April 2018 - Issue 74

Phil Hansen, Keynote Speaker at Risk Management Educational Forum – Registration Opens in May

The Americans with Disabilities Act and Its Impact on Public Recreation Programs

2018 Risk Manager Roundtables

Join Social Media Conversations with the Authority  

State Mandated Workers’ Compensation Assessments Increasing

Distracted Driving Awareness Month—all year long

Court of Appeal: Cities May Bar Phone Poles Based on Aesthetics

Ninth Circuit: Lower Pay for Woman Is Not Justified Based on Her Salary in Prior Job

New Insurance Program: Foreign Travel

Recurring Evidence of Coverage Letters

VeriClaim Renamed Sedgwick

News: Worthy

Phil Hansen, Keynote Speaker at Risk Management Educational Forum – Registration Opens in May

Registration opens soon for the 23rd Annual Risk Management Educational Forum, to be held in Carlsbad at Park Hyatt Aviara from September 19 - 21, 2018.01a RMEF 2018 newsletter logo

Keynote Speaker

The California JPIA is thrilled to announce that “the Artist for the People,” Phil Hansen, will be this year’s keynote speaker.  For the tens of millions who have seen Phil Hansen's art on TV and online, it's hard to imagine that his artistic journey nearly came to an end when a tremor developed in his drawing hand. In exploring new ways to create art, Phil discovered 01a RMEF Phil Hansenthat by embracing his shake, limitations could become the passageway to creativity.

Phil's ability to draw art parallels to the business setting has won him followers among industry, business, and public-sector leaders.  The complexities of running a business today are like creating a work of art: a continuous process of discovery, risk-taking, and adaptation.  Phil's approach to achieving artistic success is not only a natural fit for The Amazing Race to Risk Management Success but also a necessity for how to adapt to the accelerating pace of change.

Sixth Annual California JPIA Capstone Award

The Capstone Award is presented annually at the Forum to an individual who best exemplifies the practice of risk management among the member agencies.  We invite you to tell us who should be considered for the 6th annual Capstone Award by clicking here to complete the brief Capstone Award nomination form.  The success of the Capstone Award depends on you and others to identify a colleague who works tirelessly behind the scenes to promote excellence in risk management.  Submissions will be accepted through Monday, May 14, 2018.

Educational Forum Scholarship Opportunity

The California JPIA is awarding to a limited number of scholarships to our members for lodging accommodation costs while attending the Forum.  These scholarships are designed to assist members who are otherwise unable to attend the Forum due to financial constraints at their agencies.  The Executive Committee has authorized two nights lodging at Park Hyatt Aviara during the Forum for each scholarship recipient.  This is a competitive process and will be awarded to the most deserving applicants.  Please click here to complete the scholarship application.  Applications must be submitted no later than Wednesday, May 30, 2018.

For questions regarding this year’s Forum, the Capstone Award, and the Scholarships, send us an email.


News: Worthy

The American with Disabilities Act and Its Impact on Public Recreation Programs

By Alex Mellor, Risk Manager

Few would disagree that providing cost-effective opportunities for recreational activity is a critical and important function of local government. Further, making available such programming to individuals from diverse backgrounds with diverse levels of physical and mental capacity is simply good public policy.

Unfortunately, many individuals with disabilities report significant barriers to participating in public recreation programs. These barriers are often encountered when an individual with a disability requests an accommodation or modification that will allow the person to participate in the desired program. Such requests are often met with confusion, lack of understanding, and reluctance. [1]

While it is widely understood that public entities must identify and remove barriers that prevent individuals with disabilities from accessing public facilities and other elements of the built environment, agencies are also obligated to provide equal access to programs and services.

But what exactly are the obligations of public entities in this arena? First, individuals with disabilities must not be treated in a different or inferior manner. For example, parks and recreation departments cannot require people who are blind or have vision loss to be accompanied by a companion when hiking on a public trail.

Second, public entities are prohibited from isolating, separating, or denying individuals with disabilities the opportunity to participate in programs offered to others. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) neither requires nor prohibits programs specifically for people with disabilities. But, when a public entity offers a special program as an alternative, individuals with disabilities have the right to choose whether to participate in the special program or in the regular program. For example, a recreation district may choose to provide a special summer camp for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), but may not exclude children with ASD from participating in summer camps offered to other children.

Third, while individuals with disabilities must meet the essential eligibility requirements, such as age, income, or educational background, needed to participate in a public recreation program, the ADA does not entitle them to waivers, exceptions, or preferential treatment. However, a public entity may not impose eligibility criteria that screen out or tend to screen out individuals with disabilities unless the criteria are necessary for the provision of the program being offered. For instance, requiring individuals to show a driver’s license as proof of identity in order to register for a museum excursion would unfairly screen out individuals whose disability prevents them from getting a driver’s license.

Fourth, rules that are necessary for safe operation of a recreation program are allowed, but they must be based on a current, objective assessment of the actual risk, not on assumptions, stereotypes, or generalizations about individuals with disabilities. To illustrate, a parks and recreation department may require all participants to pass a swim test in order to participate in an agency-sponsored white-water rafting expedition. This policy is legitimate because of the actual risk of harm to people who would not be able to swim to safety if the raft capsized.

In some cases, equal treatment is not enough to allow individuals with disabilities to access the desired program. Therefore, public entities are required to make “reasonable modifications” to recreation programs in order to allow individuals with disabilities to participate. For example, a wheelchair user who requests that a piece of gym equipment be moved to allow her to use the equipment, may be reasonable if multiple staff are on hand to move the equipment, but unreasonable if only one staff member is available since the equipment may be too heavy for one person to move. It should also be noted that modifications which result in a “fundamental alteration” to the program or service do not have to be granted.

There is no doubt that applying these obligations to individual situations can be difficult. However, the following recommendations are offered to help improve the experience of individuals with disabilities seeking to participate in recreation programs offered by your agency, and to reduce the likelihood of a costly discrimination claim or lawsuit.

  • Provide general training on Title II of the ADA for agency recreation staff, contract instructors, and other recreation service providers. The California JPIA can provide training in this area.
  • Embrace the ability to recognize and adequately resolve requests for modification as a professional skill. Provide training in this area for agency staff, contract instructors, and other recreation service providers.
  • Develop and implement a formal policy and procedure for modifying recreation programs, and for responding to requests for reasonable modification.
  • Engage collaboratively with disability rights organizations in your area. These organizations may be able to provide valuable feedback on improving access to programs and services for individuals with disabilities.

For additional information on this topic, please consult the US Department of Justice ADA Update: A Primer for State and Local Governments, available at the following link:

https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/titleII_2010/titleII_primer.pdf.

Should you have any questions, please contact your assigned regional Risk Manager.

[1] http://dsq-sds.org/article/view/4944/4056


News: Worthy

2018 Risk Manager Roundtables       

by Ryan Thomas, Training and Loss Control Specialist

The Authority presents quarterly roundtables on various topics related to risk management. These roundtables are opportunities for members to hear on timely and relevant topics, network with their peers over lunch, and provide a forum for open discussion and dialogue on emergent member issues.  Typically, the two-hour roundtables are held at three locations:  the California JPIA Campus in La Palma, a host member agency in the Central Coast and a host member agency in the Coachella Valley.

The recent Risk Manager Roundtables held in March, entitled “myJPIA Website and Resources”, included a demonstration of the new and upcoming format and features of myJPIA.  The Authority's Business Projects Manager, Carl Sandstrom, guided participants through the new myJPIA Dashboard which provides key metrics and information as well as the ability to drill down for further details and actions. 

This May, the Roundtables will cover “Developing Quality Staff Through Effective Performance Feedback and Documentation” presented by Traci Park of Burke, Williams and Sorensen.  This event will cover the importance of proper documentation of employee performance as a key responsibility for any effective supervisor.  More than that, regular performance feedback can forge and sustain a strong, effective workplace relationship between supervisors and their employees.  Effective feedback and documentation play an important role in so many areas, but it is often forgotten until the agency is in the middle of litigation.  Attendees will learn about, and discuss, the multi-faceted world of employee feedback and documentation and the significant role they play in risk management and employment litigation. Traci Park will also discuss how documents should be created, utilized and stored, as well as illustrate how, in many cases, memory just isn’t good enough to defeat employment claims.

This roundtable will be held at the Authority campus in La Palma on May 1, Palm Desert on May 8, and San Luis Obispo on May 15.  For more information, or to register, please visit myJPIA.

Future roundtable topics are scheduled to discuss the following topics:

August:  “Volunteer Management”

November:  “Protecting Minors Through Skillful Screening Procedures”

Risk Manager Roundtables are open to any member agency staff member who feels the topic is relevant to them.  As the roundtable date draws closer, registration will be made available through the Authority website at myJPIA.

If you have questions about the Risk Manager Roundtables, please contact your regional Risk Manager.   


News:  Worthy

Join Social Media Conversations with the Authority

In order to reach new members and better connect with current members, the Authority has an active presence on social media. Members can find information on variousSocial Media Logo topics on the social media channels listed below.                                                    

Connect with our latest topics:  

Facebook 
“April is Stress Awareness month, and it's important to note that poorly managed stress can hinder a person's mood, productivity, and even their health. The Authority is reminding members that we offer a number of resources to help employees manage stress in the workplace. Visit our Training Catalog (keyword: Stress) to view training and e-learning courses such as "Recognizing Stress" and "Managing Stress on the Job."
https://www.cjpia.org/…/…/training-catalog-table-of-contents” Like, comment and share:
https://www.facebook.com/California-JPIA-650664764970940/

LinkedIn Page
“Join one of the most innovative risk pools in California. The California JPIA is recruiting for the position of Agency Clerk. Dynamic leaders are encouraged to apply. Visit our website for more information: https://lnkd.in/gEQarcR" Follow us, comment and share about risk management:
https://www.linkedin.com/company/california-joint-powers-insurance-authority/

LinkedIn Discussion Group
“How does your agency determine when to require cyber liability and/or technology errors & omissions insurance from vendors?” Join the conversation, or pose a question or idea about risk management and the California JPIA:
https://www.linkedin.com/groups/6786001

Twitter
“Create strong and easy-to-remember passwords by using a "pass-sentence." With the right combination of letters and numbers, you can create a strong password to help keep your data secure.” Tweet, retweet and follow the California JPIA:
https://twitter.com/californiajpia/

For information on how to join these sites or participate in discussions, please contact Courtney Morrison, Administrative Analyst, by email or by phone at (562) 467-8779.


News: Worthy

State Mandated Workers’ Compensation Assessments Increasing

The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) recently conducted a call with public agency representatives to convey a preliminary estimate of the 2018 workers’ compensation assessment.  This assessment is levied on all California insurance companies and self-insured entities in an effort to appropriately fund the administrative functions of the workers’ compensation system.  Additionally, this assessment is also used to maintain solvency of the Subsequent Injuries Benefit Trust Fund (SIBTF), the Uninsured Employers’ Benefits Fund Trust Assessment as well as Cal-OSHA and statewide fraud efforts.

DIR Director Christine Baker noted that the workers’ compensation system has shown a great deal of stability during the last seven years.  A significant component of that stability is a dramatic reduction in the filing of medical liens.  The is a great benefit to employers statewide although lien claimants have been required to submit a filing fee during the last few years and the reduction in lien filings also creates a reduction in the amount of filing fees collected.  Director Baker also noted an increase in claims filed with the SIBTF as well as increased usage of the annual $120 million fund established to compensate injured employees who successfully assert that their permanent impairment award did not adequately compensate them for their inability to return to the job at which they were injured.

The summation of these factors is that the DIR anticipates that the 2018 assessment will increase by 16-18%.  The final cost of the assessment will be made available later this year.  So how will this impact your agency?  The DIR assessment is a component of the annual contribution paid by each member of the California JPIA so this may lead to an increase in your agency’s contribution.  It is worth noting that an individual agency’s contribution is calculated on the basis of indemnity benefits paid in the prior year.  As such, we encourage members to understand and utilize all of the California JPIA’s optional services, including the nurse triage and return to work programs. 

If you have additional questions about the DIR assessment or the services available to help lower your agency’s exposure, please contact Jeff Rush, Workers’ Compensation Program Manager.


Risk Solutions

Distracted Driving Awareness Month—all year long

By Maria Galvan, Risk Manager

While April is designated as Distracted Driver Awareness month, this is something that members should be aware of year-round to ensure the safety of employees and the public. This annual designation is an effort to recognize and eliminate preventable deaths from distracted driving. Estimates from the National Safety Council (NSC) indicate that approximately nine individuals lose their lives daily in distracted driving accidents.

Today, technology adds more to these distractions. A study completed by Carnegie Mellon University showed a decrease in the brain activity of drivers who were using a cell phone while driving. The part of the brain that processes moving visual images while driving decreases by as much as 37 percent while talking on a phone. Some drivers and employers are moving towards setting up cellphone blocking technology, as handsfree driving is not as safe as it’s thought to be. If technology needs to be used during a drive, it should be set before starting to drive. While cell phone and technology use may be some of the more prevalent examples of distracted driving behavior, others include eating, drinking, reading, social media use, and applying makeup. The key to safety is to just drive when driving.

Over the last ten coverage periods, the Authority has experienced approximately $7,000,000 in severity in member agency employee-involved vehicle accidents. The top three department drivers in claim frequency include police, public works/maintenance, and transit.

Members are advised to review their vehicle use policies to ensure they are up to date, effective, and being followed. Often, reoccurring preventable accidents continue at an agency if the vehicle use policy isn’t being enforced. Risk management and human resources, or a member’s safety committee should review all accidents to determine whether an accident was preventable. Human resources should be involved when making disciplinary recommendations. Managers and supervisors should also look at behaviors that cause near-events, evaluate what happened, and use the information during safety tailgates and coaching of employees. Supervisors should also routinely monitor the driving of each employee while performing their job-related driving responsibilities. The review of driving records as part of employee performance evaluations is also advised. Managers and supervisors should report all accidents to risk management and human resources.

Many member agencies also evaluate the driving record of prospective employees and volunteers by requiring them to provide a current Driving Record/Motor Vehicle Report. This can be used to determine whether prospective employees and volunteers have acceptable driving histories before extending an offer to those individuals where driving would be a job or volunteer function. Many members also enroll employees and volunteers who drive on agency business in the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Pull Notice Program, which allows monitoring of employee driver license records. The monitoring helps improve public safety, determines if each driver has a valid driver’s license, identifies problem drivers or driving behavior, and helps minimize an agency’s liability. Some members have also moved towards installing GPS systems in agency-owned vehicles for tracking and speed control purposes. Some private companies include cameras in company vehicles and have observed self-correcting of driver behavior in many instances. Any measures or policies that are implemented at a member agency should be discussed with risk management, human resources, and legal counsel.

The California JPIA offers an instructor-led Driver Safety course and has over 40 driving related e-learning training courses available. Other resources available in myJPIA, under Resources and Documents, include a Vehicle Use Policy template, Driver’s Report of Accident, and Vehicle Cards. The policy template provides procedures regarding the use of agency owned and privately-owned vehicles operated during the course of agency business. The driver’s report of accident should be completed when an automobile accident occurs and forwarded to risk management and human resources. The vehicle cards establish proof of insurance coverage and are to be placed in member-owned vehicles.

The NSC also has several distracted driving infographics, posters, fact sheets, and social media graphics available on its website to create awareness in the workplace. NSC is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) public service organization promoting health and safety.

The way to affect change is to set a personal example. This includes executives, managers, and supervisors. Member agencies should have a culture of safety, not just a culture of fear, to have an effective vehicle use and agency-wide safety program. Safe driving is possible with the proper awareness, training, and action. If you have any questions, contact your assigned Risk Manager.


The Court Report 

Court of Appeal: Cities May Bar Phone Poles Based on Aesthetics

(Reprinted from the Metropolitan News Enterprise, March 18, 2018)

First District Says New Lines May Be Ordered to Be Placed Underground to Avoid Unsightliness But Where Poles Already Exist, It’s Unreasonable to Restrict Adding Thin Cables to Them

A local governmental entity may require telephone companies to install new lines underground based on aesthetic concerns, the First District Court of Appeal has held,07a Cell phone poles but declared that it was unreasonable for the City of Livermore to bar the addition of a half-inch thick cable to poles that already existed.

The opinion reverses a decision by the Alameda Superior Court denying a writ of mandate sought by Pacific Bell Telephone Co. ordering that the city issue it the permit needed to entwine fiber optic cables on existing lines. Livermore gave it the choice of either placing the cables below surface or doing what it wanted to—stringing them from poles—but conditioned on it paying “in lieu,” the cost of a subterranean installation.

Building on precedent, the opinion, by Presiding Justice William R. McGuiness of Div. Three, appears to find that a municipality could declare all telephone poles and lines to be eyesores and prohibit construction of any new ones. Despite its potential scope if citable as precedent, the opinion was not certified for publication.

‘Visual Clutter”

Livermore, with a population of about 90,000, has indicated its desire to deter erection of new phone poles. It declared in the city council resolution denying Pacific Bell’s permit application that it wanted to “set a precedent” against increasing “visual clutter...as new lines are added over time.”

The opinion notes a previous First District case which, in a footnote, alludes to a San Francisco electrical code provision which, it recites, “prohibits the construction of poles and overhead wires in certain areas” of the city/county. McGuiness does not specifically address the prospect of all new phone poles in a city or county being outlawed for “aesthetic” reasons.

Although filed Dec. 28, the opinion was not transmitted to the Judicial Council for posting on its website until Monday. That delay in a First District opinion becoming public was considerably less than one which occurred when, in the wake of the 1906 San Francisco fire, a decision did not surface until two years later.

Statute in Issue

McGuiness wrote:

“It has long been recognized that the maintenance of a telecommunications network is primarily a matter of statewide rather than local concern. Consequently, California generally affords telephone companies the right to install and maintain lines along public roads without the need to obtain a grant of authority from a local legislative body….Nevertheless, local governments retain some power over the construction and placement of telephone lines.”

He cited Public Utilities Code §7901 which provides:=

“Telegraph or tele­­phone corporations may construct lines of telegraph or telephone lines along and upon any public road or highway, along or across any of the waters or lands within this State, and may erect poles, posts, piers, or abutments for supporting the insulators, wires, and other necessary fixtures of their lines, in such manner and at such points as not to incommode the public use of the road or highway or interrupt the navigation of the waters.”=

The jurist, citing precedent, said:

“ ‘Incommode’ as used in section 7901 encompasses aesthetic concerns as well as traffic flow and safety issues.”

Pacific Bell contended that because the statute refers to “poles,” it may erect poles, unimpeded by local authorities.  McGuiness responded:

“Section 7901 simply provides that a telephone company may construct the necessary infrastructure to support a telecommunications network, but it does not necessarily guarantee that the infrastructure will take a particular form, such as aboveground wires and poles. For example, section 7901 mentions that telephone companies may erect ‘piers’ and ‘abutments’ as well as ‘poles,’ but it is plainly not the case that telephone companies have a right to construct piers and abutments when those structures serve no purpose. The same is true of poles, which are unnecessary when telephone lines are placed underground.”

Having agreed with Livermore that a city may deny permits for telephone poles, McGuiness declared that the permit application in issue was wrongfully spurned. The resolution denying the application “does not contain any finding that Pacific Bell’s proposed installation of fiber optic cable, considered alone, would degrade the aesthetics of the neighborhood or materially contribute to visual clutter,” he wrote, explaining:

“Pacific Bell’s application involved entwining a small fiber optic cable with preexisting, larger copper telephone lines strung across three existing poles, which carried not only telephone lines but also cable television and electrical wires. There was no evidence before the City, much less substantial evidence, that neighborhood aesthetics would be degraded by the addition a small fiber optic cable to the existing telecommunications infrastructure. We observe that the option offered by the City of allowing Pacific Bell to pay a deposit in lieu of undergrounding the fiber optic cable undercuts the argument that undergrounding is necessary to preserve the neighborhood’s aesthetics.”

The case is Pacific Bell Co. v. City of Livermore, A136714.

Photo: Cities may bar installation of new telephone poles for aesthetic reasons, the Court of Appeal has decided. - AP


The Court Report 

Ninth Circuit: Lower Pay for Woman Is Not Justified Based on Her Salary in Prior Job

(Reprinted from the Metropolitan News Enterprise, April 10, 2018)

Reinhardt, in Posthumously Published Opinion, Says Exception in Equal Pay Act Is Inapplicable

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, held yesterday that an employer cannot justify paying a woman less than her male counterparts based on her prior salary.

Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who died March 29, wrote for the court. There were threeApril 2018 newsletter - Aileen Rizo concurring opinions.

Fresno County sought to justify paying math consultant Aileen Rizo a lower salary than it paid to male employees—by as much as $10,000 a year—based on what she made in her prior job. It based salaries on the prior salary and adding five percent.

The county, which employed Rizo in its education department, invoked, as an affirmative defense, an exception under the Equal Pay Act: where a lower salary paid to a woman is based on a “factor other than sex.”

The court affirms a decision of Magistrate Judge Michael J. Seng of the Eastern District of California denying summary judgment to the county. A three-judge panel reversed that decision, and en banc review was granted.

Can’t Be Considered

“Reliance on past wages simply perpetuates the past pervasive discrimination that the Equal Pay Act seeks to eradicate,” Reinhardt wrote. “Therefore, we readily reach the conclusion that past salary may not be used as a factor in initial wage setting, alone or in conjunction with less invidious factors.”

The jurist reasoned:

“To hold otherwise—to allow employers to capitalize on the persistence of the wage gap and perpetuate that gap ad infinitum—would be contrary to the text and history of the Equal Pay Act, and would vitiate the very purpose for which the Act stands.”

The three-judge panel relied on the circuit’s 1982 decision in Kouba v. Allstate Insurance Co. There, it was held that reliance on prior salary in setting compensation was a “factor other than sex.”

Prior Decision Overruled

Reinhardt declared:

“Because Kouba, however construed, is inconsistent with the rule that we have announced in this opinion, it must be overruled. First, a factor other than sex must be one that is job related, rather than one that ‘effectuates some business policy.’ Second, it is impermissible to rely on prior salary to set initial wages. Prior salary is not job related and it perpetuates the very gender-based assumptions about the value of work that the Equal Pay Act was designed to end. This is true whether prior salary is the sole factor or one of several factors considered in establishing employees’ wages. Although some federal courts of appeals allow reliance on prior salary along with other factors while barring reliance on prior salary alone…, this is a distinction without reason: we cannot reconcile this distinction with the text or purpose of the Equal Pay Act.”

The case was remanded to the district court for a determination as to whether Rizo is entitled to summary judgment on her equal pay claim.

A footnote points out:

“Prior to his death. Judge Reinhardt fully participated in this case and authored this opinion. The majority opinion and all concurrences were final, and voting was completed by the en banc court prior to his death.”

Concurring Opinion

Judge M. Margaret McKeown, joined by Judge Mary H. Murguia, said:

“To be sure, the majority correctly decides the only issue squarely before the court: whether the Fresno County Office of Education was permitted to base Aileen Rizo’s starting salary solely on her prior salary. The answer is no. But regrettably, the majority goes further and effectively bars any consideration of prior salary in setting a new salary. Not only does Rizo’s case not present this issue, but this approach is unsupported by the statute, is unrealistic, and may work to women’s disadvantage.”

McKeown explained:

“[S]tates have begun passing statutes that prohibit employers from asking employees about their prior salaries. California’s statute just went into effect….Those laws represent creative efforts to narrow the gender wage gap. But they also provide important exemptions for employees w7ho wash to disclose prior salaries as part of a salary negotiation….Although the majority professes that its decision does not relate to negotiated salaries, the principle of the majority’s holding may reach beyond these state statutes by making it a violation of federal antidiscrimination law to consider prior salary, even when an employee chooses to provide it as a bargaining chip for higher wages. I am concerned about chilling such voluntary discussions. Indeed, the result may disadvantage rather than advantage women.”

Judge Consuelo M. Callahan, joined by Judge Richard C. Tallman, protested:

“Prior salary serves, in combination with other factors, to allow employers to set a competitive salary that will entice potential employees to take the job. The majority’s approach ignores these economic incentives and appears to demand a lockstep pay system such as is often used in government service.”

Judge Paul J. Watford expressed the view that “past pay can constitute a ‘factor other than sex,’ but only if an employee’s past pay is not itself a reflection of sex discrimination.” He concurred in the result because the County of Fresno “failed to prove that Aileen Rizo’s past pay is not tainted by sex discrimination.”

The superintendent of Fresno schools announced yesterday that certiorari will be sought in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The case is Rizo v. Fresno County Office of Education, No. 16-15372.

Photo: Aileen Rizo, math consultant


Coverage Matters

New Insurance Program: Foreign Travel

by Jim Thyden, Insured Programs Manager

Members who travel outside the United States create exposures that are not covered in the Memoranda of Coverage for the Primary and Excess Liability Programs. Because of this, the Authority has developed a new program to provide coverage for member staff for a variety of events that may occur.

There are five categories of coverage provided by this program:

  • Foreign Commercial General Liability
  • Foreign Business Automobile Liability
  • Foreign Voluntary Compensation and Employers Liability
  • Travel Accident and Sickness
  • Corporate Kidnap and Ransom/Extortion

Each category of coverage has several aspects to it with different coverage limits and deductibles, but most are $1,000,000. Some examples of coverages under this program are:

  • General Liability: when member staff are alleged to have caused damages or injuries for many non-auto incidents. This is what is typically covered under the Memoranda of Coverage for the Primary and Excess Liability Programs.
  • Automobile Liability: when member staff are alleged to have caused damages or injuries while driving. $1,000,000 coverage limit. This coverage is also typically covered under the Memoranda of Coverage for the Primary and Excess Liability Programs.
  • Damage to vehicles being driven by members. $50,000 coverage limit with a $1,000 deductible.
  • Repatriation of member staff: makes arrangements to return member staff to the United States. $1,000,000 coverage limit.
  • Emergency medical evacuation: evacuates member staff due to a serious injury or sickness. $200,000 coverage limit.
  • Kidnap and ransom/extortion: investigates and pays claims for ransom or extortion. $1,250,000 coverage limit with various sub-limits.

There are a few parts of the world where some coverage is not provided such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Please review the program’s webpage and documents for more information on this: https://cjpia.org/protection/coverage-programs/foreign-travel-program.

Members planning on traveling outside the United States who will use this coverage must report the trip prior to leaving the United States and use the form on the program webpage.

For more information, please refer to the program webpage.  If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Jim Thyden, California JPIA Insurance Programs Manager.


Coverage Matters

Recurring Evidence of Coverage Letters

by Jim Thyden, Insured Programs Manager

The 2018 recurring Evidence of Coverage (EOC) webpage is live and ready for members to access EOCs showing coverage through June 30, 2019.  Evidence of Coverage, sometimes referred to as a Certificate of Insurance (not to be confused with the Wall Certificates provided by the Authority), provides documentation of liability and/or workers' compensation coverage, and is commonly issued to third parties, such as individuals, vendors, companies, schools and/or other agencies.

Members are able to reissue EOCs for the 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19 coverage years. The Authority is encouraging members to carefully review all current EOCs and delete any that are no longer needed.  Members can revise EOCs immediately, and PDFs will be emailed to the requestor to distribute as necessary to those who require the EOC.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact Jim Thyden, Insurance Programs Manager, by email or (562) 467-8784.


VeriClaim Renamed Sedgwick

by Jim Thyden, Insured Programs Manager

VeriClaim is the third-party administrator for member claims in the Authority’s Property Program, and is owned by Sedgwick Claims Management Services.  Sedgwick has a total workforce of about 21,000 around the world. Sedgwick recently announced they will rebrand most of their various divisions under the Sedgwick banner.  While the timeline has not been announced, members can expect to see a name change during this next year.

None of these changes will result in changes to our service team. They are:

  • Ron Elbling, Director/Executive General Adjuster
  • Tracy Aylor, Regional General Adjuster
  • Steven Grutzmacher, Senior Adjuster
  • Joanne Garcia, Senior Adjuster
  • Yvette Howard, Senior Office Administrator

If you have any questions, please contact Jim Thyden, Insurance Programs Manager, by email or (562) 467-8784.