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 cost

Three changes for upcoming annual membership

Terrafirma’s annual membership confirmation opens on Dec. 1. Here are some important points to make it easier for you:

1.  NEW changed P.O. Box address to mail premium payments. Terrafirma has a new P.O. Box and will post the address as part of the application. Please use the new P.O. Box address for the 2023 premium payment to Terrafirma. Please notify your accounts payable to update their vendor list and change the Terrafirma address to use the new P.O. Box address.

2. Terrafirma’s premium increased from $63 per insured parcel to $67 per insured parcel. As highlighted in the May 2022 Terrabite, the Members Committee voted to increase Terrafirma’s premium from $63 per insured parcel to $67 per insured parcel effective for policy year 2023. The premium for land trust back-up holders or third-party enforcers increased from $31.50 per insured parcel to $67 per insured parcel. Current premium discounts and coverage limits remain the same.

3.  Risk management discount opportunities are still available. To receive the Terrafirma risk management discount on your 2023 policy, one member of your land trust will need to attend an approved risk management course. An approved risk management course must be completed every year to qualify for the risk management discount for the coming policy year and discounts cannot be retroactively applied. Here are some upcoming risk management events:

If you have any questions, please let me know. You can email me directly or call 802-249-7147.

Thank you,

Tom Kester
Operations Manager and Secretary
Alliance Risk Management Services LLC
Manager for Terrafirma Risk Retention Group LLC


Premium Increase for 2023 Policy Year

I hope you are well and enjoying spring. I wanted to give all Terrafirma members ample notice that after five full years of stable premium prices and also retaining all the original discounts, Terrafirma must increase premium for the next policy year in 2023. This is only the second premium increase in Terrafirma’s ten years of operation.

Like everyone, inflation has increased all of Terrafirma’s costs – some of them dramatically. Attorney costs on claims increased 15% for example, and investment market decreases negatively affected additional income that would otherwise bridge expense increases.

Terrafirma’s elected Members Committee wants to ensure that Terrafirma can pay the costs for every covered claim, provide members with access to highly qualified attorneys nationwide, and provide sufficient management of Terrafirma to meet regulatory expectations.

At the recent Terrafirma Annual Meeting, the Members Committee voted to increase Terrafirma’s premium from $63 per insured parcel to $67 per insured parcel effective for policy year 2023 (next year). Current premium discounts and coverage limits remain the same.

We understand that any premium increase is not welcome news to members. Both Terrafirma and ARMS work very hard to keep costs as low as possible. The two premium increases in Terrafirma’s 10-year history represents an annualized 1.1% increase from the original 2013 premium. All the discounts and original policy limits remain the same.

I am happy to answer any questions. Please write to me at tkester[at]lta.org. Thank you for your dedication to lasting conservation!


Tom Kester

Operations Manager

Alliance Risk Management Services LLC


Slight rate increase for 2018

Terrafirma has helped land trusts like yours defend their conservation portfolios since March 2013, increasing services along the way. After almost five years of operation, 71 land trusts have used insurance coverage to address serious conservation challenges, and all Terrafirma members have enjoyed fixed premium prices. Terrafirma continues to be sound and stable. To remain so, though, rates must go up slightly in 2018.

Your elected representatives from across the county serving on the Terrafirma Members Committee, after months of deliberation and investigation, approved a modest, $3-per-parcel increase to the base premium for 2018. For more information about this process, please visit www.terrafirma.org/premium.

Terrafirma will continue to make every effort to keep future increases as low and as infrequent as possible. Currently, no other increases are planned. In the meantime, we’re here to help! Please let us know if you have any questions. You can email us directly or call 202-800-2219 for Lorri, 202-800-2248 for myself or 802-262-6051 for Leslie.


TerraBite: Heads up on Possible Rate Change in 2018

Terrafirma is about to start its fifth policy year with over 500 members, 50 covered claims, and over $1 million paid out for covered claims. Thank you, members, for keeping this shared conservation defense liability risk pool strong.

Since Terrafirma started in 2013, your premium rate has been stable because we know how dear every penny is for conservation. But inflation is picking up, costs are increasing and claims payments are growing. It is time to make sure that Terrafirma remains solvent and protects the capital and reserves that all the member land trusts have worked to establish.

The actuaries are crunching the numbers and making projections about when and how much premiums may have to increase to keep Terrafirma there for you. Our initial assessment indicates that an increase in premium fees may be necessary for the 2018 policy year. Please know, however, that the Terrafirma member-elected Members Committee and ARMS staff know that everyone is on a tight budget, and we remain committed to keeping premiums as low as possible.

We also are committed to keeping Terrafirma members informed and protected, which is why we are alerting you now about this process and timing. Thank you for all you do for lasting conservation. Let us know if you have any questions.


Thank you,



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.

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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,


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