Canadian Rental Association
CRA Ontario hears about protected self-insurance
Jan. 22, 2012 - The Canadian Rental Association Ontario assembled at Atlas Copco's head office and warehouse in Mississauga, Ont., on Jan. 18 to enjoy a tasty meal in the dramatic showroom and to hear Ken Fingler and Tom Proch discuss the association's protected self-insurance program. Around 50 members turned out and a draw was held for some attractive Atlas Copco jackets and shirts.
By Patrick Flannery
Jan. 22, 2012 – The CRA Ontario assembled at Atlas Copco on Jan. 18 to
enjoy a tasty meal in the dramatic showroom and to hear Ken Fingler and
Tom Proch discuss the association's protected self-insurance program.
Around 50 members turned out and a draw was held for some attractive
Atlas Copco jackets and shirts.
Large as it is, the showroom takes up only a small corner of Atlas Copco's enormous warehouse.
The Atlas Copco facility is impressively large and modern and the showroom was able to accommodate everyone with room to spare. The power equipment supplier recently consolidated all of its four divisions – compressors, industrial, construction and mining – under this one roof. The facility also houses Atlas Copco's subsidiary, Dynapac, one of the top road and asphalt suppliers in Canada.
Erik Thorsrud, president and GM of Atlas Copco Construction Equipment Canada.
Erik Thorsrud, president and GM of Atlas Copco Construction Equipment Canada, was the first speaker of the evening, giving everyone a snapshot of Atlas Copco's position in the market (biggest supplier of automotive tools in the world, construction division revenues around $2 billion per year) and discussing his goals for the rental service side of the business. He acknowledged some recent complaints about service and pointed to the company's rapid growth as the reason. Thorsrud said customer service and application support are Atlas Copco's top strengths and pledged to build strong relationships in the rental industry to keep the company at the forefront in these areas.
Tom Proch of Western Financial
Tom Proch then went over some numbers related to the CRA's self-protected insurance program, which is administered by the Alberta-based Western Financial Group. He pointed out that the CRA self-protected insurance program has accrued over $2 million in surplus premiums since its inception. This money has been redistributed to members whereas in a regular insurance program it would be retained by the insurer as profit. He also highlighted that replacement cost coverage is available from the CRA program, which is something hard to find in the regular insurance market.
Next, Ken Fingler, Western Financial director of risk management, went over some of the security precautions that can help prevent theft and keep insurance premiums down for everyone. He showed slides of some better door locks and window bars that can prevent break-ins. He also recommended rental operators tie down at night anything that is portable even if it is inside the shop. Fingler said some thieves have even taken to driving trucks through the front windows of rental operators and mentioned large concrete planters as a good way to deter this. He then went over several methods of increasing security in outdoor yards, including eight-foot chain link fences with barbed wire at the top, shackle locks that cannot be cut off, motion-sensor lights and cameras and burglar alarms connected to ULC-listed stations. He noted that audible sirens are recommended again as police response is usually too slow to catch thieves with a silent alarm. Fingler also gave some tips on how to reduce liability by maintaining good inventory lists and preventing slip/fall injuries. He said he has been asked what rental operators should do if someone is injured using their equipment, and he said the operator should collect as much information about the accident as possible then turn everything over to the insurance company. He highlighted ready-to-rent tags and similar systems as an excellent way to defend against liability claims because the system provides documentation of proper maintenance and repairs.
James Morden, CRA Ontario chairman, reminded members of the national CRA's promotion offering visitors to its website the chance to win cash for filling out an online feedback form. The winning web visitor will be drawn at the Rental Show in New Orleans and will win $1,000 if he or she is present and $500 if they are not.
Mike Maltby, CRA Ontario president, said the Ontario golf tournament will take place Sept. 11 at the Hawk Ridge Golf Club in Orillia, Ont.
Finally, yours truly got up to encourage everyone to come out to the Rental Mart on March 6 and 7 and reminded members to nominate deserving companies for the ROOTY awards.