Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Trust Matters, February 2019

​Attend the League's Spring Meetings for Insurance Information, Member Services Updates

Property Appraisals

Did You Know

Copyright Trolls

Police – Risk Review​


Attend ​the League's Spring Meetings for Insurance Information, Member Services Updates

Join the League at one of our eight lunch-and-learn meetings this March to learn about the different insurance coverage options available to our members. We'll give an overview of our pools, rate projections and information to make sure municipal officials and staff members are getting the most from their League membership. We'll also discuss more about the League's services and our newest preferred partners!

Registration is now open. Sign up to learn more about:

  • Insurance renewal information and rate information from the League's Health Benefits Trust, Workers' Compensation Trust, and Property and Casualty Trust
  • Exclusive risk control training and programs from our insurance pools to help save your city or town money and protect your resources
  • Preferred Partners benefits and services
  • League field staff updates
  • And more!

This meeting is ideal for, HR Directors, Finance Officers, Risk Managers, Town Managers, Town Clerks and other municipal employees – we hope to see you there during our Spring Tour!

Use this link​ to find the meeting closest to you and to register. 

Property Appraisals

In 2017, the North Carolina League of Municipalities contracted with HCA Asset Management LLC to complete property appraisals for our pool members free of charge, and as part of this five-year process many of you in ​eastern North Carolina have already participated in the appraisal process that helps determine the insurance replacement cost for their insured structures or buildings.

So far, the property appraisals have discovered many uninsured or underinsured properties; the pool's property exposures have increased from $7.2B (2017-2018) to $8.3B (2018-2019), which is roughly a 14.8% increase in property exposure to the pool. HCA has identified structures or buildings that may have been overlooked at renewal and not added to the property schedule, structures or buildings that are no longer in operation or no longer exist, undervalued lift/pump stations or water towers, and some vacant buildings on the property schedule that needed to be further underwritten to determine the insurability of the structure.

NCLM will continue to provide this service to our members as HCA moves toward the western part of the state. Each year of the appraisal cycle, a League underwriter will send out a letter to each member who will be appraised that year along with a current list of structures or buildings that meet the appraisal criteria. Then, an HCA appraisal team member will contact property and casualty insurance pool members to schedule a specific time and date for them to perform the appraisal inspection at your location.

Thank you for your cooperation with this project. League staff is available to assist our members with any questions they may have concerning the property appraisals, insurance schedules, coverage questions, or any other risk management needs.

Did You Know

Surprising Warning Signs That You May Have Heart Problems:

  • Vomiting or Stomach pain:  If a patient experiences intense stomach pains, and they begin to feel nauseated or begin to vomit, this could be an early warning sign of an impending heart attack.   Statistics indicate that women are more likely to experience vomiting, indigestion and stomach pain as precursors to a heart attack, however, men can experience these symptoms as well. 
  • Exhaustion:  If an individual suddenly finds themselves exhausted from doing routine tasks that were once part of their day, such as getting the mail, walking around the block and their dog, or retrieving the paper form the driveway, then they should consult their doctor right away. 
  • Jaw Pain That Has Travelled:  If a patient has ever experienced jaw pain, they might have felt it when they had a very bad cold or a sinus infection.  This alone is not a sign of heart problems.  However, jaw pain can indicate the presence of heart problems and a heart attack.  Specifically, a patient will want to pay attention to how the jaw pain travels.  If the patent senses pain or tightness in their chest, and the pain travels up to the jaw and its surrounding area, they should seek emergency medical attention immediately, as this is a common sign of the patient experiencing a heart attack. 
  • Snoring:  Do you or your partner snore, and if so, is it loud?  It is fairly common for individuals to snore when they sleep, but there is a certain level of snoring that could be a cause for concern and could indicate a patient may be dealing with heart issues.  For instance, if an individual is snoring incredibly loudly and sounds like they are gasping for air, then they could have a condition known as sleep apnea.  This condition puts an extreme amount of pressure on the heart, and to rule out any other possible heart issues they should be tested. 
  • Persistent Coughing:  In many cases, a persistent cough that a patient can not get rid of is a sign of the common cold.  However, it also can be a sign of heart failure if the patient is coughing up white or pink blood-tinged mucus, due to blood getting into the lungs.  Specifically, chronic coughing or wheezing is due to fluid congestion, or a buildup of fluid in the lungs, and is a common sign of heart failure, hence why doctors refer to it as congestive heart failure (CHF). 

Genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices all play a significant part in determining if an Individual will develop heart-related issues.  Although a person cannot change their genetic disposition for heart-related problems, such as heart disease or congenital heart defects, they can do everything within their power to make healthy lifestyle choices that will lead them to optimal health.  Some lifestyle habits an individual can make to improve their chances for not developing certain types of heart conditions include to quit smoking and controlling and managing other health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.  Exercising for a minimum of thirty minutes a day at least five days a week, eating a diet that is low in salt and saturated fat, maintaining a healthy weight, practicing good hygiene, and reducing and managing stress are also incredibly helpful for reducing a person's risk. 

Copyright Trolls

Who would have thought that trolls exist in today's world, but they do! Copyright trolls are on the look for copyright infringements and are quick to demand a monetary settlement when they discover an infringement on their product.

Consumers, including municipalities, can be drawn into these claims very innocently. For example, a municipality may want to publish a booklet or brochure and need some artwork for the cover. The first place we often look is the internet and frequently find a picture that is perfect. The picture is downloaded and placed on the publication and the municipality proudly distributes its brochure.

Then the trolls come in. There are those whose primary job is to search for unapproved use of a copyrighted document, including pictures. Once discovered, a demand is made to the municipality and it is often more economically feasible to settle the claim than defend.

When searching for images online, be careful and stick to sites that offer royalty-free images and/or tailor your search results to include images that are free to use even commercially, for example Google Images allows you to filter for search results using its advanced search settings.

Police – Risk Review​

On a daily basis, the law enforcement profession is ripe with challenges and risk unlike any other job or career field. Day-to-day citizen encounters can quickly move from routine verbal engagement into a use of force situation in a matter of seconds. The public might be very aware of some of these related risks to the officers involved, but most are probably unaware of individuals who refer to themselves as, “First Amendment Auditors," and the liability threats they pose.

Some of these auditors visit local police departments and create situations that will prompt a policing response in hopes of the encounter escalating. Some of the tactics include the overt videoing of police officers as they enter and leave police parking lots and other routine officer activities occurring in public places.

Here's a common scenario: an officer encounters an individual videoing their patrol car, building entrances, and simply behaving suspiciously. The diligent officer then attempts to speak to the person, ask for identification and inquire into the purpose of the activity. These reasonable steps are typically met with an abnormal citizen response such as silence, profanity, and/or the lack of any cooperation or explanation, which may lead the officer to place the person into an investigative detention. This process then includes seizing the phone, or worse, placing the person under arrest for resist-obstruct- and delay. What usually follows is the search of the person incident-to-arrest. It is quite routine for these auditors to carry a secondary hidden camera in hopes of the phone or camera being seized. The end result may result in claims filed against the officer, agency leadership, and municipality for constitutional violations related to the First and Fourth Amendment intrusions alleged.

North Carolina has had several similarly documented encounters. Recently, a subject believed to be an auditor took it to another level when he visited one of our local police agencies. The subject was wearing a visible handgun and videoing police vehicles as they entered and exited the agency parking area. The officers involved understood immediately what this person's intentions were based on their training from a program provided by the League, “Dangerous Crossroads Ahead-The Intersection of the First and Fourth Amendments."

The officers were properly trained and prepared for the encounter and this subject was treated with tremendous professionalism and warmly greeted by several officers and supervisors. The subject left shortly afterwards with video that would be of little interest to the general public.

The training offered by the League in dealing with these and other First and Fourth Amendment challenges is an intensive four-hour class taught by Attorney Scott Maclatchie. In this timely class, these types of events are reviewed and best-practice, constitutionally driven considerations are discussed with our officers. The expected results are for our officers to be better equipped with sound judgement and decision making, which leads to lower claims and potential for lawsuits.

Our next “Dangerous Crossroads Ahead-The Intersection of the First and Fourth Amendments" class is scheduled to be held in partnership with the Belmont Police Department on March 21, 2019. For more information, contact Tom Anderson, Director of Risk Control, at