The Current Trends in Campground Insurance

July 12, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Editor’s Note: The following story, written by Kristopher Bunker, appears in the July issue of Woodall’s Campground Management.

There are few things more polarizing than insurance. Talk to somebody who has had a bad experience, and they’ll spout on and on about how their agent was shifty, their claim was denied or they were improperly accused of some wrongdoing. But that same person would likely be singing an entirely different tune had their claim gone the other way.

Fact is, campground insurance is an absolute necessity. Having the correct policy can mean the difference between staying in business and hitting the unemployment line.

There are a number of insurance providers out there, and it’s important to do your homework to determine which company will best suit you and your campgrounds’ needs.

Woodall’s Campground Management (WCM) spoke with two of the top providers in the industry to get a better picture of what’s new in the world of insurance.

Lucas Hartford

Evergreen Insurance

With more than 30 years in the industry, Evergreen Insurance, provider of liability and property insurance to campgrounds, RV parks and resorts, knows a thing or two about the latest developments in the industry. And it doesn’t involve thefts or the RVs themselves. “The biggest trend we have seen in the past 12 months is the number, and severity, of golf-cart claims taking place at camping facilities,” says Lucas Hartford, president of Evergreen MGA. “In the past 3 years we have seen the frequency of claims involving golf carts rise by a little more than 250%. And we have seen the severity of claims involving golf carts rise by more than 400%. With 2.5 times more claims and 4 times more money being paid out on golf cart claims it is quickly becoming an important area of risk management for campgrounds and parks.”

And, Hartford says, although the majority of the golf-cart incidents involve camper-owned carts rather than campground-owned carts, the campground itself is often dragged into the legal process. “This is an issue that owners need to pay attention to and make sure they have proper rules for their business in place about golf carts and that they are very strict about enforcing these rules.” To help with such incidents, Evergreen now offers its Evergreen Protection Plus endorsement, which gives clients dozens of new coverages specific to the camping industry. Hartford also believes education is key when discussing coverage options. “ In addition we are looking to significantly expand the client section of our website to provide a much more in-depth set of educational materials for risk management and insurance.”

Evergreen also includes coverage such as General Liability, Pollution Liability, RV & Trailer Spotting, Special Operations (such as Marinas, Waterslides, Propane, Saddle Animals, Liquor Liability), Auto, Garage Liability, Business Income & Extra Expense and other such coverages. “We can provide general liability limits of $16 million or more,” says Hartford. For more information visit or call (800) 343-7900.

Tracie Reith

K&K Insurance

K&K Insurance Group, which brings more than 60 years of underwriting to the table, offers package coverage for both private and franchised campgrounds including general liability, property, auto, excess liability and workers compensation.

“K&K underwriters are specialists in the camping insurance industry and focus on accurately assessing the unique attributes of individual campgrounds,” says Tracie Reith, senior underwriter for K&K. “By understanding the particular physical traits of each campground, our underwriters can price coverage accordingly.”

Reith has also noticed a developing trend. “The campground insurance market is ‘hardening,’ which means that losses in the overall campground market are causing rates to rise. While no one wants to pay higher rates, this may be a good time for campgrounds with good loss experience to ask their insurance agent for quotes from one or two companies and investigate what is available.”

But there’s much more to it than finding the lowest price. “It’s always important to compare both premium and coverage; the lowest price may not always provide the same type and amount of coverage that another higher-priced quote includes,” says Reith.

Plus, with the daily activities of the average park/campground dramatically changing, it’s more important than ever to understand the type of coverage you need. “We are seeing campgrounds offer activities such as zip-lines, climbing walls, waterslides and horseback riding that are traditionally camp exposures,” says Reith.

“K&K offers coverage for camps as well as campgrounds and is able to provide coverage for exposures that may be difficult for traditional campground underwriters to insure. We can also provide coverage for cabin rental operations that may be excluded by other insurance companies.”

If you are interested in a quote from K&K Insurance, call Tracie Reith at (877) 355-0315 ext. 5667 or e-mail



Many Slips and Falls Claims Getting a 2nd Look

December 27, 2012 by · Comments Off on Many Slips and Falls Claims Getting a 2nd Look 

Graphic courtesy of SAIF Corp.

Editor’s Note: The following information appeared in the Winter issue of “The Source,” a publication of Evergreen MGA. It concerns the latest trends from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) which reports that many slip and trip claims are getting a second look.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) said that “slip and trip” claims targeting businesses and their insurance companies are beginning to be scrutinized more carefully for potential fraud.

An analysis of questionable slip and fall claims submitted by NICB member companies showed a 57% increase in the number of referrals over the past 2 1/2 years. More than 4,600 questionable claims were received in 2008, 2009 and the first half of 2010. Most of those claims were tied to commercial insurance policies similar to your Evergreen MGA insurance policy.

“While many people have legitimate accidents in businesses across the country, we’ve seen a growing number of cases that have some indication of potential fraud,” said Joe Wehrle, NICB president and CEO. “Our agents, working with insurance company investigators and law enforcement, are busy identifying and targeting” those people “that make a good living staging slip and fall accidents.”

Although the NICB uses data and stats from a variety of businesses and sources, the common scenario for slip and trip fraud involves both organized crime rings that target big box stores, and fraud that targets smaller businesses like campgrounds and RV parks. In either case, the claimant “hopes to collect a quick payout and move on before anyone realizes what’s going on” says  Wehrle.

“A typical slip and trip case may involve two people going into a store or retailer, and splitting up. The first person goes down an aisle while the other keeps a lookout. When the coast is clear, he or she pulls out a small bottle of liquid, pours it on the floor and then pretends to fall on the floor. The partner runs to assist and tells everyone that he witnessed the fall.”

“Fortunately, we’ve worked with insurers to raise the awareness level and urged companies to analyze claims before they pay. The bad news is, many retailers are self-insured and they look at this as a cost of doing business – they’ll write a check without investigating. Based on what companies have told us, we think that adds up to millions of dollars in unwarranted payouts. We’re reaching out to these companies and urging them to join us in fighting commercial fraud.”

The number of questionable slip and trip claims that were submitted to NICB went from 325 in the first quarter of 2008, to a high of 565 in the fourth quarter of 2009. In the first half of 2010, there were 997 slip and fall claims referred to NICB for further analysis. New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Chicago were the five cities with the most questionable claims for slip and falls, and California, Florida, New York, Illinois and Texas were the top five states.


  • Over 540,000 Slip-Fall injuries, requiring hospital care, occur in North America each year.
  • Slip-Falls account for over 300,000 disabling injuries per year in North America.
  • One in three serious bone breaks for seniors result in death, within one year of the accident.
  • Slip-Falls account for over 20,000 fatalities per year in North America i.e. 55 persons per day.
  • It is the second leading cause of accidental death and disability after automobile accidents.
  • Slip-Falls are the No.1 cause of accidents in hotels, restaurants and public buildings; 70% occur on flat and level surfaces.
  • Slip-Falls are the source of more than 57% of all disabling injuries.
  • Slip-Fall accidents account for 30% of all reported injuries.
  • There are social burdens related to this problem, including Workers’ Compensation claims over $1.8 billion year – i.e. 40% of all accidents claims paid out. Workers’ Compensation and Liability Insurance Rates are increasing on the average of 30% per year.
  • The total expense resulting from slip-fall injuries alone is a $100 million per day problem.
  • Slip-falls account for 40% of general-liability claims.

Kinds of Falls

Same-surface falls can be classified into four categories:

1. Trip-and-fall accidents, in which pedestrians encounter a foreign object in their walking path.

2. Stump-and-fall accidents, in which a moving foot encounters an impediment in the walking surface, whether it is a tacky point on the surface or a defect that impedes the foot.

3. Step-and-fall accidents, in which the foot finds an unexpected failure or hole in the walking surface.

4. Slip-and-fall accidents, in which the interface of the shoe and the floor fails to support the walker’s center of gravity over the base area.

The slip and fall is the most common accident. Foot contact is broken, and the individual attempts to right himself or herself. Recovery of equilibrium is reflexive and not under conscious control in most cases. If the pedestrian strikes the surface with a fleshy part of the body, the injuries are likely to be minimal, but if the victim strikes a bony body part, the injuries may be more severe.

Risk Managers Tell How to Prepare for the Next Disaster

July 19, 2011 by · Comments Off on Risk Managers Tell How to Prepare for the Next Disaster 

Some of the damage from a tornado that decimated the Village Green Family Campground on June 2.

Read this and other stories in the July issue of Woodall’s Campground Management going out this week to more than 13,000 campgrounds in North America.

One of the more severe storm and flood seasons in recent years has caused concern among the nation’s RV park and campground sector and the risk management firms that insure them.

As of mid-June, at least 1,300 tornadoes had struck the U.S. this year, leaving numerous deaths and billions of dollars in destruction in their wake in Alabama, Kentucky, Massachusetts and elsewhere. Add in some rampaging floods along the nation’s rivers from Minot, N.D., to Natchez, Miss., wildfires out West and elsewhere, trees falling on public park campers in New Jersey and the start of what is projected to be a tough hurricane season throughout the Gulf Coast, and, well, you get the picture.

Here’s a rundown on calamities, past and future.

“It’s been the worst season in the U.S. for tornadoes since 1974,” said Lucas Hartford, president of Lewiston, Maine-based Evergreen Insurance, a leading insurer of campgrounds. He estimates 20 campgrounds, including six Evergreen clients, have sustained tornado damage already this year and many others have sustained lesser wind and storm damage. “As for tornado damage, it’s been a record year,” he added.

Leavitt Recreation & Hospitality Insurance Inc., based in Sturgis, S.D., which insures 1,200 RV parks and campgrounds, counts just two clients on the list of campgrounds hit by tornadoes so far this year — a North Carolina KOA and a Kentucky Yogi Bear park.

USI Insurance, based in Cincinnati, reported similar results. “Two of our clients were hit by tornadoes or microbursts, both in the Northeast section of the country,” reported USI Consultant Tom Gerken. “These just happened at the end of May. Fortunately no one was hurt and it appears the majority of the damage is to trees and landscaping, some real property damage with the resultant debris removal.”

The Village Green Family Campground in Brimfield, Mass., took a direct hit from a June 1 tornado, destroying 95 of 97 RVs parked at the campground and killing a camper, 52-year-old Virginia Darlow.

Jimmy Tumblin

All the trees on what was a wooded campground were blown down.

It was perhaps the worst tornado damage thus far this year at a U.S. campground, made even more rare because it struck a facility in central Massachusetts. But it could have been worse.

Campground owner Lester Twarowski said there were a dozen campers and another 10 family members at the campground when the storms hit, The Republican reported. Having received a phone call warning of the storm’s approach, Twarowski and his maintenance worker informed everyone and herded all but a few into the basement of a house on the property. “We stood in an area the size of a pickup bed, huddling and hugging,” Twarowski said.

After the storms, those on hand formed human chains to help firefighters lift the few injured people up inclines, said Twarowski, adding that he feels bad for those who left their campers at Village Green because some lost important belongings. But he is also grateful that the storms came when there were only a dozen campers and not on the previous weekend when there were 500 people there.

On June 13, a woman and her grandchild were killed when a tree fell on their camper while staying at a campground in northern Mississippi, and a storm-related death was also reported at an Iowa park.

Now Let’s Take a Look at Hurricane Season Prospects

Atlantic Hurricane Forecasts for 2011. Chart shows forecast of NOAA, Colorado State University and Weather Services International. Chart courtesy of Weather Services International.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially began June 1 and, according to reports, has the potential to affect RV parks and campgrounds from the tip of South Texas to the Maine coast and even the Canadian Maritime Provinces.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) projects six to 10 hurricanes will hit U.S. landfall this season with three to six of them termed major, Category 3 or higher. That would put the season slightly above average, the insurance people note. (See chart at left)

Outperforming other, primary, public forecasters on named storms by 25% since 2006, Weather Services International (WSI), a Weather Channel company, predicts 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes (Category 3 or greater).

The U.S. has been largely spared the last two years, with no hurricane landfalls since 2008, a relatively rare occurrence. According to WSI, we’ve not gone through a three-year period without a hurricane landfall since the 1860s. “Our recent good fortune in avoiding landfalling hurricanes is not likely to last,” said Todd Crawford, WSI chief meteorologist.

Jimmy Tumblin, vice president and co-owner of Leavitt Recreation and Hospitality Insurance Inc., who grew up in Florida and maintains his office in Calabash, N.C., is a hurricane veteran and takes an informed view of the disaster threat. Personally, he would rather face a hurricane than a tornado, he said.

Unlike tornadoes, hurricanes come with considerable warning, giving campgrounds and their guests a relatively good amount of time to seek safety. “You can board up your windows and anything with a Class 3 or below you can easily survive,” he said.

As for Those Rampant Floods and Wildfires

Lucas Hartford

Heavy winter snows and record-breaking late spring snowfall in the Rockies and elsewhere in the West have created record floods in Washington and along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers in the Great Plains and downstream from there.

As for flood frequency, 2011 has been an “above average season but if you look at the past 16 years, three years have been worse than this in terms of flood claims, so it’s not a horrible flood season,” Hartford reported. “But for those campgrounds along the Mississippi or the Missouri rivers, they’re getting hit hard.”

Floods pose a special risk to campgrounds.

“Flood insurance is separate from all other insurance,” Tumblin noted. “Most of it is underwritten by the National Flood Program, which may go through some major changes. Realize from an insurance standpoint, flood insurance doesn’t do a campground owner a lot of good. Flood insurance is basically for four-walled buildings. In a flood the major damage is to sites and grounds and you can’t even purchase coverage through the National Flood Program. That’s the ‘down and dirty’ way to put it: four walls and a roof.”

“You can go to a broker like Lloyds of London and buy ‘differences in conditions’ coverage that will bridge the gap but most campgrounds won’t bother with that. They can’t afford it. With flood insurance, there is a cap on any one building, so a lot of damage from floods is not covered.”

Meanwhile, with wildfires making a lot of headlines lately, Tumblin said the major claim stemming from wildfires is loss of income – income disrupted when wildfires force campgrounds to close until the fire threat has subsided.

So, What Advice Do These Experts Offer Park Owners?

“There are three big things we suggest in regard to natural disasters,” Evergreen’s Hartford told Woodall’s Campground Management.

  • In the short-term, secure anything that is loose, such as canoes, picnic tables and awnings. They can become “flying missiles” in storms and pose damage to property and people.
  • In the long-term, preventative tree-trimming is important. “Falling trees and falling limbs have become the No. 1 claim as far as frequency,” he said. “It used to be ‘slips, trips and falls.’ I think campers out there expect a different level of tree care and care in general throughout the campground.”
  • And formulate a disaster plan. “Some states are starting to require disaster plans on hand,” said Hartford. “No state is enforcing it, but it’s becoming important. Campground owners should discuss how to handle staff and their campers and have a general plan.” Hartford, whose company will present a seminar on this topic at the 2011 ARVC Conference in Savannah, Ga., also suggested that park owners consult for a good understanding of how to draft a disaster plan.

In addition, Evergreen advises campgrounds to have handy pre-printed instruction sheets to hand out to campers in case of evacuation. These notices should include handy information such as the locations of storm shelters, evacuation routes and key phone numbers to avoid traffic bottlenecks if campers have to evacuate.

Evergreen does not discourage the construction of storm shelters at campgrounds, but concedes that the cost to do so is usually prohibitive. “With the tornadoes,” Tumblin added, “the key is not to leave things lying around and have a plan in place. The federal government has some great preparedness plans. That’s about all you can do.”

Flood prevention? Other than sandbagging, there really isn’t much you can do, he added.

Tom Gerken

Gerken, for his part, offers this advice: “Park owners should have a well thought out and very thorough emergency disaster plan in place. All staff should be trained on what to do in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency situation, which may occur. Flood, fire, medical emergencies and weather-related (circumstances) are just a few of the areas to consider. The plan should include procedures to cover everything from early warning to disaster recovery after the fact.

“Three primary areas to consider are protection of people, protection of property and protection of income, and the ongoing revenue stream,” noted Gerkin, an industry veteran. “When going through the planning process, park owners should consider all the various scenarios that might impact the smooth ongoing operation of the business, cause injury to guests or employees or damage to property. Applying common sense to the development of an initial plan you may look first at ‘What is the worst that is likely to happen?’ An occasional ‘drill’ for handling various situations is also a good idea.”

Business Interruption Insurance Among Other Valid Considerations

Hartford also recommends campgrounds carry “business income and extra expense

insurance, also known as “business interruption coverage.” This coverage comes in handy when a business isn’t able to remain open, or is partially closed, such as when a camp store burns.

“About two-thirds of campgrounds carry business income coverage,” Hartford estimated. “It’s especially important in the campground industry where a lot of parks are family-owned and this is their sole income. They really need to make sure they have this coverage.”

Tree loss insurance? Trees can make the difference in a campground, and when they are damaged, the loss can be compounded. Most companies offer a limit on coverage for tree loss, usually $25,000.

The goal of this whole conversation, of course, is the prospect of life after a disaster strikes, and, as insurers are well aware, there’s plenty of examples of that.

Evergreen Hits the Road to Serve Campgrounds

October 5, 2010 by · Comments Off on Evergreen Hits the Road to Serve Campgrounds 

For Evergreen Insurance, autumn is an exciting and fun time because many of the state, regional, national and franchise organizations of the camping industry have their meetings – which means Evergreen staff hit the road to network with the RV park and campground industry, the company stated in a news release.

Following is a list of of recent visits, followed by  some of the meetings Evergreen staff will be attending in coming weeks.

So far this fall, staff  have attended:

  • New Jersey Campground Owner’s Fall Meeting– attended by Missy Bourgoin and Guy Gagnon.
  • Northeast Campground Owner’s Great Escape- attended by Lucas Hartford and Missy Bourgoin.
  • Wisconsin Association of Campground Owners Fall Meeting – attended by Nichole Poisson.

Coming up:

  • Maine Campground Owner’s Association Fall Meeting– Lucas Hartford and Missy Bourgoin will be there on Oct. 16 to put on a seminar and provide a lobster/steak meal for everyone attending.
  • Virginia Campground Owner’s Association Meeting– Guy Gagnon will be attending on Oct. 18-20.
  • Maryland Campground Owner’s Association Meeting– Guy Gagnon will be attending on Oct. 25-26.
  • Twin State Conference (New Hampshire& Vermont) – Lucas Hartford and Guy Gagnon will be attending Oct. 29-30.
  • Virtual Outdoor Hospitality Expo– Lucas Hartford and Bryan Tolli will be attending Nov. 1-3.
  • Campground Owners of New York–Guy Gagnon will be attending Nov. 4-5.
  • KOA Conference– Lucas Hartford, Guy Gagnon and Bryan Tolli will be attending Nov. 9-10– Savannah, Ga.
  • National ARVC Conference–Lucas Hartford, Guy Gagnon, Nichole Poisson and Ann Labbewill be attending Dec. 1-3– Las Vegas, Nev.

Campground Industry Salutes Richard Hartford

May 4, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

Richard Hartford, Evergreen Insurance president

Many people not only know him, but love him. They refer to him as their friend first, and their business partner second. Richard “Dick” Hartford has a lot to celebrate this year — his 65th birthday, 37 years in the insurance industry, and 24 with Evergreen, a company insuring the campground industry, owned by campground owners.

President of Evergreen Indemnity and Evergreen USA, Hartford resides in Lewiston, Maine, and has two sons, Lucas and Justin. He is a man who has supported many causes within the Northeast Campground Association (NCA) and has gaveled many charity auctions. He has received both the  “Stan Martin Award” and the “Curtis Fuller Award” from state campground associations.

Hartford began a program of insuring campgrounds and RV parks in 1973 and started Evergreen in 1986. That year many campgrounds and RV parks were seeing their insurance premiums double and triple and often they could not even find coverage. During the mid-1980s nearly all of the insurance companies were pulling out of the camping industry. That’s when a group of people within the camping arena asked Hartford to find a long-term solution for insuring their industry. He set to work and found a group that was willing to invest to start Evergreen.

“It was exciting to put together a program when there was relatively no insurance available to campgrounds, and to get enough support from the camping industry from wonderful campgrounds that invested in the effort to start a new company like this one had never been done before,” he explained.

Hartford describes campground owners as a hardworking, down-to-earth and a respectful group of people.

“Very seldom do you ever find a rude campground owner,” he said. “You can’t meet a nicer bunch of people than in the camping industry. They are willing to help their fellow mankind and are very generous. As I look back, I can’t imagine that I could have ever picked an industry that would have suited me any better than the campground industry. I got to the point where I loved the camping industry more than the insurance industry.”

Today, Hartford continues to manage the long-range interests of the Evergreen companies, while his son Lucas oversees the daily activities.

“My dad brought me into the business by teaching me how to do risk management inspections and policy reviews of campgrounds and RV parks,” Lucas said. “But the biggest thing he taught me in this business is that Evergreen’s success only comes with the success of the camping industry. He realizes that the long-term interests of Evergreen come with the long-term success of the camping industry.

“As his son and business partner, I am forever grateful for him trusting me to run the daily activities of Evergreen. He has played many roles in my life from father, ski coach, boss, co-worker and friend. And in all those things I have seen him commit himself 100% to every effort. He does nothing half way. It is all or nothing for him and that is a quality I fully admire.”

In 2007 Dick and Lucas sold a local insurance agency in order to focus all of their efforts on Evergreen and the camping industry.

“My dad told me for years that the camping industry is the best group of people to deal with and he is 100% right – so that is what we focus on,” Lucas said.

Dick enjoys fly fishing, carpentry and electrical work and flower gardening. But most of all he enjoys watching Lucas take Evergreen to new levels of success.

“What I love now is watching my son take the company to heights that I couldn’t have,” he said. “It deflates my ego a little bit to watch that, but that is the most wonderful part about it, seeing how much better he is at it than I was.”

The future for Dick Hartford? He will remain the company’s chairman of the board and president for around five more years and at that time he envisions handing over full reign to Lucas.

“Maybe I’ll start an insurance company to compete with him, that will teach him a lesson,” he joked. “I can’t imagine myself not working and I will probably do carpentry and electrical work when I feel like doing it. I have gotten to a point where I can choose to do things when I want to which is kind of nice. Even if I give up the leadership of the company, I see myself being involved behind the scenes.”

On the subject of fatherly advice, Dick says one thing he has never tried to do is give advice to either of his sons.

“If they come and ask a question, I usually try to refrain and say, ‘What do you think you should do?’ I encourage them to do what they believe they need to do. I will give Lucas the same advice I gave him 15 years ago when I turned over the daily activities to him. He asked me, ‘But dad, what happens if I fail?’ I said, ‘If that happens, the only suggestion I have for you is to have another job lined up because you’re going to need it.’”

Failure, according to Dick, is the best education there is.

“Every young person in this world under the age of 50 needs the opportunity to succeed and fail on their own,” he said. “It makes you humble, teaches you a lesson and you move on. It wasn’t what I learned in a classroom in college – it was what I learned outside of the classroom – how to get along with people, how to budget my time, etc.”

It doesn’t take a long conversation with Dick to pick up on his sharp wit and sense of humor. When told people have nothing but compliments for him, he quipped, “They must be lying.”

“When I think of Dick Hartford I think about family and friends,” said Rick Abare, president of Campground Association Management Professionals (CAMP) and executive director of the Maine Campground Owners Association. “The business of insurance I think of as a secondary item when I think of him. I think about that uncle that everyone has who is wise, fun-loving, and energetic all at the same time. The good uncle.”

When Abare bought his campground in 1992 and went looking for insurance companies, he was thoroughly impressed with the concept behind Evergreen – that the campground owners are owners of the company.

“That kind of thing is what Dick Hartford would dream up,” Abare said. “He is always there for you. He is one of the people I have always looked to when I have a question about what is right or wrong and I know I will get the truth. He is genuinely one of a kind. The ‘what can I do for you, how can I help’ attitude is a Hartford family trait. This is part of why so many people look up to Dick and all he has done for the camping industry. There probably is no one like him. When you think of family and camping and put it all together and ask yourself who is always there for you, that would be Dick Hartford.”

Chip Menz, co-owner along with his brother Bruce, of Big Timber Lake Campground in Papemay Court House, N.J., met Dick in the early 1980s before he began Evergreen.

“When he decided to start Evergreen, we became invested in Evergreen,” explained Menz. “Dick is a straight shooter, he stands by his word and he is just a lot of fun, and easygoing.”

The Menz brothers are on the board of directors for Evergreen.

“Dick is good for the industry and I’m glad I met him,” Menz said. “He has a world of knowledge about the insurance business and he does what he does well. He has helped a lot of campground owners.”

April 26 was Dick’s birthday and this year his family planned a surprise party to mark 65 years.

“There haven’t been many chances to surprise my dad and he was completely surprised,” Lucas said.

To Dick his 65th birthday was just another day. But to his family there was a lot to celebrate.

“He doesn’t like parties or surprises,” joked Lucas.

“I was momentarily (mad),” Dick said. “But I got over it.”

Second Annual ‘CAMP College’ Set for April 26

December 16, 2009 by · Comments Off on Second Annual ‘CAMP College’ Set for April 26 


Bob Harris

Bob Harris

The second annual gathering for CAMP-College will be April 26 at Cherry Hill Campground in College Park, Md.

CAMP-College is a special full day of education put on by Evergreen insurance for members of Campground Association Management Professionals (CAMP).

CAMP was formed in 1991 when several state campground and RV park association executives got together and formalized their meetings held in conjunction with the annual National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) convention. They learned that sharing information about issues within their state and programs offered within other states helped each of them run a better association for their RV park and campground members, according to a news release.

CAMP now meets twice a year, during ARVC’s annual fall convention and in the spring near Washington, D.C., during ARVC’s National Issues Conference. Additionally, CAMP conducts an annual survey of what type of programs and member benefits state executives offer their members.

CAMP-College is sponsored by Evergreen and is a special day that provides intensive education to the leaders of the camping industry. Association executive directors, staff and presidents benefit from attendance at this day of learning. This year Evergreen will once again be featuring Bob Harris  as a speaker.

Harris has 20 years experience with associations. His seminars are interactive, focused on core-knowledge and member needs. He utilizes case studies, trends and headlines board orientation, training, strategic planning, staff training and consulting. He is the author of Association Management 101 Online, creator of the Association Self-Auditing Process and co-author of “Building an Association Management Company.”

To register for the event contact Evergreen at (800) 343-7900.

Get snow? Then Take the Proper Steps Removing It

November 30, 2009 by · Comments Off on Get snow? Then Take the Proper Steps Removing It 


Lucas Hartford

Lucas Hartford

Editor’s Note: This story was provided by Lucas Hartford, CPCU, ARe, AU, AIS Evergreen USA RRG Inc. For more information, visit

For campgrounds and RV parks in the Northern United States it is time to think about snow and ice. While many Northern resorts close for the winter season, there are increasingly more that stay open through the winter for camping, snowmobiling or just to have the office or store open for local residents. If you have a campground that is affected by snow and ice and you have anyone from the public on your property, then proper snow and ice removal is very important for their safety.

Proper removal of snow and ice is becoming more important for businesses as our society becomes more litigious each year. It was estimated by Snow Business Magazine that last year snow plowing and removal businesses saw a 17% increase in the amounts paid for claims against them. I seriously doubt that snow removal businesses are doing a much poorer job but rather our society is expecting more and more from people when it comes to keeping parking lots, sidewalks and steps free from slipping hazards.

If you hire someone to do your snow and ice removal, it is important to hire a dependable contractor who has the needed insurance to cover losses. We suggest that you obtain proof of insurance from them showing that they have at least $1 million of general liability coverage and auto liability insurance as well as having Worker’s Compensation insurance. In addition, if you hire someone to handle this, you should have a signed contract that defines the desired level of service. Some things the contract might address include:

  • Are you allowing the contractor to use his/her own judgment of when to salt or sand?
  • What times of day will the snow service provider be allowed to begin operations?
  • Will the contractor respond when they feel it is necessary or will you be responsible for contacting them?
  • Do you expect to meet with them after a storm for a final inspection and/or have a foreman inspect the contractor’s final job?
  • What things are they responsible for if they hit them while plowing? Curbing and parking barriers?
  • Who will put out markers/wands for the areas to be plowed and are there any special items that need marking at the campground such as well heads, low site markers, etc.?
  • Do they keep a log of their work?

If you do your own snow removal, you are likely aware of the risks and necessity for continual maintenance of parking and walking areas during a storm. One thing that has become standard operating practice for snow removal companies in the past half dozen years is keeping a detailed log of their work. If you are doing your own snow removal and someone slips on your property, you are going to be held to the same standard as professional snow removal companies – which is to keep a log of your work.

The person(s) doing the snow and ice removal should keep a log noting the dates and specific times of the areas plowed. If sand, salt or other snow melting products are put down, the amount put down should be noted as well. Approximate amounts of snow fall or ice accumulation should be noted in the log. If there is anything unusual that is addressed, this should be noted in the log or you can just take a quick photo with your camera or phone. When a campground or RV park has someone injured on snow or ice in their business, it is almost certain that if the customer ends up filing a lawsuit that the plaintiffs attorney will ask to see a copy of the log. If no log is available, it will paint a very ugly picture for the jury as there is plenty of evidence showing this is standard operating practice.

Campground, RV parks and resorts in the Northern United States know that snow can be a lot of fun, but that you need to be a little extra safe. Make sure to take the time to make your park a lot safer for your guests who may or may not be familiar with the risks of snow and ice.

Insurer Provides Timely Campground Advice

July 1, 2009 by · Comments Off on Insurer Provides Timely Campground Advice 

Editor’s Note: This advisory was provided courtesy of Lucas Hartford, president of Evergreen Insurance. 

The Fourth of July weekend is upon us and hopefully there will be a lot of people camping! With 35 years of providing insurance, the staff of Evergreen knows that the Fourth of July weekend is the weekend in which campgrounds, RV parks and resorts across the United States have the most incidents and claims of any weekend in the year. 

Hopefully everything goes smoothly at your business for the holiday weekend, but if something should happen here is what you need to know if someone gets injured: 

  • Do not pay or make any financial obligations. 
  • Do not make statements to anyone which assume responsibility. 
  • Provide needed medical assistance. 
  • Gather information. 
  • Preserve all evidence and if needed photograph the scene. 
  • Eliminate any immediate hazard, without destroying the evidence.
  • Notify police if a law may have been broken. 
  • Complete an incident report form to memorialize the information while it is fresh in your mind. 
  • Make a report of the incident to your insurance company. 
  • Keep all of the information you obtain confidential. 

    It’s OK to Be Compassionate 

    One difficult area with any incident is the balance between compassion to the injured person and accepting responsibility. It is absolutely OK, and recommended, that you do show compassion toward anyone hurt at your business whether you believe you are at fault or not. We are all human and to see another person injured should invoke feelings of compassion and sympathy – and as the business owner or manager you should convey these feelings to the person who is injured at your premises to let them know you do in fact care. 

    It is OK to care about them and that is very different from assuming responsibility or making financial obligations to them. Showing compassion does not make you any more liable for the incident but assuming responsibility or making financial obligations may make you much more liable – and for some people can jeopardize your insurance coverage. 

    Do’s and Don’ts 

    Here are things you would not want to say to someone injured at your campground or RV park: 

  • “We should have trimmed that tree earlier in the year.” 
  • “We’ll pay to replace the stuff that was broken.” 
  • “Our insurance company will pay for your injuries.” 
  • “I should never have let this happen.” 

    Some things that are OK to say might include: 

  • “I am very sorry you were hurt. What can we do to make you more comfortable?” 
  • “I’m sorry Uncle Dave was injured. I know your camper is hooked up right now; can I drive the rest of your family to the hospital to see him?” 
  • “I’m sorry your camper was ruined by that tree limb falling. Can my staff assist you by getting a tarp over the roof to temporarily keep the rain out?” 

    If someone seeks medical treatment and later in the day comes back to their site, it’s perfectly fine to go see them to check up on them. If the person wants to know how they will be remunerated, then give them the name of your insurance company and the phone number of your insurance company. Tell the camper that you will be reporting it to the insurance company who will be contacting them soon, but if they want, you can give them the number of the company as well. 

    Caring is good – admitting fault is not good until a complete investigation is able to be done. 

    Employee Injuries 

    If you have an employee that is injured, you should make sure to contact your Worker’s Compensation insurance company. For injured employees, depending upon the state your business is in, you may also be required to notify the state’s Department of Labor within a certain period of time of the injury. And that period of time can often be as short as 24 hours. 

    We suggest Evergreen clients make sure they have watched the video “How to Report a Claim” that is available exclusively to Evergreen clients. In addition you should have a few incident report forms available which are available from Evergreen. If you need either of these items, just call Evergreen and ask for them. 

    Evergreen also has on-line claims reporting available if you want to do it online at 

    In addition if you have a serious injury or loss and need to speak to someone outside of normal business hours (Mon-Fri 8 a.m.-5 p.m. EST) you can call the same number, (800) 343-7900, and you will be directed to our 24/7 claims service person who can help you out anytime day or night. 

    Wishing everyone a safe, busy and prosperous Fourth of July weekend with many happy campers.

  • Evergreen Increases Oglebay Scholarships

    June 26, 2009 by · Comments Off on Evergreen Increases Oglebay Scholarships 

    Evergreen Insurance, the official campground insurance provider for the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC), has increased the amount it will give people for scholarships to the National School of RV Park and Campground Management, held each February in Wheeling, W. Va., according to a news release. 

    Evergreen will provide a scholarship of $300 per student who attends the national school. This scholarship program is offered to staff and owners of campgrounds and RV parks insured by either Evergreen Indemnity Ltd. or Evergreen USA RRG Inc. There is a $600 calendar year scholarship limit per account. Application must be made at least 30 days prior to the start of the school. 

    Evergreen USA is a corporate sponsor of the School of RV Park and Campground Management. 

    To apply, contact Missy Bourgoin at or at (800) 343-7900. 

    For more information about Evergreen go to