How NIA Helped One Nonprofit Circumvent the Gray Areas Most Insurers Avoid
A nonprofit organization’s quest to find affordable and adequate commercial insurance coverage is no easy feat, which is why Nonprofits Insurance Alliance (NIA) was founded.
In this series, Risk & Insurance®, in collaboration with NIA, spoke to five nonprofit organizations, all with unordinary risk profiles and inspiring stories, to discuss the hurdles that come along with securing necessary coverage at an acceptable price.
Here, we spoke with Anne Grady Services and its executive director, Steve King, to learn more about the organization and its journey to fulfilling its insurance coverage needs with NIA.
Introducing Anne Grady Services
Founded in 1982 and celebrating its 40th year of operations this year, Anne Grady Services is a nonprofit organization that works to serve people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Based in Northwest Ohio, the organization provides an array of avenues for people with these disabilities to live a life unbarred by their ailments.
The organization looks to “enable individuals to experience lives of dignity and respect by offering the highest quality care possible to individuals with intellectual disabilities,” according to its mission statement.
The types of assistance offered by Anne Grady Services address any and every normal component of everyday life and functioning, such as residential living opportunities, personal care, transportation services and vocational job training.
Its reach is broad within its community, “providing residential services to 103 individuals and intermediate care facilities, along with services to roughly 50 clients who live in supported living environments and [the operation of] 25 vehicles,” according to King.
King mentioned that risks for the organization, such as a remote workforce and the exposures that come with maintaining group homes, remain high on his radar. One intangible risk that particularly plagues Anne Grady Services is its ability to market itself for the insurance and risk management coverage that it needs to operate.
“[Insurance carriers] don’t always understand the services we provide, or don’t want to take the time to understand our services and exposures,” King said. “It’s hard for [insurers] to assess our risk factor.”
On the Hunt for Coverage
The nonprofit space’s gray area is, at times, too daunting for major insurance carriers to even consider diving into. Though Anne Grady Services was able to secure coverage, they were met with an increased premium coupled with a decreased amount of coverage in 2018. In addition, the organization is funded by Medicaid, which has strict “requirements on what funding and coverage levels should be,” according to King.
“Being a nonprofit that’s funded by Medicare, we can’t [afford to] increase our rates.”
King recalled that this is what led the organization to return to the drawing board for its insurance policies.
Looking for liability fleet coverage, which is what the organization needed due to its variety of services, was not going to be an easy task to undertake yet again.
Then, Anne Grady Services met the Nonprofits Insurance Alliance.
The organization started to receive its insurance coverage from NIA in 2019, and everything from onboarding to claim handling to annual renewals has become as different for the nonprofit as night and day. King mentioned one example where Anne Grady Services was in need of a niche coverage limit, and NIA was able to issue a manuscript endorsement to accommodate what the organization needed.
The Impact of NIA
The act of securing insurance needs like Anne Grady Services’ is what NIA was founded for, but that doesn’t mean its reach is anything short of admirable. For organizations like Anne Grady Services, partnering with NIA pushes the bounds on what it means to secure coverage.
“We have some unique services, and we serve children,” King said. “We deal with a lot of different [obstacles] to vulnerable populations, so we’re thankful the NIA was able to help in a lot of those areas.”
Because of its coverage with NIA, Anne Grady Services has not only been able to avoid overpaying for its insurance, but it’s also avoided having to scale back on the services it provides to its community. Additionally, the partnership has provided the organization the opportunity to ensure employment, as well as benefits, for its employees.
“Being able to have an insurance provider that isn’t constantly looking to gauge our annual renewals is extremely helpful as we try to offer health care, good benefits and good pay to our staff,” King said.
Assessing Future Risk
Looking forward, the future of Anne Grady Services is centered around its ability to “provide quality care, dignity and respect to its clients,” said King. With that, the risks that King and his team are surveying continue to be an important component of the services they provide: transportation to the organization’s clients.
“A lot of our clients are wheelchair-bound and [need] specialized transportation,” King said. “Being able to continue our transportation services and enhance quality of life is beneficial.”
In addition, the organization is eyeing trends that are likely to produce global impacts on a variety of sectors and services, which include the state of the economy, inflation and the Great Resignation.
To Anne Grady Services’ benefit, an insurer like NIA leaves no stone unturned and no coverage missed. &