Controlling your risk by Bob Carruth

As Risk Control Manager for the NCACC, Bob Carruth manages the operation of the Risk Control Team for the Risk Management Pools. The team assists members with development of safety policies and programs and identification of liability exposures and controls. Carruth is a Certified Safety Professional and is certified as an Associate – Risk Management.  For archives of this column click here

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Dec 15

The 2015 County Safety Index revealed

Posted on December 15, 2015 at 10:24 AM by Todd McGee

As the largest provider of insurance and risk management services to the county governments in North Carolina, we continue to work with our member governments to help reduce both the occurrence and severity of loss. Each year in December, we evaluate our entire group to determine how we are doing as benchmarked against the previous four years. The figures presented here and on our webpage reflect our combined experience; our members are encouraged to contact our risk control staff of get a more detailed report for their specific county or entity. 

Let take a look at our pool operations this past year:
  • 66 counties are members of either the Workers’ Compensation or Liability & Property Pool, which encompass close to 3 million citizens, or about 30% of the state’s population.
  • More than 28,000 county employees are provided WC coverage.
  • Approximately 12,000 autos, buses and trucks were provided coverage against liability and property loss.
  • More than $4.2 billion of property, to include most of the courthouses and county administrative facilities, are covered under our property program.
The Index

The county safety index provides an annual public glimpse at where accidental losses are occurring in pool members. The focus of the index is in two areas of loss: Workers Compensation and Auto. Given the volatility of general liability losses, as well as the infrequent nature of property losses, these are not included in the index. Finally, for comparison purposes, losses are measured at 6/30 for each year, to provide for a better year-year comparison.

For reasons of simplicity, as well as space constraints, I am including the two primary charts – one for WC (Figure 1), the second for Auto (Figure 2). You can review and download the entire presentation at the risk control webpage on the NCACC website.

Workers’ Compensation – Claims frequency resulting from workplace related injuries during the 2014-15 fiscal year remained flat for the third year in a row, although the overall incurred cost of claims increased slightly. The indemnity frequency, or those claims involving lost workdays or disability being paid, was up in 2014-15, which explains the increase in overall incurred losses. This increase of indemnity losses was from a handful of large claims, primarily due to EMS overexertion injuries and vehicle mishaps. This is also reflected in the return-to-work efficiency, which increased as well. 

In spite of the increase in several WC measures, there is no trend that points to overall decay in the loss picture for the WC pool. It can be expected that with the varied risks county employees face, isolated large losses will impact an individual year’s performance.

Figure 1

Figure 2