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 placeholder

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,


Conservation Defense Coordinator
(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 Tips

Terrafirma is a unique insurance company – a nonprofit, member-owned risk retention group, created specifically to help land trusts. Being so different can lead to some confusion. We'd like to address a few common questions and misconceptions:

  • You must file a claim when you first learn of the incident – not when litigation starts. For example, if a land trust discovers a trespass involving cut trees in January of 2019, but waits until after April 30 (the end of the 2018 grace period for filing claims) to file the claim, they will likely be barred from coverage for not reporting in time.
  • The policy year is not the same as the calendar year – it is March 1 to March 1. There is a 60 day grace period at the end of each policy period.
  • Rates won’t go up because you filed a claim. Claim history and rates are completely independent - $63 per parcel for everyone, minus any discounts.
  • A placeholder is a full claim, and there is no need to re-file the claim to be heard for a coverage determination. Just send us a quick e-mail! See more information on placeholder versus regular claims here.
  • Everything is online except for payments, which must be sent in via check. We use check payments for maximum security and cost efficiency.

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