News

By Ann Gergen, Executive Director Benefit pools are providing early indicators of the overall impact and cost of COVID-19 on local public entities and the broader pooling community.  Here are a few of the most notable coronavirus-related trends, influences and service impacts among benefit pools: 1. COVID-19 testing and oftentimes treatment is fully covered.  Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act , Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act , and some state laws, all COVID-19 testing in the U.S. must be covered without subscriber cost-sharing. In many cases, health pools are also covering COVID-19 treatment ...
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By Ann Gergen, Executive Director And, just like that, many pools are now focused on topics related to reopening.  You are likely beginning to guide your members on whether, when and how they can safely reopen facilities and restart services. You’re probably also developing plans for pool staff to come back to the office and resume member visits.  Whether looking at your own operations or providing member guidance, there are a number of tactical questions you might consider: What jurisdictional guidance applies to your pool or member entities? How many people can reasonably be in one space at the same time? How can your pool or member entities ...
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By Ann Gergen, Executive Director Last week, I shared a common sentiment I’ve heard from pools : “It’s hard to plan, because we just don’t know what to expect from the coronavirus.”  Another related question being explored is: “When might things return to normal?” We all want to know what public entity pooling will look like after the pandemic – and it’s comforting to expect to go back to our familiar environments, interactions and processes.  I’m not sure it’s realistic (or, frankly, wise) to expect this snapback. You could leave your pool unprepared for the future and create greater long-term discomfort by holding out for an unlikely ...
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By Ann Gergen, Executive Director One sentiment is repeated in almost every conversation happening right now within the public entity pooling community: “It’s hard to plan, because we just don’t know what to expect from the coronavirus.”  We’re all looking for hard data sources to provide clarity regarding COVID-19’s longevity and potential impact to pools and public entities. One perspective you might find useful is  this viewpoint from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) .  This report emphasizes a data point now influencing how I perceive the unknowns: Unless there are changes in ...
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By Ann Gergen, Executive Director I’ve been holding off writing about pool staffing and operational issues, knowing most pools are highly focused on addressing the needs of their members, managing coverage uncertainties, reconsidering reinsurance needs and more. Two emails this morning helped me realize it’s time to directly address a significant organizational and operational issue for pools: long-term plans for remote work.  Both emails came unsolicited from pool directors starting to consider longer-term staffing and operational practices as a result of COVID-19. The first email included this insight:  I’m quickly realizing ...
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AGRiP has made several operational adjustments and shifted priorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a summary of the most important changes and how they will impact members. CEO Institute 2020 is canceled. It is unclear whether physical distancing and other safety restrictions will be lifted in time for the conference. In addition, we recognize there will be a significant backlog of work for pool executives having just managed through COVID-19 response (or still managing through it). As a possible alternative, we are beginning soft preparation for a one- to two-day forum dedicated to executive-level COVID-19 discussion, planning ...
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By Ann Gergen, Executive Director Someone asked me last week what, if anything, is common to most pools’ COVID-19 experiences. Not all pools face the exact same circumstances, but I think it’s fair to say these are the typical realities and issues pools are facing today: 1. Liability claims volume is down. Several pools are reporting decreases of 20 to 40 percent in auto liability claims and 10 to 20 percent in general liability claims. It’s not clear, though, to what extent these decreases are because public entities aren’t promptly reporting claims during crisis operations.  This decrease in claim counts is expected to be temporary, ...
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By Ann Gergen, Executive Director In addition to coverage- and claims-specific questions we are addressing directly with members and through our COVID-19 Resource Center , we’re also following three emerging conversations: 1. Liability Limitations Recent liability limitations have thus far been centered on health care professionals in a declared public health emergency.  For example, the federal-level CARES Act provides liability protection for volunteer health care providers in the United States. New York State has also implemented liability protections for volunteer and paid health care professionals, including emergency service ...
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By Ann Gergen, Executive Director COVID-19 hotspots are expected to move in waves across the continent. Similarly, the coronavirus-related issues pools face – and the decisions they’ll have to make – are also likely to impact pools at different times in the coming weeks. Some pools are already on the leading edge of this crisis, and others are not yet there. This is not only a factor of where infection rates are higher, but also the coverage any given pool provides, their type of member entities, and the state in which they’re located. Pools are used to solving problems quickly and effectively. But right now, there’s a lot we don’t know and ...
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AGRiP is compiling a list of resources to help the pooling community be as effective as possible in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Use these resources to improve your own pool’s COVID-19 operations, assist member entities responding to the virus, or message members regarding applicable coverage. --> The items listed below include: AGRiP resources for COVID-19 response Resource hubs designed by pools and QEI Patrons Remote work resources and communications produced by pools, QEI Patrons and others Risk management advice for public entities offered by pools and QEI Patrons Claims and coverage information  for pools ...
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Pools and reciprocals are providing incredible support to local public entities on the front lines of the growing coronavirus pandemic. No matter your role in this effort, I hope you feel a strong sense of place and purpose that ties you to the difference you are making. I know our community and how it responds, so I can say this with confidence: You are in exactly the right place, at the right time, to make the right decisions and do the right things for public entities and all the community interests being served at the local level. We’ve never faced a circumstance quite like this – so, as pools, you’ll be learning and adapting as you go. If you ...
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By Ann Gergen, Executive Director We’re hearing from our pool and QEI Patron members about how they’re addressing public entity needs and adapting their own operations in response to the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19). Here are a few best practice recommendations based upon information we’ve gathered from members so far: 1. Seek to fully understand your member entities’ varying needs, and consider how your pool can most effectively support them.  Member needs and responses may vary greatly depending on their size and type. For example, you might have a school district requesting financial support to disinfect buildings, a county considering ...
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AGRiP’s Advisory Standards for Recognition are a set of regularly updated pooling best practices covering ten major elements of pool operations. We strongly encourage all pools to use the Advisory Standards to improve their governance, policies and procedures.  Your pool may also choose to apply for AGRiP Recognition . Recognition is granted only after a thorough self-assessment of internal operations against the Advisory Standards (as well as a peer review of the same). At Governance Conference 2020 , seven AGRiP member pools were granted Recognition renewals:  The Arizona School Alliance for Workers’ Compensation Inc. ...
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The resources below were featured in the Feb. 18, 2020, issue of AGRiP eNews and may be of interest to pools. RISK MANAGEMENT Here are a few great examples of pools supporting member entities’ risk management efforts: A new video by KLC Insurance Services on  forklift safety practices  is one method the pool uses to help keep equipment operators safe on the job. OMAG writes on the importance of  properly inspecting and maintaining lake docks  and provides a  checklist for their members to use . TAC shares recommended  HR plans, policies and considerations for natural disasters  with its members. In a recent blog post, VRSA ...
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By Tami Tanoue, Executive Director, CIRSA AGRiP member pools are a diverse group, but it’s a safe bet almost all share these characteristics: The pool executive has a longer tenure in the organization than most governing body members. The pool executive devotes their entire effort to serving the organization, while governing body members have a whole other professional life that demands their attention. The pool executive has expertise in pooling and insurance issues, while governing body members are relied on to be “generalist” decision-makers. There’s nothing wrong with these characteristics – in fact, they’re desirable. But, over ...
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Tom Barnes and Washington Schools Risk Management Pool (WSRMP) are the winners of the 2020 AGRiP Awards for Excellence (in Leadership and Performance, respectively). They will receive their awards at AGRiP’s Governance Conference on March 2 in Orlando, FL. Tom Barnes: Transformative Pooling Leader Tom’s award recognizes his transformative tenure as CEO of the Municipal Insurance Association of British Columbia (MIABC) . Since 2005, he has grown the MIABC from a simple claims-handling reciprocal into a sophisticated organization delivering comprehensive member services and solutions to local governments in British Columbia. When ...
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The resources below were featured in the Jan. 28, 2020, issue of AGRiP eNews and may be of interest to pools. WELLNESS PROGRAMS CEO-level QEI Patron   Willis Towers Watson   analyzes the   effectiveness of workplace wellness programs . SOCIAL MEDIA LMC's   new sample social media policies   for municipalities can help reduce risks related to online interactions with the public. LMCIT recently wrote on how   officer social media use   can impact police liability cases. EXCESS AND REINSURANCE MARKET GEM's president and CEO discusses the   implications of the hardening excess and insurance market . PROPERTY ...
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AGRiP is happy to welcome talent risk management expert Steve Trautman as our 2020 Succession Planning Resident . As Succession Planning Resident, Steve will help pools adequately plan for succession of key organizational leaders and transfer knowledge that’s critical to pool operations. To do this, Steve will use his experience as a talent risk management expert and his practical, data-driven ideas on knowledge transfer.  Throughout the year, Steve will work with member pools on succession planning for their CEOs, first-tier managers and governing body members. As part of his residency, Steve will: Introduce succession planning models and ...
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The article below was originally produced by CEO-level QEI Patron Willis Towers Watson  and is republished below with permission. In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the results of a 2017 study reporting that almost one-half of all U.S. worksites offered some type of health promotion or   wellness   program .   The study, conducted by the CDC and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health, was the first government survey of workplace   wellness   programs in 13 years. The study surveyed almost 3000 diverse workplaces, including for profit, non-profit and government ...
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The resources below were featured in the Jan. 9, 2020, issue of AGRiP eNews and may be of interest to pools. SCHOOL LIABILITY VSBIT's   Harassment, Hazing, & Bullying Toolkit   includes resources geared towards superintendents, school board and staff members, principals and designees. The Kansas State Department of Education’s new   Suicide Prevention, Response and Postvention Toolkit   can help schools mitigate risks of suicide among students. VRSA provides   ten school safety tips   and looks at   eight types of hazards and risks   that affect schools. SAM CLAIMS CAJPA provides an   overview of California’s new SAM ...
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