Page 1

Published by the Public Risk Management Association


Risk Manager from the Lone Star State is Set to Become PRIMA’s New President:




PREPARING YOUR ENTITY FOR LITIGATION PRIMA INSTITUTE 2014 PREVIEW The Public Risk Management Industry’s Premier Training Program



hil ea BO visit t PR OT us a IMA H t



Going Above and Beyond “Sometimes I have to go above and beyond—literally. “Traveling the Alaskan bush to over 150 cities, boroughs and school districts is daunting, but I love what I do. Helping our members is hugely rewarding. They aren’t just risk partners, they’ve become personal friends. “To protect them from risk and losses, we rely on Genesis for reinsurance. When we encounter a little turbulence — or worse— it’s comforting to know we can trust their specialized expertise and top notch security. “With Genesis, we can always count on safe landings no matter what risks cross our path.”

Visit our website at

— Kevin Smith, Executive Director Alaska Municipal League Joint Insurance Association

Genesis Management and Insurance Services Corporation, 120 Long Ridge Rd, Stamford, CT 06902

A.M. Best A++ XV


A Berkshire Hathaway Company

Volume 30, No. 5 | May/June 2014 |

The Public Risk Management Association promotes effective risk management in the public interest as an essential component of public administration.

PRESIDENT Betty Coulter Director of Risk Management and Insurance University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte, NC


PAST PRESIDENT Cindy B. Mallett, AIC, CWCP, ARM-P Risk Manager Gwinnett County Schools Lawrenceville, GA PRESIDENT-ELECT Regan Rychetsky, ABCP Director, HHS Enterprise Risk Management and Safety Texas Health and Human Services Commission Austin, TX



6 Risk Manager from the Lone Star State is Set to Become PRIMA’s New President:


By Jennifer Ackerman, CAE


By Judy Downey


Know What You Are Paying Your Service Provider

By Glenn Backus


By Dennis Molenaar


The Public Risk Management Industry’s Premier Training Program

By Marilyn L. Rivers, CPCU, ARM-P, AIC


By Nancy Germond


DIRECTORS Ed Beecher Risk Manager City of Pompano Beach Pompano Beach, FL Dean Coughenour, ARM Risk Manager City of Flagstaff Flagstaff, AZ Terri Evans Risk Manager City of Kingsport Kingsport, TN Matt Hansen, MPA Director, Risk Management Division City & County of San Francisco San Francisco, CA Amy Larson, Esq. Risk and Litigation Manager City of Bloomington Bloomington, MN Tracy Seiler Director of Risk Management Services Texas Association of Counties Austin, TX EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Marshall W. Davies, Ph.D. EDITOR Jennifer Ackerman, CAE Deputy Executive Director 703.253.1267 • ADVERTISING Donna Stigler 888.814.0022 •

Public Risk is published 10 times per year by the Public Risk Management Association, 700 S. Washington St., #218, Alexandria, VA 22314 tel: 703.528.7701 • fax: 703.739.0200 email: • Web site: Opinions and ideas expressed are not necessarily representative of the policies of PRIMA. Subscription rate: $140 per year. Back issue copies for members available for $7 each ($13 each for non-PRIMA members). All back issues are subject to availability. Apply to the editor for permission to reprint any part of the magazine. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to PRIMA, 700 S. Washington St., #218, Alexandria, VA 22314. Copyright 2014 Public Risk Management Association Reprints: Contact the Reprint Outsource at 717.394.7350.

4 News Briefs | 35 Advertiser Index | 36 Member Spotlight




Message from PRIMA President Betty Coulter



here has this year gone? It seems like it has been only a few months, since I accepted the presidency of PRIMA. Now, I am writing my final column. During the last year, risk managers have been engaged in a changing environment and have had to respond during overwhelming and devastating events, but through it all, we have leaned on and learned from one another. I have leaned on many of you to provide insight and support and I would like to give a warm and heartfelt thanks to the past presidents of PRIMA, the PRIMA board and committees and the PRIMA staff. Thank you to the California PRIMA chapter, for your hard work planning the PRIMA Annual Conference golf outing. And most importantly, thank you to PRIMA’s membership for your continued engagement and support. PRIMA continues to move forward to create programs and tools that are designed for the public sector risk manager. PRIMA Institute has been one of the shining stars of our educational programing and continues to reach out to those who are new to risk management, or just want to brush up on the newest risk management techniques. PRIMA has worked hard to provide a fresh look with a retooled PRIMA Cybary and PRIMAtalk listserv. PRIMA’s podcasts and Webinars have been expanded as an online resource for members and nonmembers. The revamped committee objectives positively impacted membership, chapter relations and PRIMA’s visibility in the risk community through the creation of new membership opportunities and the evaluation of legislation impacting the risk management community. Our partnership with PERI will allow PRIMA to forge ahead to introduce additional educational opportunities with an emphasis on enterprise risk management. The Annual Conference continues to provide not only great programming, but also solid networking opportunities for

conference attendees. Many thanks to the 2014 Conference Planning Committee and the Corporate Partners for their work on the Long Beach conference. As you can see, PRIMA has been busy! I am so very thankful and humbled by this opportunity to lead this organization. I welcome our new board members, Scott Kramer, risk manager for the Montgomery County Commission, and Scott Moss, property casualty trust director for CIS. I know you will do a great job for PRIMA. Last but not least, a heartfelt thank you to our outgoing board members, Cindy Mallet, risk manager for Gwinnett County Public Schools, Eddie Beecher, risk manager for the City of Pompano Beach, Fla., and Matt Hansen, director of risk management for the City and County of San Francisco, for their dedication, support and friendship that has been invaluable. Now, as I turn over the helm to a deserving Regan Rychetsky, director of enterprise risk management for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, I know that PRIMA will continue to move forward. To sum it all up—this has been an “awesome experience.”

During the last year, risk managers have been engaged in a changing environment and have had to respond during overwhelming and devastating events, but through it all, we have leaned on and learned from one another.

“I’m so glad we had this time together, just to have a laugh or sing a song seems we just get started and before you know it… it’s time we have to say so long.” – Carol Burnett. Sincerely,

Betty P. Coulter 2013–2014 PRIMA President Director of Risk Management and Insurance UNC Charlotte



News Briefs


BRIEFS JACKSONVILLE, FLA., CREATES SCORECARD FOR GOVERNMENT SERVICES Opaque governments, pay attention. Jacksonville, Fla., is showing how to do transparency right, reports Government Technology. On March 5, Mayor Alvin Brown announced the city’s new open data webpage, called JaxScore 1.0, which provides basic metrics about various city services for all to see. This transparency effort, officials say, is a push toward Brown’s goals of improving performance and efficiency, and increasing public participation in government. JaxScore 1.0 displays boxes in a grid format; each box shows a metric for a city agency, such as Animal Care & Protective Services, Information Technologies Division and the Jacksonville Children's Commission. If residents want to know how many jobs were created in one year by the Office of Economic Development, for instance, it’s easy to see that the number is 1,712 (as of March 31). Clicking on that box brings up a PDF where users can view basic trend data in a graph, and a chart outlining more advanced data. To make this data available, the city first had to begin collecting it—which has changed how employees are working.

CARSON, CALIF., SAYS NO TO FRACKING The oil-rich city of Carson has imposed an emergency moratorium on all new drilling, halting efforts by a petroleum company to bore more than 200 wells near homes and a state university, reports The Los Angeles Times. The drilling ban, which runs for 45 days but could be extended up to two years, was driven by a fear that Occidental Petroleum would employ hydraulic fracturing to coax oil from one of the city's vast oil fields. Occidental has repeatedly denied it will use fracking, an extraction technique that involves blasting a mix of water, chemicals and sand deep into the ground to fracture rock formations and free trapped oil. Critics contend the practice can contaminate groundwater or even trigger earthquakes when water is injected underground.

Having the data published online is great for the public, but it also helps the city see how it's matching up to its goals, said Karen Bowling, Jacksonville's chief administration officer.

The moratorium halts any new drilling while the city studies the safety of various well stimulation methods and its authority to regulate them. Occidental declined to comment on the council's unanimous vote.

How did the concept originate? From budget cuts, Bowling said. The city took a long hard look in the mirror, and decided that to make the most of their resources, it would need to benchmark its performance—something it previously had not been doing thoroughly, she said.

A spokesman for the Western States Petroleum Assn. said that to his knowledge, Carson is the first city in California to ban all oil drilling, even temporarily.

And it is a big change for city employees, said Cleveland Ferguson, deputy chief administration officer for the city. Pockets of government have done things in the same way for a long time, he said, so getting people to track their progress has been a bit of a culture shift—but it’s worth it to get focused around the Mayor’s goal of making government more efficient.

While company officials initially said they might use fracking, they have since changed course, vowing not to use the technique at the Carson site and insisting it would be ineffective there.

The data is available to the public through the JaxScore Web site, as well as to city employees internally through a dashboard.

But many residents have expressed doubts that Occidental would keep its word. A state law that took effect in January requires oil companies to obtain permits for fracking while state agencies develop more comprehensive regulations. But those regulations are not expected to be finalized until next year.




Being ready to rescue isn’t what it used to be. NEW SAFETY DIRECTOR SAYS OKLAHOMA CITY SCHOOL HALLWAYS 'NOT APPROPRIATE' FOR REFUGE DURING EXTREME WEATHER With the threat of severe weather back in the forecast, Ian Wolfe is running a race against the clock to find the safest places for students to seek shelter during a tornado. Wolfe, the new director of safety for Oklahoma City Public Schools, is busy working to determine what he calls “the best areas of refuge” in every school without a safe room, reports The Oklahoman. Only five of the district’s more than 80 schools are equipped with safe rooms.

Are you prepared to help? A life is on the line. Every second counts. That’s why a carefully managed Automated External Defibrillator (AED) program makes all the difference when it’s time to act. AED Authority does much more than outfit your organization with AEDs. We provide the implementation and ongoing support that prepares your employees to respond confidently to a victim of cardiac arrest. With AED Authority Concierge® you will always be ready to rescue. • Compliance with State Statutes and Codes • AED Maintenance and Support • Training Coordination • Strategic AED Placement

AED Authority is a worldwide distributor of Automated External Defibrillators and management solutions. Call for your free program consultation today. • 888-970-7799

“Of course, it would be amazing if we had a safe room in every building,” he said. “But we live in today’s world. I have to look at what I have right now.” For 676 children at Arthur Elementary School in southwest Oklahoma City, the safest place to go in the event of a tornado will be several restrooms and storage rooms located throughout the building. As many as 100 of them will be able to fit safely inside the spacious restroom, one of six designated for refuge. One of the bigger restrooms, Schroeder said, can fit 200 pre-kindergartners and kindergartners. “It was really important for us to revise and assess our safety plans to include our tornado procedures after some lessons learned last spring in Moore,” she said. Part of the plan Schroeder came up with includes a colorcoded map in every classroom that tells a teacher, substitute or volunteer exactly where that class is going to go in the event of severe weather. The designated restroom or storage room has a corresponding color above the entrance. Hallways, Wolfe said, are not an appropriate place to shelter district students, at least not without “some modifications.”



Risk Manager from the Lone Star State is Set to Become PRIMA’s New President:






n 1999, as the new risk manager for the Texas Department of Human Services, Regan Rychetsky, ABCP, was looking for resources to augment his knowledge of risk management in the public sector. Though he understood much of what risk management entailed, Rychetsky was also looking to expand his business network. What he found was the Public Risk Management Association. Since the time he joined, Rychetsky has not only expanded his professional network, but he has contributed to many facets of PRIMA’s programming and educational content. Now, as the director of HHS enterprise risk management and safety for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Rychetsky is set to become PRIMA’s 2014–2015 president at the Annual Conference in Long Beach. As he prepares for his June 11 inauguration, Rychetsky discusses his thoughts on the public risk management profession and his new role with PRIMA.

GETTING INVOLVED AND GIVING BACK Rychetsky was introduced to PRIMA at the 1999 Annual Conference in San Diego after he was selected as a speaker on the subject of subrogation, and he promptly joined. “Though I was not able to stay the entire conference, I met a lot of members and I remember everyone being very helpful and willing to share ideas, stories and lessons learned,” said Rychetsky. “I was surprised at the diversity of responsibilities risk managers have from entity to entity. This led me to want to learn more about the profession through PRIMA and its many resources.” Once Rychetsky got his feet wet in San Diego, he became involved in the Texas Chapter of PRIMA which, in turn, drove his interest to get more involved at the national level. He has participated on PRIMA committees and task forces, including leadership development, external affairs and membership. He also served as the chair of the chapter relations committee. “I always had a goal to serve on the national level,” he said. “Volunteering on committees allowed me to meet peers from across the nation and expand my business network.” Rychetsky also gave back to the profession at the local level by participating in the Texas chapter of PRIMA. He served on the Texas board from 2004 until 2012, and also served as chapter president. Rychetsky touts the benefits of PRIMA membership at any opportunity. When asked what PRIMA members can do to

get the most from their PRIMA membership, and give back to the profession, he excitedly responds, “Get involved!” “Volunteer to serve on committees, serve as a moderator at the conference and submit a session proposal,” he said. “Also, visit our Website. PRIMA has a lot of resources online that members can use to enhance their programs or educational objectives. Webinars and podcasts are free and easy to access.” When asked about the advantages of being involved with PRIMA, Rychetsky gives a long list. “There are many benefits of being involved with PRIMA, but to me, the most important are the educational opportunities PRIMA has to offer,” he said. “The PRIMA Annual Conference is a tremendous opportunity for our members to choose from a large selection of educational programs addressing risk control, financing and administration; safety; school-specific sessions; workers’ compensation; pools; benefits; and ERM. It is our flagship educational program.” Rychetsky says that presenting at the PRIMA Annual Conference is the best opportunity for members to expand their business network. “You will be amazed at the response you receive from attendees, which will encourage you to be more active in PRIMA and give back to the members,” he said. He explains that the goal of attending the PRIMA Annual Conference is now more attainable for members through the Annual Conference Scholarship program. The



Meet Regan Rychetsky, ABCP scholarship program allows PRIMA members who are financially unable to attend the conference, a chance to go, thanks to donations from PRIMA’s corporate community. “There is also PRIMA Institute, offering an exceptional, comprehensive curriculum for new and experienced risk managers,” Les Butler, Associate Commissioner, Business and Regional Operations, Rychetsky continued. Texas Health and Human Services Commission, and Rychetsky “PRIMA Institute 2014 will be in Louisville, Kentucky, this year and registration will open in June. Rychetsky says Members can also take advantage of scholarship opportunithat presenting at ties for PRIMA Institute.”

the PRIMA Annual Conference is the best opportunity for members to expand their business network. “You will be amazed at the response you receive from attendees, which will encourage you to be more active in PRIMA and give back to the members,” he said.

THE YEAR AHEAD AND THE CHALLENGES BEYOND Every president has goals for their term. For Rychetsky, education is paramount. “I want to lead PRIMA forward to achieve its goal of being the primary source for public risk management educational programs, products and services,” he said. “I believe diversification of educational programming to meet the needs of our current and future members will ensure long-term sustainability in a continuously evolving field. PRIMA must be on the cutting edge of public risk management education to remain viable to our members, and I believe we can achieve this goal through educational offerings at the Annual Conference and PRIMA Institute and through Webinars and podcasts.” Rychetsky goes on to say that he wants to achieve PRIMA’s vision of being the recognized leader in public risk management; exercise the mission of advancing the knowledge and practice of public risk management; and accomplish the goals set by the Board of Directors in the PRIMA Strategic Plan. “This is essential for the continuity of PRIMA,” he said. PRIMA has been entrusted to integrate the Public Entity Risk Institute’s supporting organizational framework into its operational framework. During Rychetsky’s term, PERI will seek out the unmet needs of the public risk management community and establish a way to meet those needs. “PERI is a tremendous responsibility, but also a fantastic opportunity for PRIMA to grow in the sense of meeting the needs of the public risk management field,” he said.



Rychetsky talks about the skills that risk managers today need that they didn’t need in the past. He says that risk managers today need to be resilient and diversified. Risk managers should continue to promote the traditional risk management roles, but also embrace new roles such as business continuity, emergency management and workplace threat assessment and mitigation. Risk managers need to be leaders in their organizations and be the subject matter expert and reliable source for executive management. “We have to be able to communicate with all levels of staff,” he continued. “The risk manager, today, must work collaboratively and cooperatively with business continuity planners, emergency managers, city hall, school board, state agency executives, county commissioners and tribal councils to implement successful programs.” Public risk managers face new challenges every day. When asked what are the biggest challenges facing the profession today, Rychetsky is quick to answer: man-made and natural disasters. “In the last few years, we have seen Hurricane Ike that devastated the Texas coast and Superstorm Sandy that wreaked havoc on the east coast; both causing billions of dollars’ worth of damage,” he said. Rychetsky explained that while most municipalities have emergency managers that respond to the local and state operations of preparation, response and recovery; risk managers must create safety plans for their employees who will be part of preparation, response and recovery efforts of their entity. The hazards that these storms bring can be unique and will present dangerous conditions for employees, not to mention the employees’ families. “We have also seen an increase in rolling brown outs and black outs during extreme heat and cold, taxing our infrastructure and creating new risks to identify and mitigate,” Rychetsky continued. There is also the man-made disaster of terrorism, seen as recently as the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013. Keeping employees and the general public safe during these events is and will continue to be one of the biggest challenges we face, he said. Rychetsky also points that PRIMA is a critical piece of helping public risk managers meet these challenges head on. “In order for PRIMA to address the new challenges facing public entity risk management, it must remain up-to-date on the evolving role of the risk manager in cities, counties, schools, tribes, state agencies and pools,” he said. “Not all risk managers have the same responsibilities and PRIMA has to locate that balance to provide the best education and


training opportunities for its members. PRIMA must stay abreast of legislation that impacts public entity risk management and maintain strategic partnerships with organizations having cross-over members.”

OBSTACLES AND THREATS IN THE WORKPLACE Rychetsky has seen his share of obstacles in his own entity, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). Overall, he says, employee safety is still the biggest challenge for them. “We are an entity of five state agencies, approximately 54,000 employees and we serve a diverse population in Texas,” he explained. “Our agencies protect the unprotected, provide benefits to those in need, assist individuals with disabilities, serve as the public health authority for the state and care for residents of 23 direct care facilities across the state. We encounter many risks in the workplace and unfortunately, our injury rates match our exposure.” Rychetsky is implementing a comprehensive program to address the injury rates and improve the safety programs currently in place across the Texas health and human services agencies.

program with several entities since 2009 and believe they have seen a positive impact.” As Rychetsky takes office, he is excited about what the future holds for PRIMA and its members. He hopes that through working together, PRIMA members can elevate the profession. “I have mentioned expanding your business network many times, and I can tell you that it is important for your growth in the profession and will serve you well as a leader within your organization,” he said. “The contacts you make through PRIMA will serve you throughout your career. Taking advantage of our educational opportunities will expand your knowledge base and increase your role as the subject matter expert and ‘go to’ person for your entity and beyond.” Finally, Rychetsky concludes by saying that furthering your education is the foundation of your future and PRIMA offers many ways to build that foundation. “I really look forward to serving as president of PRIMA in the upcoming year and meeting new friends along the way. It is an honor, and I am humbled by this opportunity.” Regan Rychetsky, ABCP, can be contacted at

“I believe we can always improve on programs, and enhancing our current program is a way we are addressing the safety of staff and the people we serve,” he said. “I researched PRIMA resources to see what has worked for other entities and adopted some good information to improve our system.” Another challenge Rychetsky’s entity has is assessing and managing threats in the workplace. This is done by being as pro-active as possible and reviewing their processes to make it easier for employees to report incidents and obtain internal assistance for safety and security support. Texas HHS has teams in each of its regions whose role is to assess and manage threats in their specific regions. Rychetsky provides the training for these teams. Rychetsky also provides instructor-led training for employees in areas of domestic violence awareness, stalking, threats in the workplace and general security awareness. In 2009, Rychetsky implemented an online computer based training, titled Workplace Violence Awareness, which is required training for all employees at time of hire and then every two years. Rychetsky and the regional teams provide personal safety plans to employees in threatening situations that include domestic violence, stalking and other threats to their personal safety. “I am proud of the program we have and PRIMA recognized this program with a 2009 Achievement Award in the product category,” Rychetsky said. “I have shared this

Third Party Administration Midlands will provide comprehensive claims administration services to handle claims from initial notice of loss to file closure. Midlands’ service teams combine the functions of claim administration, operations support, accounting, internal audit and information technology to provide service deemed beyond coverage. Our Areas of Expertise Include: • Auto • Employer Liability • Entertainment • Liquor Liability • Marine • Municipalities • Occupational Accident • Pest Control Operators Liability

• • • • • •

Personal Accident Premise Liability Public Entity Liability Texas Non-Subscriber Trusts Workers’ Compensation 800.800.4007





ADAPTING TO A NEW NORM. The new norm for public entities is limited resources, ever-tightening budgets and increasingly difficult liability risks. To adapt to this new norm, CivicRisk takes on the tough excess casualty risks, enabling public entities to self-insure the lower coverage areas. To avoid gaps in coverage, CivicRisk offers a suite of excess liability coverages that includes employment practices, errors and omissions, unintentional discrimination, limited sudden and accidental pollution as well as liability coverage for the actions of public offices, law enforcement personnel, EMTs, paramedics and nurses. Adapt to the new norm. Let CivicRisk take on the tough risks. Brokers and agents, to learn more, contact Michael Sillat at (631) 756-3000, or visit

CivicRisk is a division of WKFC Underwriting Managers, a series of RSG Underwriting Managers, LLC. RSG Underwriting Managers, LLC is a Delaware series limited liability company and a subsidiary of Ryan Specialty Group, LLC, specializing in underwriting management and other services for insurance products distributed through agents and brokers. In California: RSG Insurance Services, LLC License # 0E50879 Š2014 Ryan Specialty Group, LLC

An n elevated perspective, focused on service. With in-depth knowledge comes perspective. At Travelers, we understand the evolving coverage trends and service needs unique to public entities. Our suite of products combines customized coverages and dedicated support based on the specific exposures you face every day – from our expertise in state-specific tort caps and immunities, to our law enforcement and cyber liability coverages. Additionally, Travelers offers public entities value-added features that go beyond the coverage, including: • •

Superior claim resolution – governmental claims require unique resolution strategies Robust loss-prevention solutions – dedicated risk control specialists located across the country and an extensive risk management website with best practices and sample policies and procedures

Dedicated and knowledgeable underwriters – provide a customized and effective insurance plan

Local territory managers – trusted advisors who help navigate the local nuances that affect your community

Get protection beyond the policy. Contact your agent and ask about Travelers. The Travelers Indemnity Company and its property casualty affiliates. One Tower Square, Hartford, CT 06183 This material is for informational purposes only. All statements herein are subject to the provisions, exclusions and conditions of the applicable policy. For an actual description of all coverages, terms and conditions, refer to the insurance policy. Coverages are subject to individual insureds meeting our underwriting qualifications and to state availability. © 2014 The Travelers Indemnity Company. All rights reserved. Travelers and the Travelers Umbrella logo are registered trademarks of The Travelers Indemnity Company in the U.S. and other countries. CP-7627 Rev. 3.14


By Judy Downey


emorial Day, July 4, Centennial Celebrations and other events—everyone loves a good parade. Families gather by the side of the road, some sitting in lawn chairs or on the curb, others standing in the crowd—10-feet deep. Children of all ages eagerly wait to catch candy, frisbees and other giveaways thrown by exhibitors on floats and by those riding in municipal vehicles.

Parades and other community special events, including runs, walks, bicycle races and street fairs promote tourism, foster economic revitalization, create community pride and celebrate cultural awareness. While considered fun entertainment for spectators, parades and similar events present a unique set of risks that public risk managers must address to avoid injuries, reduce exposure and prevent losses. In a community setting, parades can be organized and run by a paid member of the municipal staff, by a third-party organization or by a local volunteer. Parade loss exposures are typically confined to four areas: crowd control, motor vehicles, floats and participant activities. Common parade hazards include participants falling off floats, performers being hit by vehicles and children being seriously injured while running toward floats or vehicles to retrieve candy and/or toys. A 2012 National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report reviewed parade policies from a sample of nine universities and municipalities, noting there was a lack of consistent parade operating rules and procedures. Of the nine policies reviewed, most policies did not address driver communication, walking support and speed limits. Only two cities and schools prohibited objects being thrown from floats. Loss mitigation for parades requires at a minimum careful pre-planning, stringent event coordination and, in some circumstances, contractual risk transfer. A municipality’s parade policy should address risk mitigation, contingency planning, safety briefings, driver and vehicle screening, float safety and notification of railroads, utilities or other entities (police, fire, emergency services) about potential hazards and parade routes. Municipalities seeking to minimize potential liability should consider risk transfer as a useful risk management tool. Contractual risk transfer is necessary when parade activities involve contractors, vendors, and/or concessionaires. The contract agreement may include an indemnification clause (also referred to as a hold harmless clause) stating that the contractor or lessee will indemnify and hold the public entity harmless in case of a loss. This provision alone does not ensure a transfer of risk because the contractor or lessee may not carry appropriate insurance or have the financial resources to support the indemnification. Therefore, the municipality should require the contractor or lessee to provide a certificate of insurance that provides evidence of adequate




coverage and name the municipality as an “additional insured.” The municipality also needs to verify that the limits in the contract/policy are adequate for the exposures inherent in the event. In reviewing best practices from universities, municipalities and other organizations that host parades, the following are critical elements to consider when developing written guidelines for parade activities within your municipality:

PARADE COORDINATOR Whether the municipality or a third-party organization is managing the parade, the municipality should have a parade coordinator—one person who is knowledgeable about the overall event, event route and safety planning. If managed by a third-party organization, then the municipal parade coordinator will provide liaison between the municipality and the outside organization. The parade coordinator communicates all parade planning activities with other departments including law enforcement, fire department, medical providers and emergency service providers. The parade coordinator also disseminates all documented parade policy guidelines to parade applicants/participants. The parade policy guidelines should include a contingency plan to address such things as crowd control, injuries, accidents and fire hazards. Be sure to implement an “if you see something, say something” campaign into the parade plan, including signs, posters and handouts emphasizing the need for participants and spectators to report anything suspicious or a suspicious activity to event security or police. The coordinator monitors weather conditions and plans accordingly. For heat conditions, provide cool shaded areas and increase access to water supplies. In cases of extreme heat or cold, consider rescheduling the event to protect participants as well as spectators.

PARADE ROUTE A documented dedicated route for the parade is critical. The route should not include regular vehicle traffic “open for travel” streets; and all parked vehicles should be removed from the streets. Streets should be adequately barricaded along the parade route. The parade coordinator along with a representative of the local police and public works departments should walk the route months prior to the event and identify any areas that need repair (e.g., cracks in sidewalks, potholes, and uneven surfaces). Repairing or marking significant cracks or holes and documenting that repair/marking may prevent slip and fall claims. Emergency vehicles must have access to the area to respond to any incident along the route. A sufficient number of police officers are needed to patrol the barricades and prevent spectators from blocking the parade route and to patrol for any suspicious activities. Parade volunteers and assistants located throughout the route should be easily identifiable (e.g., marked vests).

DRIVERS/VEHICLES All owners and drivers of parade-related vehicles must sign “hold harmless” agreements protecting the city/ municipality from liability. All vehicles should be driven by a licensed driver who is at least 18 years of age and who has auto liability insurance. Municipalities should require drivers to maintain a distance of 50 feet from the preceding unit with a speed limit of 10 mph. All motor vehicles in the parade must be inspected by the fire/police department prior to the start of the parade. Appropriate driver communication should be maintained at all times throughout the parade.



Let’s Have a Parade

Parades can lead to injuries, deaths and major liability issues. Virginia, December 2013: A float caught fire during the annual holiday parade. The fire, caused by flames from a generator, ignited the hay on the farm themed display, destroying the float. Maryland, July 4, 2013: A seven-year-old boy died after he was struck by a trailer being towed by a van. The boy fell from the float as the van and trailer were lining up to join the parade. Maine, July 4, 2013: A fire truck in the parade hit a man driving an antique farm tractor. The driver of the tractor fell off upon impact and was crushed beneath the oncoming truck. Texas, November 15, 2012: A freight train slammed into a parade float carrying veterans, killing four people and injuring 17 others. An investigation revealed the parade committee did not have a written safety plan detailing how the parade should be organized and executed, nor was the railroad company informed of the parade schedule or route. Iowa, July 4, 2010: One person was killed and 23 people were injured when horses participating in the parade broke loose and charged down the street for six blocks, trampling parade watchers.

FLOATS Floats must be structurally sound and safely designed (this includes emergency exits for all riders and ample ventilation for the removal of vehicle power and generator exhaust). All self-propelled floats must have a properly installed manufacturer’s engine compartment hood. The hitch used to attach the float to the vehicle should be a factory “receiver” type or a welded pick-up bumper—no “bolt-on” hitches. A “drop-hitch” must be used for large trucks and should be at least 12 inches from the hitch to the ground. Floats that are self-propelled must be Department of Transportation (DOT) legal (lights, turn signals) to drive from the build site to the parade line up. Those floats that are not legal should be towed to the parade site. It is a good idea to include safety blocks for all tires on each float. Be sure the blocks are large enough to hold the float on a significant incline. All fueling of combustible engines must be completed prior to the start of the parade. Excess flammable liquids (stored gas containers) should not be permitted on any floats or towing vehicles. Prohibit any use of fire or flames or personal smoking on or near any float. All decorating materials used on the floats must be flame resistant. And, be sure all floats should have a fire extinguisher on board.

CROWD CONTROL/PARTICIPANT ACTIVITIES All parade participants should sign “hold harmless” agreements to protect the city/municipality from liability. Prohibit parade participants from walking near the floats and/or the vehicles. Any participants riding a bicycle, or any other wheeled apparatus, must wear a helmet. Particular attention must be paid to any animals that are included in the parade. All animals must be listed on the parade application and required to have updated vaccinations, be in excellent medical health and be able to cope with large crowds and other animals. Bar fireworks, starter pistols and cannons and moderate the level of amplified sound effects and music to avoid startling drivers and/or animals that are in the parade. Prohibit alcohol consumption during the event.


With enough pre-event planning and prevention, parades and other community events give us a chance to get out and enjoy the warmer weather after a long, hard winter. Making sure you have the appropriate level of insurance coverage for small and large events is critical. You may need to consider risk transfer as a risk management tool. Be sure to ask your insurance client manager to review your insurance and reinsurance policies with community events in mind. A community parade, walk, run or other event is only fun if it is safely done.

For the safety of parade participants, ensure they remain on the float during the entire parade. All float passengers standing or sitting should be wearing a safety belt or have handholds

Judy Downey is senior vice president, head of client group, Specialty Markets, Munich Reinsurance America.

To avoid the possibility of children running into the way of parade floats and vehicles, prohibit any candy, toys or other objects being thrown by participants on any vehicle or float.


or other support while the float is moving. With regard to children participants, the supervisory standard is one adult for every four children who are riding on the float. Also, prohibit any float passengers from riding on the edge of the float.



2014 PRIMA Conference Visit us at Booth 125

Public services

Local connections


Connect your community to the source for innovative risk solutions. Nonprofits, schools, public entities and religious organizations support the communities we live in–the true social network. Munich Re has worked with public and nonprofit organizations to create innovative insurance solutions and risk management strategies for over 25 years. Our resources, creativity and expertise help to secure a financially stable and safe future for single risks and group risks. Let us be a part of your social network – #CommunityMR. Learn more at

NOT IF, BUT HOW Products and services provided by Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. Princeton, New Jersey


PRICING PITFALLS: Know What You Are Paying Your Service Provider By Glenn Backus





hink of a workers’ compensation adjuster as a factory making widgets. The capacity of each factory—ABC Manufacturing—is 150 widgets per year. Any more production and quality issues occur. If you manufacture and sell 150 widgets per year at $1,000 per widget, this particular factory will generate a 10 percent pre-tax return for the owners to reinvest back into the company.

Along comes a competitor—XYZ Manufacturing—that slashes prices on widgets selling them for $850. As the owner of ABC, you have invested a lot of money in your factory and can’t afford to lose business. So you match your competitor at $850 per widget. Instead of making a 10 percent profit at $150,000, you are now faced with a loss of $7,500 per year or $22,500 below what you need to keep reinvesting in the company. Competition. As the years go by and you’re struggling to keep the lights on, widget making is becoming more and more complicated with the introduction of new, costly regulations. These regulatory constraints drive the time it takes to make 150 widgets from 12 months to 18 months. Along with competition, you are now faced with a shortfall of $65,000 per year needed to make a 10 percent pre-tax profit. Regulations.

Unfortunately, it’s not getting any better. With these added regulations and customer demands for better widgets, productivity just isn’t keeping pace. Your factory is now producing only 135 widgets and it still takes 18 months. Competitive pressures still limit the price you can charge to $850 per widget. Your deficit grows to $73,500 per year needed to make your profit. These are hard times indeed and you will soon be out of business. As a business owner, you’re not willing to throw in the towel without a fight. Using a bit of ingenuity, negotiating, and business savvy, you determine that you can add new features to your widgets to demand a higher price –we’ll call these add-ons. You realize that if your customer commits to buy these widgets, you can manufacture in a few extra add-ons for a fee, which is rarely questioned. Some of these add-ons add to the value of the widget, others do not. However you soon realize that these add-ons can generate a significant sum of revenue, eventually making up for the shortfall and generating a tidy profit doing what you love to do: make widgets! This crude analogy is used to demonstrate the state of the claims business as it exists today. Similar to a factory, an adjuster with a full caseload of 150 LT claims priced at $1,000 per claim will generate $150,000 in revenue, which should return a 10 percent pre-tax margin provided that these claims close in 12 months. As you can see in our example, any outside influences that impact the claim duration, pricing or caseload capacity will impact profitability. Competitive and regulatory

pressures have forced some TPAs to rely on add-ons, or ancillary sources of revenue to make up for various shortfalls. The purpose of this article is to analyze these ancillary sources of revenue. ➏ Claim Definition – It is imperative that the insured understand how the TPA defines Lost Time (LT) versus Medical Only (MO) claims and how it will impact the cost of their program. Some TPAs may use a definition that is more liberal than others. Many TPAs will reclassify a MO claim as LT (which carries a much higher fee) if it remains open beyond 90 days or exceeds a certain paid amount ($2,500). The difference in one definition from another could result in a substantial increase in fees. Understand how the coverages are defined. ➎ Telephonic Nurse Triage is becoming more and more popular and, in some cases generating excellent results. Some TPAs, as well as a few managed care organizations, offer this service. Pricing can vary widely from a flat fee per claim, flat fee per call to an hourly fee. The cost difference can be significant. ➍ Nurse Case Management Pricing and Utilization Rate – Pricing varies from an hourly rate to a flat fee per month to a flat fee per claim. The difference between pricing options can be significant. While there are no hard and fast utilization rates to follow, adjusters must be given the freedom to use a nurse when the claim warrants. However, many TPAs employ nurses that work closely with the adjuster to provide a



Sifting Through the Pricing Pitfalls

So what is the solution? While the answer will vary based on preference, most insureds are better off paying a fair, flat fee (so the parties don’t have to spend time counting transactions) and monitoring the expense ratio closely… A relationship built on trust will bear the test of time.

valuable service to their clients. As long as the emphasis is on the service rather than meeting revenue numbers, everything should be ok. What is your nurse case management utilization rate? Anything above 50 percent should be questioned. ➌ Bill Review – Pricing varies from a fee per bill/line to percent of savings (or some combination thereof) to reduce the medical invoices to fee schedule. Some TPAs charge a percent of savings on all discounts net of the fee schedule (PPO, audits, etc.). The revenue can vary dramatically depending on how this service is priced. ➋ Pharmacy – Typical pharmacy pricing ranges from a percent of savings to a discount off average wholesale price (AWP) with a fee for each fill. Some TPAs have formed their own pharmacy benefit managers to capture more of the revenue. Pay attention to network penetration and pharmacy spend as a percent of medical. The industry average is approaching 19 percent of total medical spend.

➊ Own the Ancillary Service – Many TPAs are pursuing vertical integration – opting to own the ancillary services that are utilized in administering workers’ compensation claims. TPAs know that when they get the insured's workers’ compensation claim, the checkbook comes along with it. While a bundled approach certainly has its benefits, know that you’re paying a fair fee for each ancillary service that is utilized. So what is the solution? While the answer will vary based on preference, most insureds are better off paying a fair, flat fee (so the parties don’t have to spend time counting transactions) and monitoring the expense ratio closely. Allocated expenses as a percent of total paid (expense ratio) should stay below 10 percent, with the caveat that high legal fees could have a big impact on this ratio. A relationship built on trust will bear the test of time. However, it is wise to follow the Russian proverb that President Ronald Reagan loved to quote, “trust but verify.” Glenn Backus is the president of Alternative Service Concepts.

Reduce the device shape to the required size, then make a new clipping mask.

We know your risks. Specialty insurance and reinsurance for public entity pools, reciprocals, trusts, and JPAs

Markel Global Reinsurance




Berkley Public Entity Managers Berkley Public Entity Managers provides self-insured individual public entities and risk-sharing inter-governmental groups superior service and access to A.M. Best rated A+ (Superior) Financial Size Category XV paper. We are an integrated team that includes underwriting, actuarial, risk control and claims. Together we are focused on one goal – to provide the protection our clients deserve through a combination of prevention, management and coverage. Have your Broker call us for flexible collaboratively developed Risk Solutions. For more information, please contact: Berkley Public Entity Managers 30 South 17th Street, Suite 820 Philadelphia, PA 19103

Richard B. Vincelette President T: (215) 553 7366 C: (215) 528 0410

Brian T. Whooley Sr. Vice President, Underwriting T: (215) 553 7381 C: (215) 528 0374

Products and services are provided by one or more insurance company subsidiaries of W. R. Berkley Corporation. Not all products and services are available in every jurisdiction, and the precise coverage afforded by any insurer is subject to the actual terms and conditions of the policies as issued. Certain coverages may be provided through surplus lines insurance company subsidiaries of W. R. Berkley Corporation through licensed surplus lines brokers. Surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state guaranty funds and insureds are therefore not protected by such funds. © Copyright 2014 Berkley Public Entity Managers – A W. R. Berkley Company. All rights reserved.

Preparing Your Entity for

By Dennis Molenaar





imes are changing for public entities. While in the past, lawsuits against the government were rare, today entities across the country are battling

allegations and lawsuits far more frequently. Citizens and employees are suing on various claims—whether the entity is in the wrong, or not. People’s attitudes have begun to shift in regard to the public sector. Whether it is the recent erosion of governmental immunities or sensationalized events in the news media that reflect negatively on governmental agencies, an era of mistrust of the public sector has begun in which citizens do not believe their governments have their best interests at heart and, in turn, are quicker to sue that entity when they believe they have been wronged. The question is no longer if an entity will be sued but when will an entity be sued.

Given this changing litigious climate, it is imperative that public entities adequately prepare to face lawsuits, should one arise. An entity can no longer only consider if they acted correctly when responding to an incident, they must now be able prove they did so in a court of law. In order to offer undeniable evidence to this end, entities must put together a strong case by thoroughly investigating all allegations, accidents and incidents and documenting the evidence to prove that the entity acted correctly. The first step in any crisis protocol is to investigate the incident and begin collecting evidence to build a case. After an accident or incident occurs, there are a number of parties within the entity that should be involved in reviewing and investigating the accident: an accident review committee, law enforcement, safety

committee, insurance claim adjuster and the entity’s risk manager. Each party assesses the incident with a slightly different perspective, although much of the information collected may overlap. While law enforcement officers will review the information to determine if any criminal violations occurred, the remaining parties investigating should collect information for litigation and begin building a case to prove to the court and jury that the entity acted properly—before a lawsuit is even brought. The risk manager is often responsible for coordinating the investigation. However, rather than trying to fit evidence collected from other parties to meet their needs, it’s best to collect the exact evidence needed for a report independently. To collect the most useful information to prove the entity acted properly, it is essential the risk manager attend to the incident as soon as possible, whether that means visiting the scene of an accident or speaking to the relevant parties. Speed is important because evidence can dissipate over time and witnesses’ memories of the event can fade, leaving your entity with inaccurate or missing information and making it more difficult to prove the entity acted properly and is not at fault. The evidence a risk manager collects should serve two purposes. First, the evidence should be able to prove



Preparing Your Entity for Litigation

As with written statements, photos of the incident should be taken as soon after the event as possible. Photographs document the scene as it was at the time of incident. Using a camera with a time stamp feature enabled will eliminate any argument as to when the photo was taken.

to a court and jury that your entity acted properly, without fault or negligence and secondly, evidence should be used by an entity’s claim adjuster or attorney to conduct an evaluation as to the liability damages and proper course of action in handling the case. Keeping these two functions in mind as you investigate an incident and collect evidence will help your entity prove its case in court, should a lawsuit be filed. While understanding the value and purpose of collecting evidence is key, it is also very important to identify the appropriate evidence to collect in the first place. Generally, there are a few key pieces of information to gather and document about every situation: statements from the injured person or claimant and any witness, photos of the incident or scene and a documented report of the incident.

PHOTOS As with written statements, photos of the incident should be taken as soon after the event as possible. Photographs document the scene as it was at the time of incident. Using a camera with a time stamp feature enabled will eliminate any argument as to when the photo was taken. It is advisable for risk managers to take photos from every conceivable angle and focus on key elements of the incident. For example, in an auto accident, photos should be taken from the direction each vehicle traveled to capture what each driver saw. In a trip and fall case, a photo of the sidewalk with a ruler showing the deviation in the concrete can diminish a plaintiff’s testimony of a gaping hole in the sidewalk. Take as many photos as you deem necessary, plus one more. There can never be too many photos in your evidence file.

WRITTEN STATEMENTS A written statement from both the claimant or injured party and witnesses of the event should be collected as soon after the incident as possible. Ask each party to write their statement of the event while still at the scene or as soon after as possible. Timely collection of information not only preserves the integrity of a written statement but can also reduce the possibility of a future lawsuit. For example, if a statement is collected from an injured party who tripped on entity property in which the person acknowledges he was not paying attention to where he was walking, the likelihood of that citizen later winning a suit for negligent sidewalk repair may be reduced.




Helping to protect your community from . . . the unexpected. At OneBeacon Government Risks, we understand the unique and evolving responsibilities of protecting a community and the people who serve it, and we’re here to help minimize risk, resolve claims and make your community a safer place to live and work. The OneBeacon Insurance Companies can provide you custom property, casualty, and professional insurance solutions.


Our team is made up of specialized experts in the public sector insurance industry—and we deliver! Come check out our presentation at PRIMA:

Follow us on Twitter @OneBeaconGov for OBGR news and conference updates.

Wednesday, June 11: | A Member of OneBeacon Insurance Group Policies may be underwritten by the Atlantic Specialty Insurance Company.

11 – 12:15 p.m. Preparing for Litigation When an Accident Happens (Dennis Molenaar)

Preparing Your Entity for Litigation A photo provides indispensable and indisputable evidence for a jury to review during a trial. If your case goes to trial, juries may place more weight on photographic evidence than on testimony because photos accurately depict the scene and offer clues to the cause of the accident. Over time, appearances and features of locations can change—lights and signs may be updated, trees removed or sidewalks repaired—but a photo provides a clear idea of the scene as it was at the time of the incident.

DOCUMENTED INCIDENT REPORT Compiling all written statements and photos into one, well-documented incident report is the final key piece of evidence an entity should include for all accidents and incidents. The report should document the investigation’s findings, provide factual statements of applicable information (weather, road conditions, number of people involved, etc.) and detail the entity’s response to the event. Should a lawsuit be brought against your entity for an incident, you will be able to provide the jury with your documented report detailing the situation, response and outcome. Documenting your actions not only shows your entity takes proactive measures to rectify any situation, but will provide reviewable documents, facts and photos to a jury during deliberations.

Often, a claim or lawsuit comes to court many months or years after the incident occurred. Memories fade and if there is no documented evidence to use in court, cases can quickly

Often, a claim or lawsuit comes to court many months or years after the incident occurred. Memories fade and if there is no documented evidence to use in court, cases can quickly become a ‘he said, she said’ event; a government’s word against a claimant’s. This generally ends unfavorably for an entity, as juries tend to identify and sympathize with the claimant in court. Lawyers and claims specialists can only handle the claim based on the evidence and documentation collected. Ensuring they have the best and most accurate information to effectively review and analyze will mean they are better able to defend your entity’s claim.

government’s word against a claimant’s.

Taking a few minutes to review your entity’s accident/incident investigation procedures to ensure your entity is addressing an incident as soon as possible, including effective evidence and writing a detailed report following an incident, can guarantee that your entity will be prepared to defend its actions should it be faced with a lawsuit.

This generally ends unfavorably for an

Dennis Molenaar is the vice president risk control at OneBeacon Government Risks.

become a ‘he said, she said’ event; a

entity, as juries tend to identify and sympathize with the claimant in court. Lawyers and claims specialists can only handle the claim based on the evidence and documentation collected. Ensuring they have the best and most accurate information to effectively review and analyze will mean they are better able to defend your entity’s claim.




Public. Works. When you have the right team around you. Navigating the public arena is a tough business. Elections, red tape, new codes and regulations are daily occurrences. Having the right team to advise you on all aspects of risk services from safety & loss control to legislative & labor, is the only way to get through. Poms & Associates is here to work with you every step of the way. Plan Today. Insure Tomorrow. Š2014 Poms & Associates Risk Services


CALENDAR OF EVENTS PRIMA’s calendar of events is current at time of publication. For the most up-to-date schedule, visit

WEBINARS 2014 • May 21: HIPAA & The Affordable Care Act: What You Need to Know • July 9: Workers’ Compensation Market Hurdles and How to Combat ‘Em • August 20: Risk Reduction through Patrol-Based Video Recording Systems • September 18: Public Safety Operational Liability Issues and Controls • November 12: Contractual Risk Transfer and Flying Tomahawks

PRIMA ANNUAL CONFERENCES June 8–11, 2014 PRIMA 2014 Annual Conference Long Beach, CA Long Beach Convention Center June 7–10, 2015 PRIMA 2015 Annual Conference Houston, TX George R. Brown Convention Center June 5–8, 2016 PRIMA 2016 Annual Conference Atlanta, GA Hyatt Regency Atlanta June 4–7, 2017 PRIMA 2017 Annual Conference Phoenix, AZ Phoenix Convention Center

OTHER MEETINGS November 3-7 PRIMA Institute 2014 Louisville, KY





WHO ATTENDS PRIMA INSTITUTE? Risk analysts Risk administrators Claims assistants Risk managers Human resource and employee benefits team members School board associations Pool administrators SPONSORS Thank you to our PI14 Sponsors! PLATINUM



RIMA Institute is the place to be in November for public risk professionals. This year, Institute attendees will meet in Louisville, Ky., home to the Kentucky Derby, the Louisville Slugger and the very best bourbon life has to offer. Selected for its central location, mild November weather and its great city center, Louisville will welcome public entity professionals from across the country that may be new to the risk management industry, are consultants who service public entities, or are experienced risk managers who want to familiarize themselves with the industry’s emerging trends and innovative practices. When attendees speak, we listen. PRIMA Institute continues to evolve to meet the changing needs of seasoned and emerging public risk management professionals. This year, PRIMA Institute features a comprehensive professional development curriculum with five trend-setting days filled with topics essential to emergent public risk needs: risk management and insurance; human resources and workers' compensation; enterprise risk management; business continuity and emergency management; and safety leadership. Each morning begins with an entry-level topic that will be steadily built upon throughout the day. Case studies that evoke discussion conclude each day. The sessions are designed to allow attendees to bring home relevant information to adapt to their own communities.



PRIMA Institute is unique learning experience in a small-classroom setting. Attendees have the opportunity to interact with and learn from instructors who are nationally recognized industry leaders. PI’s environment invites partnership among corporate partners and attendees. In addition to the small setting, hands-on learning and

networking, attendees will also have the opportunity to learn from and teach each other. Each morning will kick off with risk management speed learning. These minisessions will consist of groups of attendees responsible for similar risk management functions teaching other attendees the importance and significance of their roles within the risk continuum. It gives us each an opportunity to understand our roles and offers insights into a broader perspective of our potential influence. So what makes PRIMA Institute the educational program you don’t want to miss? Quite simply, it’s a place to come to learn and be challenged in an intimate setting with your peers. Questions flow rapid-fire, confidences are built and burdens are shared. Answers are examined, thrown to the wall and vetted. PRIMA Institute cultivates an environment where every question is relevant and thoughtfully considered. Let’s not stop there. Learning just doesn’t happen in the classroom from an 8 to 5 window. There are several exciting networking events planned at downtown-Louisville hotspots such as the Bourbon Barrel Loft and the Maker’s Mark Bourbon House and Lounge. The program will conclude with an opportunity to join fellow program participants in the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience on Friday afternoon. Mark your calendar and prepare to meet us in Louisville. This is not a once in a lifetime opportunity…it’s a change your life opportunity. Come learn…share…and understand why the public risk management profession is the best of what risk has to offer. Louisville awaits. Let us be a part of who you are and what we all aspire to be.








38 t boothre2 Visit usRa ce n fe n IMA Co Annual P

people. It’s all about the

Public entities are accountable to a lot of people - from the public for whom you provide services to your own employees who may be injured on the job. With every claim, you need to optimize the outcome but still manage your cost of risk. York Public Entity will help you do all that and more. As a trusted public entity partner for more than 50 years, we: Understand the challenges you face Function as an extension of your team Give you a team of experienced claim professionals with jurisdictional expertise Offer a comprehensive suite of managed care solutions Tailor your service plan to your specific needs Have the local presence that supports a true partnership Ensure that every claim is managed the way it should be

York...the best service from the best people.


TOP SIX MISTAKES To Avoid as a New Public Risk Manager By Nancy Germond


our first job as a public entity risk manager can be difficult. Whether your boss promotes you into your first position or hires you from another organization, you want to excel at your new job. It helps to avoid mistakes, even though we often learn our best lessons by failure. However, some mistakes can seriously hurt your entity’s risk management program, harm your reputation, or even derail your career. Here are six mistakes you can avoid.




➊ Don’t rush in with all the answers or try to do everything at once. You may arrive eager to form your own alliances and acquire your own team, but avoid making hasty decisions. Give current employees a chance to prove themselves before you transfer them or hire your own team. The same applies to vendor relationships. You can lose a great deal of historical exposure along with loss history and coverage negotiation knowledge if you immediately decide to switch insurance brokers. “Changing brokers can be a great way to create significant coverage gaps or an errors and omissions claim for your friend the new broker,” according to one Atlanta broker. Some vendor alliances, such as relationships with contractors and body shops, may be long-standing, especially in a small town. Rushing in and making changes can cause big ripples in a little pond.

problem. Once in the door, interview employees, talk with other managers, meet with your vendors, and set a few important priorities for your first six months in the job. Using a rifle approach means you’ll have to say “No” to some people. This can cause problems. When possible, explain why you’re declining to act on the problems or the specific issues others present to you. The more transparently you operate, the less criticism you will face. Openness reduces speculation and helps avoid resentment.

If you inherit a big job, you will be faced with hundreds of decisions, some big, some small. Take your time. While you may feel overwhelmed at first, chip away at the organization’s most pressing problems. Put out fires as they arise. Then schedule time for you and your advisers—your brokers, your attorneys, your actuaries, and your managers—to develop sound strategies and solid strategic plans. ➋ Don’t use a shotgun, use a rifle. If the organization is experiencing too many injuries, for example, don’t jump to an obvious solution like deciding more personal protective equipment will answer the company’s biggest safety issues. Talk with front-line supervisors, study historical loss data, and consider several options before you throw money at a



Top Six Mistakes To Avoid as a New Public Risk Manager

It takes months to settle into a new job. It’s often a year or more before we feel comfortable. Some studies show that many people who change jobs would have done much better if they had stayed put longer. Change for the sake of change frequently is not positive.

➌ Don’t job hop. Most people can be very ambitious early in their careers. Yet too much ambition can hurt your career. Think long and hard before changing jobs. Bad bosses rarely outlast their employees. Deciding to change jobs because of a conflict with a supervisor is often short-sighted. The grass might seem greener on the other side, but sometimes that’s because of a septic tank (to paraphrase a famous comedian). These questions may help you avoid rash decisions. • Am I making the change solely to earn more money or for a more prestigious title? If so, will this change “pay for” what I will lose? • Am I making the change because I’m feeling unchallenged or bored? If so, what steps can I take to make my current job more challenging? For example, could you become more active in PRIMA, offer your expertise to a local non-profit, or mentor an up-andcoming risk management professional to add variety? • How will this impact my retirement financially? Will I be changing retirement systems or will I lose significant bonuses or vacation due to the change? Always factor those figures into the salary decision. This question becomes more important as you edge closer to retirement age. • How will this change impact my family and my coworkers? Our coworkers can turn even a challenging job into an appealing one. Do you really want to leave your coworkers? As for family, what ages are your children? Disrupting school-aged children can be very problematic and have negative, long-term consequences. • What are the odds I will regret this decision? Go ahead, we’re numbers people. Put a percentage to your decision then ask yourself if you’re really ready to take that gamble. It takes months to settle into a new job. It’s often a year or more before we feel comfortable. Some studies show that many people who change jobs would have done much better if they had stayed put longer. Change for the sake of change frequently is not positive. ➍ Don’t entertain gossip about your predecessor or revisit your predecessor’s decisions. Some at your new organization may try to build an alliance with you at the expense of your predecessor. Short-circuit these conversations whenever possible. Tactfully turn the conversation to another subject or excuse yourself from the conversation. Try not



to make an enemy of the person who is trying to get into your good graces. Especially when working with unions, you may find people lined up at your door asking you to rethink your predecessor’s judgments. Unless your predecessor’s conclusions negatively impact the overall risk management program, don’t rush into undoing the decisions and the work he or she made. You may not be operating under the same set of facts or with the same long-term vision that former risk manager had at his or her disposal. ➎ Don’t fail to communicate. A lack of communication is one of the most damaging mistakes a risk manager can make. A risk manager must have the ear of employees across the organization, from line supervisors to senior management. According to Don Donaldson, President of LA Group, a Texas-based risk management consulting group, “A risk manager needs to be an excellent communicator and facilitate his or her message across the entire organization. In my mind, that requires getting out of the office and pressing the flesh; seeing and being seen and listening, really listening, to determine what is going on in the organization.” Management by walking around is one strong tool in a new risk manager’s tool bag. Once people see that you’re willing to leave your office to discover what is happening, whether it’s on the shop floor or on the sewer line, they’ll more readily accept your expertise and counsel. ➏ Don’t forget to laugh. You will be see human nature both at its finest and at its worst, so don’t forget to find the lighter side of situations when you can. A robust sense of humor will help you through the rough spots and build bonds with your coworkers. While these are just a few tips to help you in your new role as a risk manager, your PRIMA peers can offer many more tips to help you succeed. Over my career in risk management, I have found my fellow risk management professionals to be some of the most generous people in my life, always willing to share their expertise and provide me with a helping hand. Develop and lean on your network. If this is your first job as a risk manager, you’re in for a wonderful experience. Take time along the way to enjoy the experiences, appreciate the great people you will meet and appreciate the lighter side of risk management. Nancy Germond is the former PRIMA Arizona chapter president and the first risk manager of the City of Prescott, Arizona. She owns Insurance Writer, LLC, in Phoenix, AZ.



of everything going as planned?

We understand that every day at government agencies and organizations carries a risk. That’s why HCC Public Risk is here, allowing officials to pursue their duties with confidence, no matter what the odds. A process of insurance we call Mind over risk. HCC Public Risk For more information or to obtain a bid on property and liability coverage, contact William Murray, Head of Underwriting at (800) 878 9878 or

HCC Public Risk is a division of Professional Indemnity Agency, Inc., a subsidiary of HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc.

Training Changes Everything. The Ultimate Online Training Management System. Reduce Claims, Save Money.

Do You Have a Training Strategy?

Preventing workplace injuries has never been more important. With TargetSolutions you can provide best-in-class online training and records management to members of a Risk Pool, an individual city, county, district or school. Change unsafe behavior, maintain compliance and lower claims.

The Risk Pool Advantage: Retention and Profitability

The risk management world is competitive. If you’re a Pool looking to earn your members’ loyalty, TargetSolutions gives you the edge you need to help members reduce claims. Your Members see a claim reduction and you see a more financially healthy Pool.

Take the Next Step >> Learn more about TargetSolutions’ one-of-a-kind system, including exclusive applications for training management. » Target high-frequency claim areas with our “Claim to Course Finder” » Customize Learning Tracks for employees

» Go paperless with e-signatures and online file storage » Deliver, track and manage harassment training (AB 1825 offered in CA) 34



Advertiser Index

ADVERTISER INDEX AED Authority. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 5 Berkley Public Entity Managers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 19 CIMA Volunteers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 26 CivicRisk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 10 Genesis Underwriting Management Company.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Front Cover HCC Public Risk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 33 Markel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 18 Midlands Management. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 9 Munich Reinsurance America.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 15 OneBeacon Government Risks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 23 POMS and Associates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 25 PMA Companies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 2 Starr Companies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Back Cover States Self-Insurers Risk Retention Group, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Back Cover TargetSolutions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 34 Travelers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 11 York Risk Services Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . page 29 Has your entity launched a successful program? An innovative solution to a common problem? A money-saving idea that kept a program underbudget? Each month, Public Risk features articles from practitioners like you. Share your successes with your colleagues by writing for Public Risk magazine! For more information, or to submit an article, contact Jennifer Ackerman at or 703.253.1267.


Keep up with what’s happening at PRIMA and connect with your risk management peers! Visit us at MAY/JUNE 2014 | PUBLIC RISK


Member Spotlight

MICHAEL FANN, ARM-P, TO RECEIVE PRIMA’S DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD IN LONG BEACH Each month, Public Risk features a member who has gone above and beyond in a feature column titled “Member Spotlight.” Do you know someone who deserves recognition, has made a contribution or excelled in their profession? If so, we’d like to hear from you for this exciting column, as PRIMA shines the spotlight on its members. To be considered for the Member Spotlight column, contact Jennifer Ackerman at


ichael Fann, ARM-P, has been selected by PRIMA’s board of directors to receive the 2014 Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the public risk management industry. The PRIMA Distinguished Service Award honors an individual working within the field of public risk management who has made a significant contribution to the profession and given sustained service to PRIMA as an organization. “Michael Fann has a passion for risk management that has led him to make extensive contributions to both the industry and PRIMA,” said Betty Coulter, PRIMA president. “He shares his knowledge and enthusiasm with stakeholders within his home state of Tennessee and at meetings across the country. He truly represents the best that risk management has to offer.” Fann is a charter member of the Tennessee chapter of PRIMA. As one of its founders, he has helped make TnPRIMA one of the most successful chapters in the country. He spearheaded the development of the chapter’s risk management roundtables, which are quarterly networking luncheons for anyone working in public risk management in the state.

or 703.253.1267.

Fann has been honored by the University of Tennessee Institute for Public Service with the Project of the Year award, for his contributions to the development of a statutory state-wide mutual aid agreement. His popular presentation on incivility in the workplace has made him a sought-after speaker at risk management meetings


In an effort to facilitate international public risk management networking, collaboration and idea sharing, Fann coordinated a post-conference exchange in 2012 with delegates from Australia and those from Tennessee and Kentucky. The exchange not only advanced, promoted and contributed to the field of risk management, but also transcended international borders in the process. This single act of bringing together diverse risk management philosophies, governance structures and practices created additional opportunities for international public risk management learning and networking. In addition to serving on the Tennessee chapter board, Fann has served on the PRIMA board of directors two times— from 2000 to 2003 and again in 2012. He has served as PRIMA conference chair and also serves on the board of the Public Entity Risk Institute (PERI). Fann’s career spans nearly three decades and his accomplishments are varied and far-reaching—not just helping those in the state of Tennessee, but across the United States. His dedication and perseverance on behalf of public sector risk management has earned him the respect and admiration of his peers. It has also earned him the 2014 Distinguished Service Award. Congratulations Michael!

Michael Fann has a passion for risk management that has led him to make extensive contributions to both the industry and PRIMA

across the United States, as well as earning him Public Risk magazine’s author of the year for an article on the subject.


Betty Coulter, PRIMA president














X From brokers in the commercial insurance industry to the risk managers of global businesses, Starr Companies is the global insurance organization whose purpose is bigger than insurance. We service clients that have a vision of a greater tomorrow. By joining our expertise with yours, we can chart the best possible path to success together. In short, we believe in collaboration. Whether it’s reducing risk exposure or expanding into emerging markets, Starr signs our name in ink right below yours to accomplish the amazing. To see how a partnership with our team can take you further and help you soar to new heights, visit us at


Starr Companies: Underwriting the future. ©2014 Starr Companies. All rights reserved.

Public Risk May June 2014  
Public Risk May June 2014  

The Public Risk Management Association promotes effective risk management in the public interest as an essential component of public adminis...