Staff Spotlight: Fonda Craig

VML Insurance Programs’ (VMLIP) Senior Safety Consultant Fonda Craig loves it when members have an “Aha” moment.

“When we’ve been talking about a safety issue or hazard and finally it clicks,” said Fonda. “That’s a good feeling.”

Fonda has been with VMLIP since December of 2000, and spends most of her time working with members to identify loss areas and provide partnership and assistance to address various exposures.

“We really are partners with our members,” said Fonda. “We want to see them succeed and we want to provide them with what they need to meet their goals and do so in a safe way.”

VMLIP Senior Safety Consultant Fonda Craig

VMLIP Senior Safety Consultant Fonda Craig

As Senior Safety Consultant, Fonda works with members in Northern Virginia, Charlottesville, Waynesboro, Orange, and a few members East of Interstate 95.

A typical member visit may include reviewing losses and providing suggestions on how to minimize them in the future. Safety recommendations could include providing training – possibly through the VMLIP Online University or VMLIP webinars. Other recommendations may include policy changes or the purchase of safety equipment.

“We will try to find ways to help them with these recommendations,” said Fonda. “Such as suggesting that they utilize the grant program to fund safety equipment, or to utilize the Where the Rubber Meets the Road (WTRMTR) campaign to address auto losses.”

Fonda conducts site visits, serving as a second set of eyes to identify and address hazards. She may visit members to assist in incident investigations and determine where the member may still be vulnerable, and recommend improvements to prevent future incidents. She often attends member safety committee and accident review committee meetings to lend her experience and insight.

Before coming to VMLIP, Fonda spent more than 14 years as a loss prevention consultant with Liberty Mutual, where she worked alongside VMLIP Director of Safety Services Beth Rosenthal. At Liberty Mutual, she worked with national accounts to address losses – primarily with fleet accounts.

“I provided training and worked with clients to improve their processes, such as driver selections, investigation, and driver training,” said Fonda.

“In fact, fleet safety is near and dear to Fonda’s heart – having experienced several family losses due to motor vehicle accidents.

When VMLIP launched the WTRMTR campaign, Fonda was immediately on board.

“Cognitive distraction is huge,” said Fonda about the biggest challenge facing drivers today. “And it’s hard for people to make a change in this area when so many don’t understand, or even realize that their mind has wandered onto other things and is not focused on driving.”

In her almost 16 years with VMLIP, Fonda has enjoyed watching the program grow in the resources and services provided to members. She also particularly loves the feel of working with a smaller organization.

“I feel like here at VMLIP, management really cares about their employees,” said Fonda.

Fonda has a degree in applied math from Virginia Commonwealth University. She finds herself drawn to the focus on data analytics being pursued by the pool – and is often found at the desk of VMLIP Data Analyst Kari Soniat.

“I want to be able to bring meaningful reports to our members when I go out on visits,” said Fonda. “This information helps to support our safety recommendations to members, and for them to justify changes to the decision makers within their organizations.”

Fonda was born and raised in Richmond where she lives with her 16-year-old daughter and volunteers to judge at Lego Robotics competitions around the state. She loves light-hearted movies and spending time with her two sisters and her brother.

For more information on VMLIP Safety Services, visit: http://www.vmlins.org.

VMLIP offers more than just coverage.  We are partners in risk management. How does your insurer stack up?  Having all lines of coverage with VMLIP ensures that your organization is receiving comprehensive coverage and a wide variety of value-added services tailored to Virginia’s local governmental entities.  Call for a quote today: (800) 963-6800.  For more information on VMLIP visit: www.vmlins.org or follow us on Facebook.

** VMLIP blog postings are offered for VMLIP members to utilize in strengthening their risk management efforts.  See copyright information for clarification on sharing this information.

 

Posted in Staff Spotlight | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Western Virginia Water Authority awarded the Margaret A. Nichols Risk Management Leadership Award at 2016 Annual Meeting

This year the Western Virginia Water Authority was awarded the Margaret A. Nichols Risk Management Leadership Awards at the 2016 Annual Meeting held Friday, May 13 at The Place at Innsbrook.

Additionally, VML Insurance Programs (VMLIP) awarded the Town of Halifax, the Town of Ashland, and the Prince William County Service Authority with Risk Management Performance Awards, and awarded 14 individuals a Risk Management Excellence Award.
Risk management award recipients must demonstrate a proactive risk management attitude and commitment; excellent loss experience and reporting time; or a significant improvement in their loss ratios to be considered for the award.

This year’s award winners were:

Western Virginia Water Authority – Margaret A. Nichols Risk Management Leadership Award

The Margaret A. Nichols Risk Management Leadership Award is presented each year to recognize and encourage innovation in risk management by members of the pool. The award is named in honor of Margie Nichols, longtime administrator of VMLIP who passed away in 2002.

“The authority is an active member focused on risk management,” said VML Insurance Programs’ Member Supervisory Board Chair Kurt Hodgen. “They aggressively work to enhance employee safety – through new ideas and initiatives – in order to lower risk throughout the organization.”

“They thoroughly investigate all accidents and ensure that injured workers are offered the chance to utilize the panel of physicians. They follow up with injured workers after every doctor’s appointment, and require them to bring in a current disability note, which is shared with VML Insurance Programs. They provide light duty work for every situation, and have been successful in accommodating most restrictions.”

Additionally, the authority was recognized for a recent organization-wide training effort to confront complacency with regards to safety on the job. They participate in the award-winning Where the Rubber Meets the Road campaign, and maintain a 100 percent score on their Risk Management Guidelines Assessment.

(LtR): VMLIP Senior Account Executive Lisa Schenk, Western Virginia Water Authority Fleet, Risk & Safety Coordinator Neil Norris and HR Director George Scott

(LtR): VMLIP Senior Account Executive Lisa Schenk, Western Virginia Water Authority Fleet, Risk & Safety Coordinator Neil Norris and HR Director George Scott

The Town of Halifax, 2016 Risk Management Performance Award

“The Town of Halifax is diligent about ensuring they are doing everything possible to reduce risk,” said Hodgen. “An example is the Explorer Program with the local boy scouts troop. When the town was helping put together a program to help the scouts learn about becoming an officer, Barksdale contacted VML Insurance Programs to discuss this program and make sure they had everything they needed in place to reduce risk.”

(LtR): VMLIP Senior Account Executive Lisa Schenk, Town of Halifax Manager Carl Espy and Assistant Town Manager Denise Barksdale

(LtR): VMLIP Senior Account Executive Lisa Schenk, Town of Halifax Manager Carl Espy and Assistant Town Manager Denise Barksdale

The Town of Ashland, 2016 Risk Management Performance Award

“For a small town, they are an extremely active member – they utilize online reporting, the Nurse Triage 24 reporting system for workers’ compensation claims, they offer a panel of physicians for injured workers – as well as light duty, and they participate in the award-winning Where the Rubber Meets the Road campaign,” said Hodgen.

“In particular, the town’s accredited law enforcement department has embraced risk management and instituted a fit-for-duty program utilizing VML Insurance Programs’ grant funding.”

The town also works with safety staff to ensure that their recreation and parks facilities are safe and meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. Town staff have also been proactive in addressing cyber risks and have asked for increased cyber options in order to mitigate these risks.

(LtR): Town of Ashland Manager Charles Hargrove, Deputy Town Manager Joshua Farrar, and VMLIP Account Executive Shane Ziegler

(LtR): Town of Ashland Manager Charles Hargrove, Deputy Town Manager Joshua Farrar, and VMLIP Account Executive Shane Ziegler

Prince William County Service Authority, 2016 Risk Management Performance Award

“The authority keeps safety in the forefront of their operations,” said Hodgen. “They recently hired a new safety and loss control manager with a background in risk management, who has been proactive in taking on the authority’s risk management program. Over the past fund year they have had no claims involving lost time, a testament to their safety and risk management program.”

The authority offers a panel of physicians and light-duty work whenever possible for injured employees.

(LtR): VMLIP Senior Account Executive Harry McMillen, Prince William County Service Authority Safety & Security Manager Joseph Del Priore and Director of Human Resources Theresa O’Quinn

(LtR): VMLIP Senior Account Executive Harry McMillen, Prince William County Service Authority Safety & Security Manager Joseph Del Priore and Director of Human Resources Theresa O’Quinn

Pam Baughman, Louisa County Water Authority, 2016 Risk Management Excellence Award

“As general manager, Pam has taken great pride in the responsibility of writing and implementing a safety program for the authority’s employees. She participated in a voluntary OSHA inspection process to further improve their existing program and safety of her employees, and she has consistently emphasized the importance of safety to her employees, which has improved the safety culture at Louisa County Water Authority,” said Hodgen.

Michael Bozeth, City of Winchester, 2016 Risk Management Excellence Award

“As the city’s senior human resources analyst, he took it upon himself to manage the Where the Rubber Meets the Road campaign participation after their long-time risk manager left. He arranged for the whole city to complete their training – all 312 drivers – utilizing the VMLIP Online University as well as through attending a VMLIP Safe Driver Instructor course in anticipation of teaching for the campaign,” said Hodgen.

“He has been the driving force in reviving the city’s safety committee, and in doing so actively sought help from VML Insurance Programs’ staff. While he does not have a traditional risk management background, when he arrived at the city he immediately contacted VMLIP staff to find out what resources were available. To that end, he was instrumental in helping the city reach a 100% score on the Risk Management Guidelines assessment.”

Brenda Cogdell, City of Manassas, 2016 Risk Management Excellence Award

“Brenda is often asked to share policies or programs with other members of VML Insurance Programs looking to implement the successful safety initiatives she has implemented in Manassas,” said Hodgen. “She never hesitates to share and has even consulted with members who needed help with various risk management issues.”

Each quarter, Brenda organizes a safety luncheon for employees who were accident-free. She shares monthly safety tips and organizes monthly department safety meetings in addition to the city wide safety meeting.

“Brenda has been the driving force to get safety recommendations completed within the city, and has been an advocate for the use of the VMLIP Online University and for city participation in the award-winning Where the Rubber Meets the Road campaign.”

She was recently recommended by the President of the Virginia Public Risk Management Association (Virginia PRIMA) to participate on the National PRIMA Board, where she was recently selected to serve.

(LtR): City of Manassas Risk Manager Brenda Cogdell and VMLIP Senior Account Executive Harry McMillen

(LtR): City of Manassas Risk Manager Brenda Cogdell and VMLIP Senior Account Executive Harry McMillen

Rosemary Creekmur, Spotsylvania County Schools, 2016 Risk Management Excellence Award

“As human resources assistant for the school system, Rosemary has been a terrific asset to have for not only the injured worker, but for VMLIP claims staff,” said Hodgen. “Rosemary provides the VMLIP claims staff with all information needed to investigate claims and determine compensability, including photographs and video of accidents that occur where surveillance cameras are located. In fact, she has developed materials that other members utilize to complete their investigations and provide information to claims staff.”

Additionally, Rosemary coordinates the injured worker’s return to light duty. Once a light duty position is offered she sends out a letter to the injured worker and supervisor outlining the restrictions set by the treating physician, the job duties of the position, and the hours and location of the assignment. This practice has successfully brought resolution to many of the schools claims. Both the contact and light duty letters developed by Rosemary have been sent to and implemented by other members, as these letters are detailed and cover information in a way that the injured worker better understands their rights and their responsibilities.

(LtR): Spotsylvania County Public Schools Human Resources Assistant Rosemary Creekmur and VMLIP Senior Account Executive Harry McMillen

(LtR): Spotsylvania County Public Schools Human Resources Assistant Rosemary Creekmur and VMLIP Senior Account Executive Harry McMillen

Annette Hall, Stafford County Schools, 2016 Risk Management Excellence Award

“As loss control manager for the school system, Annette has a detailed school inspections process that includes report-back and follow up procedures,” said Hodgen. “Additionally, she organizes meetings with school administrators to review losses and discuss preventative measures that have and will be taken. She ensures a thorough walk-through is done of each and every school in the system, including classrooms, mechanical rooms, playgrounds, storage rooms, the cafeteria, auditorium, and more.”

Annette documents hazards at each walk-through, and when possible ensures they are addressed on the spot. This process has been effective for Stafford County Schools, who maintains a five-year loss ratio of 33 percent.

(LtR): Stafford County Schools Workers' Compensation Manager Annette Hall and VMLIP Senior Account Executive Harry McMillen

(LtR): Stafford County Schools Workers’ Compensation Manager Annette Hall and VMLIP Senior Account Executive Harry McMillen

Loren Kato, City of Fredericksburg, 2016 Risk Management Excellence Award

“This past fall, Loren organized three days of snowplow training for the city’s snow patrol – comprised of public works, parks and recreation, and public facilities staff who operate the city’s snowplows or are in charge of clearing city sidewalks,” said Hodgen. “All in all, nearly 100 staff completed the eight-hour instruction, with more than 30 staff in attendance each day.”

The eight-hour training was composed of a half-day in the classroom and a half-day of practical learning and hands-on operation of the equipment. The classroom-learning portion provided an overview of road conditions and temperatures, as well as the types and amounts of chemicals or abrasives that should be applied depending on road conditions.

The city also brought in snowplows and tractors to a large parking lot and put trainees through an obstacle course which included parallel parking, navigating a tight bridge, maneuvering safely around obstacles – such as mailboxes, plowing a cul de sac, and more.
Some drivers left the parking lot to practice driving on the road – getting a feel for driving over train tracks and exit ramps and learning how the plow feels when loaded with sand versus when empty.

“We are sure that all of this came in handy during the 2016 blizzard,” said Hodgen.

(LtR): City of Fredericksburg Safety Program Manager Loren Kato and VMLIP Senior Account Executive Harry McMillen

(LtR): City of Fredericksburg Safety Program Manager Loren Kato and VMLIP Senior Account Executive Harry McMillen

Todd Larkin, Rappahannock Community Services Board, 2016 Risk Management Excellence Award

“Larkin ensures that facilities are maintained and that when VML Insurance Programs’ safety staff make a recommendation, it is addressed immediately,” said Hodgen. “He has taken the time to implement risk management guidelines, and this past year helped with providing lifting and back injury prevention training material that another member was seeking.”

(LtR): Rappahannock Area Community Services Board Property Supervisor Todd Larkin and VMLIP Senior Account Executive Harry McMillen

(LtR): Rappahannock Area Community Services Board Property Supervisor Todd Larkin and VMLIP Senior Account Executive Harry McMillen

Darby Moore, City of Staunton, 2016 Risk Management Excellence Award

“As a human resources technician, Darby proactively manages the city’s claims. She notifies our claims representative of all forthcoming claims before it has been set up, and sometimes before it has been reported to NT24,” said Hodgen. “Additionally, Darby anticipates what we will need to complete a claim investigation and often provides this information before it is requested.”

(LtR): VMLIP Senior Account Executive Lisa Schenk and City of Staunton HR Technician Darby Moore

(LtR): VMLIP Senior Account Executive Lisa Schenk and City of Staunton HR Technician Darby Moore

Lenny McDonald and Dennis Welsh, Loudon County Sanitation Authority, 2016 Risk Management Excellence Award

“To honor two employees from one entity with an individual award for each, is quite an accomplishment,” said Hodgen. “They have both been longtime supporters of VML Insurance Programs. They understand the importance of workplace safety, especially when performing work in confined spaces. In fact, the authority has donated a number of gas monitors to other VML Insurance Programs members who were in need of additional equipment.”

(LtR): VMLIP Senior Account Executive Harry McMillen, Loudoun County Sanitation Authority Risk & Safety Specialist Dennis Welsh and Risk Safety Supervisor Lenny McDonald

(LtR): VMLIP Senior Account Executive Harry McMillen, Loudoun County Sanitation Authority Risk & Safety Specialist Dennis Welsh and Risk Safety Supervisor Lenny McDonald

Neil Norris, Western Virginia Water Authority, 2016 Risk Management Excellence Award

“Neil works aggressively to increase safety and lower risk throughout the organization,” said Hodgen. “To this end, he recently led an organizational wide training effort to confront complacency with regards to safety on the job.”

Neil investigates all accidents and ensures that injured workers are offered the chance to utilize the panel of physicians. He follows up with injured workers after every doctor’s appointment, and requires them to bring in a current disability note, which he shares with VML Insurance Programs. He works to find light duty for every situation and has been successful in accommodating most restrictions.

“It is clear to many VML Insurance Programs’ staff that Neil is having a positive impact on safety throughout his organization. His sense of humor and calm have helped both Neil and our staff come up with solutions to issues without great difficulty,” said Hodgen.

(LtR): VMLIP Senior Account Executive Lisa Schenk and Western Virginia Water Authority Fleet, Risk & Safety Coordinator Neil Norris

(LtR): VMLIP Senior Account Executive Lisa Schenk and Western Virginia Water Authority Fleet, Risk & Safety Coordinator Neil Norris

Jessica Rice, City of Charlottesville, 2016 Risk Management Excellence Award

“Jessica has been the risk management specialist for the city for several years now and has been a tremendous resource for the property and liability claims department,” said Hodgen. “She coordinates gathering investigative materials from various city departments, as well as conducting scene investigations and follow-up field work to provide information to claims adjusters so they can make the proper decision on all city claims.”

Heather Taylor, Town of Mount Jackson, 2016 Risk Management Excellence Award
“As the town clerk, Heather has been the driving force behind Mt. Jackson’s participation in the award-winning Where the Rubber Meets the Road campaign since she was trained in 2012,” said Hodgen. “In fact, she has also been conducting training for the nearby Town of Edinburg.”

For two years, Heather has taught defensive driving classes, and recently has taught both winter driving and safe backing courses. Heather’s support of the Town of Edinburg has been the main reason that Edinburg has been able to complete the training requirements for this campaign.

Donna Vogel, City of Suffolk, 2016 Risk Management Excellence Award

“Donna has multiple responsibilities with the City of Suffolk, including risk management, benefits and wellness,” said Hodgen. “Upon her arrival, Donna and her team immediately took a hard look at the city’s claims from each department, and through a series of productive meetings with VML Insurance Programs’ staff, city leadership, and department heads, implemented an effective high hazard/low hazard risk management plan.”

Donna has also focused on the utilization of data in order to focus on the areas of key concern to reduce the city’s exposure and cost of risk. Prior to implementing new programs and policies, Donna thoroughly considers the best approach and evaluates all potential options, alternatives, and consequences of the implementation.

(LtR): City of Suffolk Risk, Benefit & Wellness Manager Donna Vogel and VMLIP Senior Account Executive Harry McMillen

(LtR): City of Suffolk Risk, Benefit & Wellness Manager Donna Vogel and VMLIP Senior Account Executive Harry McMillen

In addition to the awards ceremony, workshop speakers presented on a number of topics including: a neurosurgeon’s point of view on workers’ compensation injuries; the City of Suffolk’s risk management program; contract review; and developing a termination process.

The luncheon featured a selection of cupcakes from Frostings Bakery, complete with logos of award winners.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

VMLIP is the first and largest group self-insurance pool in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For more than 30 years, VMLIP has provided auto, property, liability, and workers’ compensation coverage to more than 460 local political subdivisions across Virginia. VMLIP provides pool members with superior financial stability and effective risk management services. For more information, visit: http://www.vmlins.org or follow VMLIP on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/vmlip.

Posted in VMLIP News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The actual cost of a cyber attack

Courtesy FirstNet Learning

Pay a ransom or no? Even though the question seems dramatic and ripped from the script of a 70’s spy movie, according to Joseph Bonavolonta, assistant special agent for the Cyber & Counterintelligence Program for the FBI, you may want to if you get hacked.

“The ransomware is that good,” he said.

Cyber security

Depending on how you want to handle a cyber breach, what it will cost your organization can now vary widely.

Below are a couple of examples of how much it can cost your organization if (when?) you get hacked.

Scenario #1: An employee opens a phishing e-mail. The malware in that e-mail then accesses the company’s centralized network exposing names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and financial information, such as credit card and bank account numbers.

Based on the above information, estimated costs for this attack could potentially break out as follows:

Incident Investigation: $200,000 – $300,000
Post-Incident Management: $350,000 – $500,000
Fines & Penalties: $400,000 – $550,000
Total Costs: $950,000 – $1,350,000

Scenario #2: A nurse accidentally leaves his or her hospital-issued laptop at a restaurant.  The laptop has an unencrypted database of current patient records that include protected health information with the name, Social Security number, credit card, insurance ID and medical information of at least 200 patients.

Based on the above, estimated costs could potentially break out as follows:

Incident Investigation Costs: $100,000 – $180,000
Customer Notification and Crisis Management Costs: $20,000 – $50,000
Fines & Penalties: $100,000 – $175,000
Total Costs: $220,000 – $405,000

Preventive measures:  

1. Within any e-mail, be sure you know where a link is really taking you — the easiest way to do this is to let your mouse hover over the link to determine whether the link looks familiar or can be determined to be a real website.

2. Learn how to see where a link is really going.
• Locate the first single forward slash (/) in the address.
• Look at the information immediately to the left of the forward slash. That is the actual url name.

3. Know how you are legally obligated regarding HIPAA compliance and PCI reporting.

04_16Cyber

 

 

 

 

VMLIP Addition:
The VML Insurance Programs Online University, powered by FirstNet Learning, includes important courses to help you understand your obligations in regards to HIPAA and PCI reporting.

Additionally, VMLIP’s Cyber Coverage endorsement expands coverage under the Local Government Liability Policy that provides coverage for privacy liability arising out of lost computer equipment, network security breaches and human errors.

Members can also benefit by taking advantage of resources through the eRiskHub®. The eRisk Hub® contains information and technical resources that can assist you in the prevention of network, cyber and privacy losses, and support you in the timely reporting and recovery of losses if an incident occurs.

It also features the latest news, content and services from leading practitioners in risk management, computer forensics, forensic accounting, crisis communications, legal counsel, and other highly-specialized segments of cyber risk. Learn more and access the eRisk Hub® here.

VMLIP offers more than just coverage. We are partners in risk management. How does your insurer stack up? Having all lines of coverage with VMLIP ensures that your organization is receiving comprehensive coverage and a wide variety of value-added services tailored to Virginia’s local governmental entities. Call for a quote today: (800) 963-6800. For more information on VMLIP visit: http://www.vmlins.org or follow us on Facebook.

** VMLIP blog postings are offered for VMLIP members to utilize in strengthening their risk management efforts. See copyright information for clarification on sharing this information.

Posted in Cyber Security, Human Resources, Property & Liability, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

City of Fredericksburg prepares for winter weather with snowplow training

This winter, Safety and Risk Management Coordinator Loren Kato with the City of Fredericksburg is hoping for snow. At least, a little bit of snow.

In early November, Kato organized three days of snowplow training for the city’s snow patrol – comprised of public works, parks and recreation, and public facilities staff who operate the city’s snowplows or are in charge of clearing city sidewalks. All in all, nearly 100 staff completed the eight-hour instruction, with 30+ in attendance each day.

Snowplow Training

“Our number one goal with this training was to increase employee and citizen safety,” said Kato. “After that, we want to reduce property damage claims – and we hope through this course we will be able to accomplish that.”

Kato brought in an outside instructor – Hank Gobar with HT Solutions. Gobar also provides similar instruction for crews from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). The eight-hour training was composed of a half-day in the classroom and a half-day of practical learning and hands-on operation of the equipment.

The classroom-learning portion provided an overview of road conditions and temperatures, as well as the types and amounts of chemicals or abrasives that should be applied depending on road conditions.

Snowplow Training

The city brought in snowplows and tractors to a large parking lot and put trainees through an obstacle course which included parallel parking, navigating a tight bridge, maneuvering safely around obstacles – such as mailboxes, plowing a cul de sac, and more.

Image7“Fredericksburg has a lot of one-way streets and on-street parking,” said Kato. “So moving through with a large snowplow can be a challenge. The hands-on portion of the training was critical, as well as reviewing how to properly inspect the equipment to make sure it is safe and ready to go before heading out to plow.”

Some drivers left the parking lot to practice driving on the road – getting a feel for driving over train tracks and exit ramps and learning how the plow feels when loaded with sand versus when empty.

Even staff who don’t run the plows were involved with the training. Public Facilities and Parks Maintenance staff who work on buildings, sidewalks, stairs, and parking decks learned about the different applications to use for building materials such as brick, asphalt, and sidewalks. These staff will be working with new equipment this year that measures surface temperatures – to help them determine the proper amount of product to put down.

The training was well received by employees.

“We’re raising the professionalism bar for our snowplow drivers,” said Kato. “We’re proud to have a professionally trained staff out maintaining the streets, and our mission is to get the City of Fredericksburg open for business as safely and efficiently as possible.”

Image1

Kato is open to questions on the training from any VMLIP members interested in developing a similar program.

“We’re very pleased with this course,” said Kato. “This will be the year we don’t get any snow, but it’s okay because we’ll be ready when it does come.”

VMLIP offers more than just coverage.  We are partners in risk management. How does your insurer stack up?  Having all lines of coverage with VMLIP ensures that your organization is receiving comprehensive coverage and a wide variety of value-added services tailored to Virginia’s local governmental entities.  Call for a quote today: (800) 963-6800. For more information on VMLIP visit: www.vmlins.org or follow us on Facebook.

** VMLIP blog postings are offered for VMLIP members to utilize in strengthening their risk management efforts. See copyright information for clarification on sharing this information.

Posted in Driving Safety, Property & Liability, Safety, Training, Uncategorized, VMLIP News, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

VML Insurance Programs named 2015 CPCU Company of the Year

The Richmond Chapter of the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) Society awarded the 2015 CPCU Company of the Year recognition to VML Insurance Programs (VMLIP). VMLIP was awarded for the pool’s continuous support and commitment to the CPCU Society and other insurance-related learning.

CPCU Company of the Year awardThroughout 2014 and 2015, VMLIP hosted two professional designation courses through The Institutes, the insurance industry’s knowledge and professional development leader.

VMLIP hosted the Associates in General Insurance (AINS) 21 – Property and Liability Insurance Principles, and the Associates in Claims (AIC) 30 – Claim Handling Principles and Practices courses for 23 staff and other insurance industry students.

“Our claims, underwriting, finance and member services staff hold 34 insurance designations provided through The Institutes,” said VMLIP Managing Director Steve Craig. “This is in addition to numerous post-graduate degrees and non-insurance professional designations held by staff.”

Many VMLIP staff members are continuing to pursue additional designations, with 16 in progress. VMLIP will again host an AIC course this spring – AIC 37, Managing Bodily Injury Claims.

“We are dedicated to ensuring we have the most highly trained and skilled staff providing the best in servicing and handling of claims for our members,” said Craig.

The CPCU Society’s mission is to provide resources, educational programs and leadership opportunities that attract talent and enable individuals to expand their technical insurance skills and business capabilities in order to improve the overall performance of the insurance industry while adhering to the highest ethical standards.

The Richmond Chapter of the CPCU is comprised of more than 230 insurance professionals in the Richmond, Virginia area who have, or are pursuing, their CPCU designation. Each year the organization names a Company of the Year. Previous award winners have included Kinsale Insurance, James River Insurance, Markel Corporation and Nationwide Insurance.

VML Insurance Programs is a nonprofit group self insurance program providing automobile, property, liability and workers’ compensation coverage to more than 470 local political subdivisions across Virginia.  For 35 years, VML Insurance Programs has provided pool members with superior financial stability and effective risk management services.  For more information visit: www.vmlins.org or follow VMLIP at: www.facebook.com/vmlip.

 

Posted in Property & Liability, Training, VMLIP News | Leave a comment

VMLIP: 2015 In Review

VMLIP: 35 YearsIt’s been a great year to be a member of VML Insurance Programs! In our 35th year as Virginia’s local government specialists, these were the highlights!

Awards: In 2015, VMLIP was recognized three times!

  • Association of Governmental Risk Pools (AGRiP) 2015 Award for Excellence in Performance – for the Where the Rubber Meets the Road (WTRMTR) defensive driving campaign – read more here.
  • The Richmond CPCU Society’s Company of the Year Award for encouraging continuing education initiatives such as the participation of pool employees in the CPCU and The Institute’s programs.
  • The Government Finance Officers Association’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting

Underwriting:

  • Renewal rates for the 2015 – 2016 year were down dramatically. Property and liability coverage rates were down 11.85 percent while workers’ compensation rates decreased by 1.5 percent.
  • The VMLIP Member Portal implementation was completed with certificates of insurance now available for viewing online. The portal now also includes renewal questionnaires personalized by member and coverage type, automobile cards available by line, and the ability to make contact changes online.
  • VMLIP continued to lead the way in offering coverages designed to the unique needs of Virginia’s local governments by adding School Tablet Coverage to include lost or damaged student tablets or laptops.
  • Underwriting increased the Automatic Extra Expense limit from $500,000 to $1,000,000 and increased the Automatic Newly Acquired Property limit from $1 to $5 million.

Claims:

  • VMLIP closed the largest claim in the pool’s history in 2015. Gloucester County’s Page Middle School was destroyed in a 2011 tornado. A new building opened on Sept. 4, 2015 as VMLIP delivered the final check on this claim that totaled more than $11 million. Learn more here.
  • 83 percent of workers’ compensation claims were reported through NT24, an increase of 8 percent from prior years.
  • VMLIP’s pharmacy management partner, Modern Medical, authorizes only generic drugs unless otherwise prescribed by the treating physician. This year more than 80 percent of prescriptions filled by injured employees were filled with generic drugs.
  • Including the savings achieved through generic drug usage, a total of more than $4.5 million was saved in workers’ compensation medical costs this year through programs such as medical bill review, NT24, and diagnostic and physical therapy services.

Specialized Consulting: VMLIP’s human resources, law enforcement, and communications consulting services continued to expand.

  • A new “Helpful Links” section was added to My HR Services online, providing links to articles, booklets, guides and more on a variety of topics from transgender employment issues to accommodating staff with disabilities.
  • Need help with strategic communications planning? VMLIP’s director of communications provided training in this topic in-person and through recorded webinars. Access the presentation here.
  • Our law enforcement specialist provided numerous trainings in-person and online on topics such as Improving Responses to Emotionally Disturbed Persons, Identification and Prevention of In-Custody Deaths, Workplace Violence, and more. Access presentations here.

Focus on Staff Development: To continue providing members with the best in service and partnership, the pool continues to focus on staff development. Staff members earning accreditation or designations this year include:

  • Lisa Davis – Associates in Insurance Accounting and Finance (AIAF)
  • Hollie Cammarasana – Accredited in Public Relations (APR)
  • Crystal Griffin – Associate in Underwriting (AU)
  • Marcus Hensel – Associate in Reinsurance (ARe)
  • Cathie Moreland-Hasty, Associate in Risk Management for Public Entities (ARM-P)
  • Wendy Rice – Associate in Claims (AIC)
  • Tina Stevens – SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP)

Focus on Safety:

  • The VMLIP Online University upgraded to a content management system – providing member administrators with tools to track and assign training to employees. Additionally, more than 70 new courses were added.
  • In addition to receiving the AGRiP Excellence in Performance Award, the WTRMTR campaign added 15 new member entities.
  • The Risk Management Grant program has been revised to expand the application period for each grant cycle. Additionally, grants applications are now reviewed by committee before eligibility decisions are made.
  • IMG_6881_October15Two driving simulators were purchased. The simulators will be used with WTRMTR training and to provide training opportunities for law enforcement drivers.

VMLIP offers more than just coverage.  We are partners in risk management. How does your insurer stack up?  Having all lines of coverage with VMLIP ensures that your organization is receiving comprehensive coverage and a wide variety of value-added services tailored to Virginia’s local governmental entities.  Call for a quote today: (800) 963-6800. For more information on VMLIP visit: www.vmlins.org or follow us on Facebook.

** VMLIP blog postings are offered for VMLIP members to utilize in strengthening their risk management efforts. See copyright information for clarification on sharing this information.

Posted in Human Resources, Property & Liability, Safety, Staff Spotlight, Training, VMLIP News, Workers' Compensation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Staff Spotlight: Deborah Briggs

As claims supervisor in the workers’ compensation department at VML Insurance Programs (VMLIP), Deborah Briggs helps her adjusters handle their claims with the high standards that VMLIP members have grown accustomed to.

“We expect the best quality and customer service for our members,” says Briggs. “We focus on quality claims handling.”

Briggs has been handling claims for VMLIP since 1995 as an employee of Hastings-Tapley. In 1999 Briggs joined Robin Duvall as a VMLIP employee and claims adjuster.

VMLIP Claims Supervisor Deborah Briggs

VMLIP Claims Supervisor Deborah Briggs

“I used to handle all of the Northern Virginia territory,” said Briggs.

Her typical day would involve reviewing first reports and her new claims, working the mail, checking e-mails, making phone calls and handling any reporting that needed to be done.

Today she supervises three indemnity and three medical-only claims adjusters, as well as a claims technician.

“At VMLIP our adjusters handle the claims from start to finish – the only time we change adjusters is if the claim moves from medical-only to lost-time, and even then it’s going to an adjuster right down the hallway,” said Briggs. “This allows our adjusters to get to know their claims because they are involved with it along each step of the process.”

In addition to navigating EDI and Medicare reporting requirements, today’s adjusters handle claims that are becoming more and more complicated. Even small injuries can become complicated when the injured employee has pre-existing unrelated medical issues.

VMLIP claims adjusters keep a three-point contact when working a claim – one with the injured worker, another with the member contact, and a third with the medical doctor or nurse.

“We work very closely with nurses,” said Briggs. “Things can get very complicated especially if the injured employee has prior medical issues. Our job is to get them back to baseline before they were injured, and working with nurses helps us determine when we’ve done that.”

VMLIP adjusters maintain a manageable claims count so that each case can be handled with quality and keeping the best outcome for the employee, employer, and pool in mind.

“As a supervisor, I enjoy helping my adjusters manage their claims,” said Briggs. “I also enjoy being more involved with litigation that helps me stay up to date on workers’ compensation laws, which helps me grow as a supervisor.”

Briggs has worked in insurance since she started paying health, dental and vision claims for Teamsters Insurance in the 1980’s. Since then she’s worked for Corvell, Maryland Insurance Group, AIG, Liberty Mutual, and Hastings-Tapley before becoming a VMLIP employee.

She’s worked in bill review, first reporting and transcription, handled medical-only claims and lost-time claims. In 2005 she obtained her Associates In Claims (AIC) designation and in 2006 she obtained her Associate In Insurance (AIS) certification.

Briggs has a son and daughter in their 30’s and a 21-year-old stepdaughter. After volunteering at Innsbrook After Hours for 18 years, she now spends most of her free time with her six-year-old granddaughter Teaghen.

She expects to stay with VMLIP until she retires to ensure that the next generation of claims adjusters and supervisors maintain VMLIP’s reputation for superior service and claims management.

VMLIP offers more than just coverage.  We are partners in risk management. How does your insurer stack up?  Having all lines of coverage with VMLIP ensures that your organization is receiving comprehensive coverage and a wide variety of value-added services tailored to Virginia’s local governmental entities.  Call for a quote today: (800) 963-6800. For more information on VMLIP visit: www.vmlins.org or follow us on Facebook.

** VMLIP blog postings are offered for VMLIP members to utilize in strengthening their risk management efforts. See copyright information for clarification on sharing this information.

 

 

Posted in Staff Spotlight, Workers' Compensation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment