You are here

Terra Insurance Increases Support for Fundamentals of Professional Practice; from $1,500 to $2,500

July 30, 2015

Download PDF

Corte Madera, CA / July 30, 2015Terra Insurance Company is increasing its support for successful completion of the Fundamentals of Professional Practice (FOPP) program, from $1,500 to $2,500 per Terra-insured firm per year. According to Terra CEO David L. Coduto, “We’re boosting our support for this year’s program, to recognize the 25th presentation of the course, and to encourage every Terra insured to enroll at least one participant of their own choosing. An insured’s investment in FOPP is an investment in the firm’s future. The future of our insureds is the future of Terra.”

Mr. Coduto characterized FOPP as “an absolutely unique program that we have supported since its inception, designed for a firm’s rising stars; predominantly men and women in their late 20s and early to mid-30s, who have recently been named or soon will be named project managers, and whom their firm’s leadership regards as future firm leaders. Many of the CEOs and other C-level personnel of our insureds are FOPP alumni. These individuals, like leaders before them, rely on FOPP to cultivate the future leaders needed to ensure their firms’ continuing prosperity.”

The individual who developed FOPP – John Philip Bachner – continues his involvement in the program. Bachner is a Harvard English major who has spent many years working with technical professionals, especially in the areas of loss prevention and small-business management and leadership. The program begins with a six-month distance-learning phase during which participants read one of Bachner’s 250 books – Practice Management for Design and Environmental Professionals – and conduct a research project designed to produce tangible, bottom-line benefits for the firms that employ them; e.g., establishing a sales organization within a branch or headquarters office, identifying the causes of unprofitable projects, or identifying the location for a new branch office. Bachner critiques everything each participant writes, in the research-project proposal, research reports, and day-to-day course communication. While doing so, he plays the role of a difficult-to-please, insensitive client representative; the kind most FOPP participants will eventually encounter and should know how to handle. Many participants and their firms’ CEOs cite significantly improved writing skills and a greater awareness of professional responsibilities as major benefits of course participation. Mr. Bachner commented that he dedicates his FOPP responsibilities to “the awe-inspiring professionalism of the men who founded Associated Soil and Foundation Engineers [ASFE, now known as the Geoprofessional Business Association] and especially the vision of Ed Howell, the man who created the concept of loss prevention and, as an element of that, FOPP’s predecessor, the Institute of Professional Practice. Ed saved the practice of geotechnical engineering in the United States.”

FOPP’s six-month distance-learning phase is followed by a 2½-day seminar in Englewood, CO, that “wraps the whole thing up,” Bachner said. There, participants meet one another and, working with volunteer facilitators, engage in a variety of challenging programs, requiring them to speak in public before groups of peers, work with others in a case-history workshop, participate in a role-playing dispute-resolution workshop, and identify the most significant challenges to professionalism – challenges they’ll have to deal with – in the years ahead. Presentations by practitioners, consultants, and authors focus on community involvement, a fatal engineering disaster, case histories of projects gone wrong, and active listening, among other topics.

More information about FOPP can be found at

The highest-rated professional-liability insurer in the United States, based on its Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR) score, Terra specializes in what some insurers regard as the riskiest professional firms of all: geoprofessional firms; i.e., those that specialize in geotechnical engineering, environmental science, civil engineering, and construction-materials engineering and testing. “We’ve been able to help our insureds confront their risks – and ours – by subsidizing top-shelf education and training of their own choosing,” Mr. Coduto said. “In fact, I believe that Terra spends more per capita on its insureds’ professional-development activities than any other professional-liability insurer. Yes: Terra makes some solid, conservative investments, but the real source of our success is the relentless pursuit of excellence by our insureds, our board, and our management team. And it shows. We just don’t have that many claims to deal with.”

The second-oldest professional-liability insurer in the United Sates, Terra insures almost $1 billion in revenue through a variety of professional-liability insurance products, including environmental and design/build coverages. Its insureds are geoprofessional and civil-engineering firms whose gross revenues range from $300,000 to more than $100 million annually.

More information about Terra and its products, as well as free risk-management videos, can be found at, or by contacting Terra Insurance Company, 2 Fifer Avenue/Suite 100, Corte Madera, CA 94925; tel. 1/800-872-0077 (in CA, 415/927-2901); e-mail

Contact Us

Terra Insurance Company
2 Fifer Avenue, Suite 100
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Latest News

May 13, 2019
Terra Holds Its First Ever Convocation of Policy Holders
Terra Insurance Company (Terra) held a convocation of its policyholders in San Francisco on Friday, May 3, 2019. The ga...