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 Trust Matters, November 2015 

Our goal: Serve your risk management needs

Land use training modules

League leads the charge in weapons training

Did you know?

Make your equipment list and check it twice to ensure coverage

Online change and certificate request forms



Our goal: Serve your risk management needs

As we head into the holiday season, we are thankful for your support and the opportunity to serve your risk management needs. Looking into the new year, we are excited about the many initiatives we have underway to improve your ability to manage risk and keep your employees well. Below I mention four.

Employment Practices Liability: This fall we began the process of building online training modules on the topic of employment practices liability. We are focusing on the areas where we see the most litigation for our initial classes, but intend to cover all aspects of the employment cycle; hiring practices, performance management, compliance with the many federal and state regulations, proper termination procedures, etc. Stay tuned as we plan to begin rolling these out in early 2016.

Police Agency Certificate Program: We announced recently that Tom Anderson had been hired into a newly created position to provide risk management consulting in the public safety area. Tom hit the ground running and is currently working with a representative sample of police chiefs to develop a certification program that our police agencies can implement. This will be patterned after the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in those areas that create liability. This initiative is intended to help agencies develop modern, state-of-the-art policies and training; thus improving police work throughout the state while reducing liability and workers’ compensation claims.

Improved Employee Health: We are pleased to report that compliance for cancer screenings and wellness checks has increased dramatically over the past year thanks to the wellness requirements implemented last year. In addition, we have identified 96 employees and their dependents who need health coaching, which is available through our Personal Care Management (PCM) program, and 80 have already signed up so far. We are excited to see such positive results for each of these programs that were initiated within the last 18 months.

Improved Pricing: We have assessed both medical underwriting and property/liability underwriting for the purpose of improving our competitive position long term. Your Board of Trustees will vote to approve these initiatives in the coming months.

We look forward to a productive 2016 in serving you -- our membership. As you have questions, suggestions and ideas, please let us know.

We wish you all the very best during this holiday season!

-- Bob Haynes, Associate Director for Risk Management Services and Member Services

Land use training modules

As many of you know, in February 2013 the League’s Risk Management Services agreed to partner with the UNC School of Government to build land use training modules as a training tool for elected officials and staff.

We initially chose the topics based on litigation that we had experienced on behalf of the member municipalities in our program. For example, a car dealership made a request to build a large facility. As the request moved forward, neighborhood citizens complained about potential lighting issues (among other things), causing the council to deny the request. A suit was subsequently filed, and while the city ultimately won the case, the cost of defense was substantial.

Other claims involved the repair process of a front row beach cottage that was condemned regarding whether or not it could be repaired, if it was properly condemned, etc., and the homeowners brought suit -- again, the litigation costs were substantial.

So we worked with the School of Government to develop training for councils and planning boards. Subsequently, the training modules have evolved into an extensive training tool on the subject of land use, which the School of Government now incorporates into its curriculum.  As you may know David Owens and Adam Lovelady are both highly regarded professors on this subject matter.

These training modules are available for sale from the School of Government bookstore but are available for use free of charge to our members by logging onto our training portal, NC Risk Online Training. The subject matter covers:

  • Introduction to Land Use Decisions
  • Vested Rights
  • Conducting and Evidentiary Hearing 
  • Making Quasi-Judicial Decisions
  • Variances
  • Interpretations and Appeals
  • Process for Ordinance Adoption and Amendments
  • Exactions
  • Spot Zoning
  • Special Use Permits
  • Land Use Regulation of Group Homes

Coming soon are training modules that will cover the following topics:

  • First Amendment and Regulation of Adult Uses
  • Subdivisions and Plat Review
  • Conditional Zoning

We hope you will take this opportunity to assist your newly elected officials and planning board members in understanding proper procedure in planning and conducting land use in your municipalities. Please click here to learn more about NC Risk Online Training and how to login.

League leads the charge in weapons training

On the use of force continuum, conducted electrical weapons, commonly referred to as Tasers or stun guns, are listed just below lethal force. However, officers average more hours of training to operate a radar speed gun.

Conducted electrical weapons are designed to immobilize a suspect without causing serious injury. Propelled by gas, gunpowder or nitrogen, the weapon embeds two metal barbs in the suspect and delivers just enough electrical current that the target momentarily loses bodily control and the officer is able control the situation.

These weapons are incredibly useful tools in apprehending suspects. Their use results in fewer injuries to officers and suspects, but there are a large number of claims across the nation attributed to improper deployment. Severe injuries, and even fatalities, result from officers targeting suspects who are fleeing, climbing a fence, or riding a bicycle. Not only are people dying, police departments are left with liability lawsuits and medical bills that drive up costs for all departments in the insurance pool.

To help reduce the number of Taser claims, Risk Management Services plans to give every police department in the Property and Liability insurance pool the opportunity to participate in Taser training. The training program is filled with studying case law and appropriate policies to have in place.

Many of the injuries and claims associated with stun guns are not related to injury from the shock, but from suspects falling and hitting their heads on the ground or nearby objects because they lost voluntary control of being able to stand. The course will examine how the weapons affect the body, what areas should be targeted, and address weapons confusion and quick decision making techniques. In high stress situations, an officer may accidentally draw his firearm instead of the stun gun, so the instructor will suggest alternate ways to carry the weapons and walk officers through scenarios that they might have been through in firearms training but could be applied to stun guns as well. This exercise will reduce the natural reaction to grab the firearm due to muscle memory.

Risk Management Services will continue to hold these trainings until every department in the Property and Liability insurance pool has an opportunity to attend. For more information on the League’s insurance trusts, visit or contact Bryan Leaird at (919) 715-2905.

Did You Know?

Earlier this year we announced that we would implement a telemedicine program through Teladoc effective July 2015. We are pleased to report that utilization has been exceptional through the first four months. By avoiding emergency room, primary or urgent care visits, we’ve saved more than $33,000! More than 150 people had a consultation, 120 were prescribed medicine for their illnesses, and 91 percent rated the service excellent!

As a member of the MIT medical program your employees have access to this convenient money saving program. Within 22 minutes you’ll receive a callback from a doctor who can prescribe medicine for colds, flus, bronchitis, allergies, and other minor ailments for free. Please encourage your employees to use the program, which will be a great benefit during the flu season. If you want to know more about Teladoc, contact either Julie Hall or Lisa Ervin here at the League.

Make your equipment list and check it twice to ensure coverage

Technology advances quickly and some new equipment may contain wireless components that no longer qualifies to be insured as building or contents under most standard property coverage forms. The following are a handful of items that would be considered computer equipment instead:

  • SCADA equipment
  • 911 Dispatch equipment
  • IP Telephone equipment
  • Telecommunication equipment attached to a radio tower
  • Blower controls at a Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Multifunction Printer/Copier Equipment
  • Desktops, monitors, standard printers
  • Police Mobile Data Terminals
  • Scanners

To be sure all of your property is insured, contact your IT representative and check your computer equipment limit. For more information on insuring computer equipment, you can also contact Property and Casualty Underwriting Supervisor Ryan Ezzell at 919-733-2633.  

Online change and certificate request forms available

Did you know that the Property/Liability Insurance Trust has another way to submit policy changes and request certificates of insurance?

By clicking the Log In link in the upper-right hand of the homepage, you can log in as you normally would to access coverage documents. You can then choose between two options: change request form or certificate of insurance request form. You will receive an email confirmation for any changes to auto, equipment or property listings. Please feel free to contact the Underwriting department with any questions about these online forms.

We hope this new service makes managing your coverages more convenient and efficient!