Tuesday , December , 12 2017

How to Save Premium Dollars

Online Training

APEI offers free online training to its members. For School districts, APEI has partnered with SafeSchools, and for municipalities, APEI has partnered with Target Solutions.

Online training provides many benefits to your organization. In Alaska, it can be difficult and expensive to hire a trainer to conduct on-site training. With APEI’s online training programs, there is no cost to you, and you don’t have to get all your employees in one place at one time. They can take their training when it fits better into their schedule.

Not only is online training easier and less expensive, but through APEI’s premium credit program it can save you money. This program allows for up to a 12% credit off the APEI portion of your general liability and workers’ compensation premiums at renewal.

To get your organization signed up, contact Abe Levy, your loss control manager, at  alevy@akpei.com.
Sunday, July 1, 2012/Author: Alaska Public Entity Insurance/Number of views (1737)/Comments (0)/
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Age Discrimination and Retaliation - A Risky Duo

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the most frequently alleged charges by the federal work force in 2010 were retaliation (7,712) charges. And, for the past five fiscal years, the EEOC has seen an upward trend in complaints alleging both retaliation and age discrimination. 

The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) applies to employers with 20 or more employees and protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination. Under the ADEA, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his or her age with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment, including job assignments.

The ADEA forbids harassment of a person because of his or her age. Age harassment that is frequent or severe can create a hostile or offensive work environment. 

Retaliation claims stand alone, meaning that even if the underlying age claim allegations are not proven, the employee may still recover on the retaliation claim. Two loss prevention keys can help employers avoid costly retaliation and discrimination claims.

First, employers must provide training for workers in all areas of equal employment opportunity including protection of employees from discrimination or harassment. 

To curb retaliation claims, employers should not only train managers and supervisors on the types of behavior that constitute retaliation, but they should also take action to protect employees who report discrimination. Communicate that retaliation is not tolerated and provide a direct and safe method of reporting retaliation.
Sunday, July 1, 2012/Author: Alaska Public Entity Insurance/Number of views (1806)/Comments (0)/
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Members Doing the Right Thing

In a recent visit to the Copper River School District, we came across a great example for storing materials. Large boards, poles, and other similar materials create a significant hazard of being knocked over or slipping out when leaned against walls. In the image above you can see a storage system with bins and chains to prevent materials from falling over. You can also see a footboard to prevent items from slipping out. This is an ideal way to store leaning materials. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012/Author: Alaska Public Entity Insurance/Number of views (1853)/Comments (0)/
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What Not to Do When Terminating Employees

One fundamental premise of employment practices risk management is that when terminated employees feel they have been humiliated or treated unfairly during the termination process, they often file wrongful termination lawsuits. 

Losing a job is a traumatic event, even when performed with the utmost respect. To avoid the risk of wrongful termination lawsuits, terminating an employee requires planning and professionalism. Management should anticipate how an employee might react to the stress of termination. In addition, a manager should never have a termination conversation with an employee when the manager is angry or upset.

Common sense dictates appropriate behavior for managers when terminating employees. Refrain from using humiliating or disrespectful language, and remain professional during the termination process. If an employee responds with an emotional outburst, stay calm. Furthermore, never threaten or shame the employee at any time during the termination process. 

Importantly, never terminate an employee in front of other employees. Terminations should take place in private with a witness and not in a staff meeting.

Terminating employees with respect helps avoid costly claims. Many jurors have either lost a job or know someone who has, making it easy for a jury asked to decide a claim to identify with a terminated employee.
Sunday, July 1, 2012/Author: Alaska Public Entity Insurance/Number of views (1664)/Comments (0)/
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Renewal Successes and Challenges

From the Desk of the Director, Jeff Bush

During the recently completed renewal season, APEI added one new member, Aleutians East Borough, and welcomed back the Nondalton Water/Sewer project, which was shut down in 2011-12 and hence uninsured. No existing members left APEI, so we currently sport an all-time high membership count of 66 public entities. Although members generally saw some premium rate increases this year, these were largely offset by over $1.9 million in dividends paid out to renewing members.

Obviously we at APEI are once again pleased with the results of the renewal cycle.  Nonetheless, we faced some new challenges this year that, in the future, will likely negatively impact our members.  In general, the national and international reinsurance markets are “hardening,” meaning prices are rising.  We hear talk that the cause is large insurance losses due to natural disasters around the world, but it could just be the natural pendulum swing of the market.  World insurance markets have been “soft,” with prices either flat or declining, for several years.  Whatever the cause, increased prices in the insurance industry in general mean increases to everyone, including Alaska’s public entities.

The other concern is the continuing refusal of the state government and legislature to deal with increasing medical costs in workers’ compensation claims.  While most states have in place effective statutory fee structures that control medical service costs in workers’ compensation claims, our state government has, in recent years, irresponsibly retreated and allowed these medical costs to climb virtually uncontrolled.  The result is, by our estimation, a more than 30% increase in medical claim costs in the last year alone, which translates into overall claim costs going up almost 25%.  Some of these cost increases are already showing up in rates, but unless something is done, workers’ compensation rate increases for all Alaska employers are likely to spiral upward in future years.

I encourage you to pass along your concerns to your local legislators.
Sunday, July 1, 2012/Author: Alaska Public Entity Insurance/Number of views (1755)/Comments (0)/
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Reporting a Loss?

Alaska Public Entity Insurance

2233 Jordan Ave
Juneau, AK 99801-8050

Phone: 907-523-9400

Toll-Free: 877-586-2734

Fax: 907-586-2008