JD Fulwiler Receives the 2015 CIG Northwest Agency of the Year Award
Trisha Fulwiler, JD Fulwiler & Co. Insurance President and
Arne Chatterton, Capital Insurance Group President and CEO
MONTEREY, Calif. (March 16, 2016) – The leading regional property and casualty insurer serving the Western U.S., Capital Insurance Group® (CIG®), has presented JD Fulwiler & Co. Insurance with the Northwest Agency of the Year award.
“I am honored that CIG has chosen JD Fulwiler & Co. Insurance as the Northwest Region agency of the year. We value and rely on this significantly important partnership for our mutual customers. I truly appreciate this recognition,” said Trisha Fulwiler, President of JD Fulwiler & Co. Insurance.
For over 25 years, the family-owned and locally operated JD Fulwiler & Co. Insurance has built a trusted relationship with businesses and families in the northwest region through their industry expertise and dedication to customer care. By partnering with carriers like CIG, this agency also has been able to fulfill its commitment to growth.
Bryan Stanwood, CIG Regional Field Executive-Northwest Region remarks, “JD Fulwiler & Co Insurance is an exceptional agency. Their team is focused on protecting and insuring quality customers with CIG, and their continued growth and profitability is a testament to our mutual success. We are truly lucky to work with them every day.”
In recent efforts by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) to simplify and streamline the UAS registration process, drone operators will soon have access to the new part 48 online registration system in which to register their aircraft for legal operations. Currently the part 48 process is reserved for model aircraft – or hobbyists – operations. As of March 31, 2016, this system will be open to any operators or organizations utilizing drones for other than model aircraft operations. Until the March 31, 2016 deadline, all organizations or individuals operating UAV’s in a commercial application must continue to complete the part 47 registration process in accordance with conditions and limitations defined under section 333 of Public Law 112-95.
This is a considerable step forward in the efforts to expedite legal drone operations in the US. JD Fulwiler is excited to continue growing with the industry, and the opportunity to offer insurance and risk management solutions to businesses taking to the skies.
Looking for further information regarding the part 48 drone registration process? Be sure to reference the FAA’s recent IFR on the subject, here: http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/media/20151213_IFR.pdf?utm_content=buffer429d1&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Do you have contracts with the Federal Government? Be aware that The Federal Tort Claims Act allows citizens who have been injured by the federal government to sue the United States. But there is an important exception. No suit against the government is allowed when the victim is a service member injured by the negligence of the United States Military. The rule protecting the military is called the “Feres Doctrine.” This does not mean that the inured soldiers or their families cannot sue others who may have contributed to a military aircraft accident. They can attempt to sue the aircraft (UAV) manufacturer for a defect in design. The aircraft (UAV) manufacturer may be able to assert defenses of its own using the “Government Contractor Defense.” Protection is not absolute.
The Supreme Court has ruled that a manufacturer can take advantage of that defense only if it can prove all of the following things:
- That the U.S. Government specifically required or approved the design feature that caused the accident or injury;
- That what the manufacturer built conformed to the specifications that the government approved, and
- That the manufacturer warned the government about any dangers in the design that the manufacturer knew about and that the government did not.
If the manufacturer fails to prove all three of these things, then it may be sued just as a manufacturer of a civilian aircraft. All too many manufacturers and suppliers to the military falsely believe that they do not need products liability.
Confused ? Questions ? Don’t hesitate to call Diane Durnin or Chris Bryan 503.293.8325!
We are excited about our membership in the Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition!
Check out all the great things this organization is doing at http://pndc.us
Source: www.napipelines.com, September 29th, 2105 by Gregory Penza.
Drones seem to be almost everywhere recently. Whether military personnel are using drones for national security issues or businesses are delivering packages to customers, these Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are filling the airspace quickly. In the oil and gas industry, UAV technology offers a broad range of benefits that allow the industry to improve in multiple areas. The foremost important one being to monitor the security and safety of pipeline infrastructure.
In 2015, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued more than 1,000 exemptions allowing companies to safely operate commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS). In order to fly a small UAS for commercial purposes the FAA requires that businesses file a 333 petition for exemption. This process is relatively lengthy. However, it ensures that businesses are held accountable to the health and safety of the communities they intend to fly over. A priority that is paramount to smooth operations in every aspect of work in the gas industry.
Currently, the FAA requires certain rules be followed for all UAS operators flying for commercial business purposes. These rules include:
• No unauthorized persons in the flight area.
• Observe a minimum safe altitude to allow for obstacle and terrain clearance.
• UAS operator must have a current pilot’s license.
• All flights are limited to 400 ft maximum altitude.
• Visual line of sight operations only.
• The UAV must be below 55 lbs, operate at low speeds and operate at least 3 miles away from any airport.
Given the rules, the more advanced UAS come with cutting-edge software packages that are ready to be programmed and tailored for specific missions. Additionally, automatic flight ceilings, horizontal boundaries, speed and return to home points can all be pre-set to ensure the safety of the operators and the public. This means that inspecting oil and gas pipelines is even easier, because the technology to locate key features is already accessible at the pilot’s fingertips. With the aid of high powered cameras, zoom lenses, gas sensors and additional sensing technology; data collection and transmission through Wi-Fi and radio frequency brings difficult to detect information to a client in a matter of minutes.
Benefiting the Industry
For those in the gas industry specifically, operating a UAS presents several options to revolutionize pipeline monitoring operations and can offer a range of new services that will improve worker and customer safety, reduce carbon footprints and ultimately cut costs.
When properly used, tethered UAS are beneficial for monitoring the security of transmission mains. Because the tether can provide power, data links and, of course, a tether to the ground, technicians can easily recognize potential security threats along the lengthy pipelines without having to worry about limitations set by battery life.
“The use of tethered drones has its advantages, most notable, with monitoring the security of gas transmission pipelines,” says George Ragula, distribution technology manager for Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) in New Jersey. “Being able to monitor a long stretch of main and alert third parties of potential issues surrounding this sensitive territory is a valuable way to leverage drone technology.”
Monitoring transmission pipelines is a difficult and often times a dangerous task for workers as well.
“For example, mains that run along a highway or in areas with thick brush means that reaching the main for visual inspection puts workers in danger,” Ragula says. “Avoiding these difficult-to-access and right-of-way issues can be reduced significantly with an untethered UAS maneuvering where workers, helicopters and even tethered drones are at risk.”
Transmission mains are not the only areas where UAS can provide effective, yet practical functions. In the highly trafficked areas of cities and suburbs, gas distribution utilities can monitor gas leaks, infrastructure and third party work with a UAS. As a result utilities are increasing worker and customer safety, reducing costs associated with site evaluation and inspection and ensuring that resources are being properly allocated.
Additionally, UAS operators are able to monitor gas leaks in hard to access, dangerous areas such as under bridges, which would once put workers at risk. Now those same inspections can be performed without ever having to take your feet off the ground.
Future of Inspection
Staying ahead of challenging problems in an age-old industry can establish a gas or energy utility with a UAS at the forefront of innovation. With new EPA regulations, green energy initiatives and other government mandates the oil and gas industry has pressure to pioneer new programs and initiatives that safeguard infrastructure, while continuing on a path of constant improvement.
Aubrey Anderson, aerospace engineer and head of drone operations for New York-based ULC Robotics Inc. says there’s no end to discovering new uses and applications for drones in the energy industry.
“Innovation is the future of pipeline and utility inspection and the key to what has made ULC’s Research and Development Robotics Program so successful,” Anderson says. “We’re taking more than 15 years of gas leak inspection and robotic development experience and focusing it towards creating a new realm of aerial
innovation customized for the gas and utility industries.”
When gas and energy utilities are seeking dynamic technologies to drive innovation and increase efficiency, UAS can provide exciting new opportunities and fulfill an essential duty — ensuring the security of pipeline infrastructure, employees and customers.
“One of the greatest advantages to utilizing UAS in the gas and utility industries is the ability to inspect hard to access areas in a safe and efficient manner without putting workers or customers in danger, all at an affordable rate,” Anderson said. “We can provide standard aerial visual surveillance and gas leak inspection for pipelines and utility systems or work to design custom solutions that meet a client’s individual needs. The sky’s the limit. Up to 400 ft anyways.”
Gregory Penza is president and CEO of ULC Robotics Inc., based in Hauppauge, New York. The company works with gas utilities and other energy-related organizations to provide advanced equipment and services for asset inspection, maintenance and other specialized projects.
Click here for the Full Article
Source: UAV Magazine, June 02 2105 by Emily Aasand Photo by Marsh LLC
The rapid development of the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry is underpinned by the insurance
Marsh says that broad uses of UAS, variance in operator experience and privacy risks could make insurance coverage difficult to develop.
market’s willingness to provide coverage for the deployment of the technology, according to a recently published report by Marsh, a global leader in insurance brokering and risk management.
The report, “Dawning of the Drones: The Evolving Risk of Unmanned Aerial Systems,” indicates that insurance capacity for UAS operations is plentiful. Insurers are actively underwriting polices to secure an early foothold in the sector, despite many regulators struggling to expedite comprehensive regulations that permit drone use, with privacy and national security concerns.
“Insurers are using their extensive experience of manned aircraft to assess the risks associated with drones and are providing insurance coverage based on size, uses and values of the aircraft,” said John Hanslip, senior vice president of Marsh’s aviation and aerospace practice. “Traditional polices for manned aircraft are being brought up to date and many only need tweaks to be usable for drone technology and deployment.”
UAS insurance coverage began in the late 1980s, which required an agreed number of flight hours to be completed by each vehicle prior to coverage being offered and a significant amount of supporting information being provided prior to underwriters’ approval, the report noted.
Marsh outlines two major categories in which risk can be covered in today’s environment: physical loss (the UAS itself, the payload, the ground station/control unit, spares and transit coverage) and liability (third parties and product liability).
While insures need to take the size and weight of the aircraft, the payload, possibility of fraud/theft and advancements in technology into consideration when providing coverage, Marsh says broad uses of UAS, variance in operator/pilot experience, privacy and cyber risks, could make coverage difficult.
“Broad uses pose an issue for the underwriting community, as insufficient knowledge of the aircraft’s risk profile and its many different uses may make it extremely difficult to accurately rate the risk against the exposure,” said Marsh.
According to the report, regulation remains the biggest barrier to the widespread adoption of UAS usage. “For UAS operations to fully realize their commercial potential, national and international aviation laws my need to be overhauled and/or a set of international regulations developed that consider drone use in a truly consistent manner.”
The report compares the U.S. UAS industry with that of the U.K. In the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration will oversee the use of commercial UAVs on a case-by-case basis until its rules are finalized. In the U.K., UAVs will be regulated with a broad register created specifically for UAVs. The report also notes that the use of geofencing flights based on GPS coordinates is possible and that law enforcement will be given clear guidance on UAV use. End-users will also be provided guidance of the level of insurance needed for individual platforms.
“While clear and harmonized regulation is being developed, insurers are in the meantime filling this gap by providing their own safety guidance for clients, based on their experience of manned aircraft,” said Hanslip. “In the U.S. alone, several insurers are already writing policies on thousands of drones across the country. Internationally consistent regulation is required to enable start-ups to plan with certainty, public perception to improve, and entrepreneurs to expand their businesses without feeling held back by ‘red-tape.’ This, in turn, will fuel the widespread adoption of this type of aircraft.”
For more on the UAS Industry, follow the publisher and author on Twitter @UASMagazine &
AUVSI steps up Know Before You Fly UAS education outreach
AUVSI Advocacy (8/4/2015)
In response to the growing number of reckless unmanned aircraft systems operators in the news, AUVSI and it’s partners in the Know Before You Fly (KBYF) campaign are ramping up education efforts. After reaching out to the New Jersey Advance/NJ.com on behalf of KBYF, the outlet published a great piece focused on the UAS education campaign. The article covers the campaign’s key objectives and even highlights the Know Before You Fly Twitter account, which you can follow @FlyResponsibility. View the full piece here: Want to go fly a drone? Here’s what you need to know to stay legal.
Fall is here, but with the weather still being fairly mild, now is the time to get outside and make sure that your house and yard are ready for cooler temperatures, rain, and the inevitable snowfall. Here are our top fall home checkpoints to help you ensure you will be winter ready:
- Ensure that gutters are free of any leaves, twigs, pinecones and other debris as these can cause clogs and overflow issues. Be sure to stay safe when using a ladder and wear protective gloves.
Roof and Chimney
- Look for shingles that are buckling, blistering, curling, or altogether missing. Check for cracked caulking or rust spots on flashing, cracked and worn rubber around vent pipes. Make sure to treat any moss or algae.
- Be on the lookout for any cracked stucco, peeling paint, or missing mortar. If you have wood siding, check for soft areas, cracked paint, or any other signs that rot may be setting in.
- Visually inspect the unit for any signs of rust. Remove the filter, clean, and replace if necessary.
Doors and Windows
- Examine the weather stripping around the exterior doors and windows for any rips. Any leaks or gaps can let cold air in, warm air out, and lead to large long-terms costs in heat and electricity.
- Look around for any signs of animal activity and feel around the insulation for damp spots. Leaks can start small and nearly undetectable, but you can save yourself a big headache if you can catch the leak before it damages your sheetrock and insulation
Fence, Deck, and Porch
- Inspect wood for signs of rot or other damage. Look for loose nails and boards or any damaged steps.
By inspecting these areas now, you will have enough time for any needed repair and maintenance before winter; giving you time to relax and enjoy the holidays. You can also rest easy knowing that you’ve helped prevent costly damage and insurance claims.
For a lot of us, summer is considered the best time of year. Nothing beats lounging in the backyard with family and friends, going hiking or camping, or taking a trip to the beach. However, summer also brings with it some unique precautions that should be taken so you and your family will stay safe and still enjoy the sun.
Beat the Heat
- Wear loose fitting clothing made from lightweight materials to protect yourself from the sun. Wearing a hat, especially a wide-brimmed one with vents is important as well. Drink lots of liquids to replace the fluids you lose from sweating. Do not exercise vigorously during the hottest times of the day.
Protect Your Pets
- Never leave your pet in a parked car. When outside with your pet, make sure they have protection from the sun and plenty of cold water to drink. Turn on the AC at home, especially if you’ll be gone for several hours. Remember – if it’s too warm for you, it’s too warm for your pet.
Watch the Water
- At home, install and use barriers around your pool or hot tub. Safety covers and pool alarms can be used for additional protection. Whether at a public pool, lake, or beach, you should always supervise children when they are in or around water – even if a lifeguard is present.
- The safest way for your family to enjoy fireworks is to visit a public fireworks display. If you plan to use your own fireworks, however, make sure they are legal in your area. Always have a bucket of water and a fire extinguisher nearby and make sure you know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly. Read and follow the directions and warning labels on all fireworks.
Following these tips and using common sense will ensure that you will keep a cool head this summer and enjoy many more to come.
We can all agree that fall is a beautiful time of year, with cool nights, clear days, and the leaves changing colors. Once these leaves fall however, they carpet any uncovered surface. Combined with heavy rains or ice, this becomes a slippery layer that poses a real risk to your health, your car, and your business. Here are some tips for staying safe while you enjoy the beauty of the season.
- Collection is key: You can’t clean up the whole town, but you can at least keep the walkways around your home clear of leaves. These are the paths you use most often, and some leaf collection at the beginning of the season will keep you safe for months.
- Look before you step: Awareness is the best way to avoid slips and falls. Watch where you are walking, choose clear paths whenever possible, and avoid talking on your phone as you walk.
On The Road
- Stay Alert: This applies any time of year, but with all the beauty around it can be hard to keep your eyes on the road at this time of year. Keep your eyes on the road, and pull over if you want to look at the scenery.
- Watch for Ice: Frosty mornings and nights can turn a light layer of leaves into a slick skating rink. This is especially true on bridges, where cold air can flow over and under the road! Be extra careful while driving over bridges, and around shaded areas and tight corners.
- Plan Ahead: A little prevention can save you a lot of trouble. As you look forward to fall/winter driving, check your wipers, blades, and fluids, as well as your brakes and tires. You’ll need them all in top shape!
- Keep it clear: A few hours (or dollars) dedicated to leaf collection as the season moves along can save you a big headache down the road. Keep the walkways in and out of your business clear and clean.
- Remember your Responsibility: Employees and customers alike can suffer bruises, sprains and broken bones from slipping on wet leaves. These injuries often lead to financial claims and prosecution, as you are responsible for the maintenance of your business property. Avoid these problems by investing time each week to monitor and remove the fallen leaves around your property.
Following these tips will allow you to protect your employees, customers, and business from some common fall hazards; remember to always look for to potential dangers and follow common sense. Stay safe and warm and enjoy the beauty of the season!