PM
Subject: Re: Time to think - INSURANCE

Dear Bill, Ken and Mark, (note diplomatic alphabetical order!)
Seasonal working.  Theoretically of course, all arb companies would ease off
when less appropriate pruning times arrive.  Those with exemplary planning
(or simple good fortune) can concentrate felling work in that time.  The
harsh reality is that the work is done more often than not when the client
wants it.
A very good friend of mine would attempt to vary the work of his blokes with
"easy" forestry-style maintenance work - only to be met with prize-winning
moaning that "this is not want I want to do" and "this is bl***y boring" and
The other side of the coin was a few years ago now, when forestry workers
would turn their hands to a spot of "girlie" working (NOT MY WORD) and climb
trees.  The conscientious ones took the trouble to insure and found that a
three month premium was three-quaters the cost of an annual premium. The
excuse? - that the climber would get out of practice and be more likely to
have an accident when resuming climbing.  My only comment is that insurers
will always have an answer, no matter what the question!
The "claim culture" is to do with the increased readiness to claim, but the
real financial downer is that having made a claim for hitting your thumb
with a hammer, it seems to grow with all sorts of bolt-ons; trauma, loss of
earnings, loss of confidence, girls don't fancy you any more because the
only swelling you have is the thumb, rash caused by constant replacement of
sticking plasters, inability to apply the "rule of thumb", problems
hitch-hiking, and so on ......
Do insurers have a breakdown of the claims' profile? - no.  The Forsetry
Commission have all sorts of gory data about types and locations of
injuries, but it appears that nobody has done the same for Arb.  I can only
suppose that no one thought it necessary, and staff time is always at a
The idea of a no-claims discount is a little way off.  Seems like a good
idea, but the general consensus with EL is that liability is very much in
the employees' favour and that unlike car insurance, blame doesn't seem to
enter into it.  At the moment it seems that an employee can do the full
neanderthal and still successfully lean on the employer.
How "nice" the employer is is also a minor factor - " its nothing personal
gov, its just insurance - its wot we (you) pay the premiums for innit?"
"Need a claim now an' again to get yer money's worth!"
Happy New Year
Jim Q

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Carter" <>
To: "UK Tree Care" <>
Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2003 10:12 PM
Subject: Re: Time to think - INSURANCE

I agree Ken, but the principle of insurance is that we all pay for a small
number of large claims generated from a minority of the industry.  This
minority may well deserve the claims made against them but we all end up
paying for them under the current set up, for this reason, I support the
principle of a pre renewal or insurance assessment of a company's H&S
performance and a tailoring of the premiums to suit the risk in the same
a no claims bonus works with car insurance.  The bad risk companies
generating the claims would hopefully be priced out of existence.
the cost of these assessments and who pays for them is a different matter.
I would resent paying a third party to come in and tell me everything was
OK.  Of course, everything may not be OK in which case it could be an
educational exercise worth paying for.  Do you think the insurers would
consider a sliding scale of shared assessment costs?  Companies with a
bill of health pay nothing and ones failing the assessment pay the full
with a variation of split for everyone in-between.


----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: "UK Tree Care" <>
Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2003 8:48 PM
Subject: Re: Time to think - INSURANCE

Bill and Jim

Maybe a bit of jumping of at another tangent but the "Claims Culture"
are supposed to live in starts with a claim by a person against a boss,
firm or against the insurance.

Have the insurers done an assessment of the claims culture in relation
employment culture. (I doubt it ...this is sociology not economics).  I
not saying that if we looked after our staff better they wouldnt claim
us but I sometimes get the feeling that in a few cases the employer
wot he deserved when a claim lands.

I will now did a deep trench and lay down in it


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