TerraBites

A short newsletter of bite-size ideas to chew on for Terrafirma owner-member land trusts, released January, February, May, June, September, October and November.

 

Posts tagged claims

Practical Considerations with Boundary Issues

Over the past year, Terrafirma has seen an increase in boundary-related claims like encroachment, trespass and adverse possession. Two recurring themes are that the land trust suspected the violation was occurring for years but had not verified the property boundary line or thought the nominal trespass did not merit filing a Terrafirma claim. Many of these claims, unfortunately, were denied coverage due to being untimely filed. Some of the problems could have been stopped or abated earlier if the land trust identified the boundary lines and acted promptly.  

Terrafirma offers practical considerations for land trusts during monitoring visits to help you identify boundary issues.  

Please contact Leslie Ratley-Beach if you have questions about boundary-related matters.

 

Sincerely,

Tom Kester

Operations Manager and Secretary

Alliance Risk Management Services LLC        

Manager for Terrafirma Risk Retention Group LLC

 

Hold Your Place in Line by April 30

Note: The process to close a claim has changed since this post was written in 2019. Instead of sending an e-mail, please update the status of your claim online to let the ARMS team know that you are ready to close the claim.

 

When you file a claim at www.terrafirma.org, you’ll see two options – one for a “placeholder” claim, and one that just says claim. Do you know the difference? You’ll want to know by 4/30, which is the deadline to file claims under your 2018 Terrafirma policy.

While both a claim and a placeholder claim satisfy the requirement to give notice to Terrafirma, a placeholder claim is not automatically evaluated and brought before the Terrafirma Claims Committee. 

When you file a placeholder claim, you’ll receive an e-mail every quarter asking for an update status on the claim. When you want to close the claim or have it seen by the committee, all you have to do is send an e-mail. There’s no need to switch status from placeholder claim to normal claim, or to re-file.

Don't wait until you have to hire a lawyer to file a claim. File a placeholder claim right away to make sure that if you need to switch the status to a normal claim, you can. Remember, if you don’t file 2018 policy year claims by 4/30, you will not be able to file them later.

We’re here to help! If you have any questions about when to file a claim, please let us know. You can email us directly or call 202-800-2248 for Hannah or 802-262-6051 for Leslie.

 

Thank you,

Hannah

Conservation Defense Coordinator
ALLIANCE RISK MANAGEMENT SERVICES LLC
(202) 800-2248  | 

 

P.S. The grace period for Terrafirma claims for the 2018 policy year period ends April 30 at midnight local time. Please remember to file any lingering claims from incidents that you first learned of between March 1, 2018 and March 1, 2019 by that day! Check out our handy infographic for more tips on when to file.

 

Terrafirma is not like car insurance

Terrafirma is not like other insurance companies. It is a nonprofit, specifically created by and for land trusts. While a typical car insurance company would raise premium rates following a claim, Terrafirma does not. You can file a claim and give timely notice as soon as an issue begins without worrying about the price of your insurance going up. For a refresher on when to file a claim, click here.

not like car insurance.JPG

 

A rose by any other name

The Terrafirma policy states that one deductible and one limit of liability applies to each claim or set of interrelated claims - but what does it mean for claims to be interrelated? Interrelated claims are based on the same facts or circumstances. Let’s say your land trust files a claim in 2014 for a landowner in violation of its easement, incurs $300,000 in legal costs, and then incurs an additional $250,000 in costs for the same issue in 2015. Unfortunately, you could not file an additional, separate claim for $250,000 - you would be limited to the $500,000 cap for all interrelated claims stemming from the violation. But there is a bright side!  So long as these thorny issues stem from the same branch, you only have to pay one deductible for all interrelated claims.  And that rose smells quite sweet.

We’re here to help! If you have any questions about premium calculations, filing a claim, or anything else, please let us know. You can reply to this email, email us directly or call 202-800-2248 for me, 202-800-2219 for Lorri, or 802-262-6051 for Leslie.


Thank you,
Hannah

 

The early bird never misses a claim

Under some insurance policies, merely filing a claim can drive up your premium rate. Terrafirma is different—it never penalizes land trusts for doing their jobs of conservation defense! While your Terrafirma policy requires immediate filing of a claim, it does not increase your premium. Most importantly, failure to file immediately might result in the claim being denied. Timing counts, so if you have something now, please file a claim by March 1, 2015. We will help you sort out the details and are always available to assist you. It's easy: go to the Terrafirma website, login and click on “Submit a Claim.”

 We’re here to help! If you have any questions about premium calculations, filing a claim, or anything else, please let us know. You can reply to this email, email us directly or call:

202-800-2219 for Lorri

202-800-2248 for Hannah

802-262-6051 for Leslie

 

Make a list and check it twice

When transit companies purchase insurance for their fleet of taxis or buses, they have to list every taxi driver or bus driver in their application.  Conservation defense is similar.  For each category of property right you choose to insure (conservation easement, trail easement, fee land, etc.) you have to list every parcel.  If you leave out parcels owned by some landowners, it prevents Terrafirma from accurately determining how much your insurance should cost.  Worse, it could cause problems later on when you’re trying to submit a claim.  So make sure when you’re enrolling or updating your application to include all of the parcels for each category of property rights you’ve chosen to insure.

We’re here to help! If you have any questions about listing parcels or anything else, please let us know. You can email us directly or call 202-800-2219 for Lorri or 802-262-6051 for Leslie.

 

Report Violations or Trepass on Insured Property

Have you seen any violations or trespass on your insured property this year? Remember to notify Terrafirma immediately when you first discover any problem that might become a claim under your Terrafirma 2013 policy (and tell your other insurers too just in case). Timing counts, so if you have something now file a claim by March 1, 2014. We will help you sort out the details and are always available to assist you. It's easy: go to the Terrafirma website, login and click on “Submit a Claim.”

We’re here to help! If you have any questions about filing claims or anything else, please let us know. You can reply to this email, email us directly or call 202-800-2219 for Lorri or 802-262-6051 for Leslie.

 

Notify Us of Possible Violations or Trespass

Spring is here and monitoring is underway. While monitoring, you may find possible violations or trespass on your insured property. Remember to notify Terrafirma immediately when you first discover any problem that might become a claim under your Terrafirma policy (and tell your other insurers too just in case). We will help you sort out the details and are always available to assist you. If you want to have a preliminary chat first, feel free to call or write us by email. Here’s how to notify Terrafirma:

  1. Log on to your account.
  2. Update contact information, if necessary. If you want to add another contact to your account, you can add the contact by clicking on the option to update contact information on the left side of the screen.
  3. Click on the option to notify of a possible claim in the menu. Enter in all of the available information on the claim, including a description of the claim, the damages, the name and contact info of the party involved, etc.
  4. If the information requested on the form is not available (i.e. there is no additional insurance coverage or the other party does not currently have an attorney), enter “n/a.”
  5. Terrafirma staff get an automatic copy as do all contacts listed on your account.

We’re here to help! If you have any questions about submitting a claim or anything else, please let us know. You can reply to this email, email us directly or call 202-800-2219 for Lorri or 802-262-6051 for Leslie.

 

Sign Up for TerraBites

Collectively upholding conservation permanence

Tags

Archives