2016 Power Broker
Creating Coverage Options
The Kansas budget crisis led to a drastic cut in education funding in the state, devastating school budgets. With a single carrier accounting for up to 90 percent of the property/casualty insurance market for schools, there was little chance of any school finding premium savings. Many schools went without coverage.
Charlie Herr’s solution: introduce a risk-financing pool. Herr set up the Kansas Educational Risk Management Insurance Pool within months despite significant red tape from the state, according to Roger Miller, business manager for pool member Rose Hill Unified School District 394.
Participants in the new pool, which launched on July 1, 2015, realized immediate benefits, including: an average 26 percent reduction in premium; an average 500 percent reduction in property deductibles, including wind and hail-specific deductibles; 100 percent increases in collective liability limits, including general liability, school board legal and all other professional liabilities; and a potential dividend/surplus return of up to 13 percent of premium.
“This initial savings allowed us to hire two additional kindergarten teachers,” noted Clint Schutte, assistant superintendent for business/finance with Haysville USD 261.
“Mr. Herr has been great to work with, because he is working for us, not telling us what we should do,” observed Joel R. Lovesee, superintendent of Bluestem USD 205.
Working Tirelessly for Growth
An Indiana-based insurance pool for school systems was in trouble. Growth in the pool was stagnant; coverage disputes were thorny and the program’s overall design was in question.
What better time for Tyler LaMantia, an area vice president, and his colleagues to get to work? Hired as the program administrators for the pool for 2015, LaMantia and the Gallagher team got things straightened out. LaMantia revamped the program, resulting in coverage enhancements — including increased property limits — and aligning the policies of the two excess carriers on the program to eliminate any gaps. He also went to bat for the pool and got some coverage denials reversed.
“What makes him special is that he can relate to lay people,” said Mary Roberson, the co-chairperson of the Educational Service Centers Risk Funding Trust.
Not only did LaMantia get the pool structured properly, he got it growing again. From 31 members when LaMantia and AJG got involved, the pool now boasts 40 members.
“He worked tirelessly for growth and that didn’t come easy,” said Roberson.
Getting a big claim reversal overturned also signaled to the pool members that they had a worthy advocate in Tyler LaMantia.
So committed was LaMantia to the pool’s success that he reached out to the chairman of the pool, while traveling, about some questions from members on the restructuring of the pool’s finances … LaMantia was out of town for his wedding at the time.
Success Under Pressure
Clients count on Greg Hunter for services that go beyond a broker’s normal call of duty, and he delivers.
Michael and the Tornado
Sorting out the loss-fund contributions for a 175-member school district insurance pool can be an actuarial nightmare. Get it wrong and you create pain for school boards and superintendents.