Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Contract clauses are new benefit

By Mike Mason, CSP

In December 2016, a stakeholder group comprised of snow and ice management professionals and experts in the legal and insurance industries put the final stamp on a project that created a set of advanced contract clauses.

Contract templates are a popular benefit for SIMA members. As part of its mission to deliver increased membership value, SIMA decided to complement these contracts with a glossary of advanced clauses that can help further protect the contractor in terms of risk management and liability. 

After an extensive collection and review process, the stakeholder group settled on clauses that related to payment terms, snowfall limits and measurements, property conditions and damage, employee protection, liability, reporting, ice management, service restrictions, subcontractor management and insurance. 

We’re not lawyers, of course, which is why we enlisted the aid of an attorney and insurance expert to review the clauses. It was an eye-opening experience since they were able to offer improvements that made the clauses more defensible or suggested we remove those that would be difficult to uphold. 

Some of the clauses may work in one market and not in another or only for certain types of customers. All the more reason to ensure your attorneys and insurance people review all contracts for legality and defensibility. 

The goal is to review these clauses and make additions or adjustments as needed, at least once a year. We encourage input and suggestions on how we can improve the tool and make it the best resource possible. Members can download the clauses here. Anyone with suggestions can email Cheryl Higley at

Mike Mason, CSP is vice president of The Lawn Pro in Louisville, KY. He is a former SIMA board chair and served as a stakeholder expert for the project. 

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