By Woodrow Polston
During the February board of alderman meeting, City Administrator Darren Berry announced that the city has scored 100% on its annual Municipal Inter-governmental Risk Management Association assessment. MIRMA is an incorporated association that establishes a protected group self-insurance program for its members. One of the programs that is required for its members is that each year MIRMA conducts a Loss Control Program Evaluation. This evaluation can directly affect Vandalia’s yearly assessment cost to MIRMA.
“There are a lot of cities that are members of this organization,” said Berry. “Vandalia has been on their board for years. The way that it works, for example, we had an incident where a rock was flung through a citizens window as a result of a city worker using a weed eater. We worked with them to fill out a claim, and it was turned in to MIRMA. Any type of accident that is associated with the city is taken care of by them. They are our general liability company,” he added.
The MIRMA loss control program evaluation consist of eight different sections, including Management Direction, Safety Committee Development, Fleet Safety, Liability Control, National Standards Compliance, Human Resources, Training, and Recommendation Compliance. Although the city’s scores have been in the mid to high 90s in the past five years, this is the first time the city has scored a perfect 100.
“As you can see, we have always done very well on the MIRMA evaluations,” said Berry. “This year, however, is the first 100% that I can remember ever receiving. I wish to thank the city’s Safety Coordinator Joanna Borgmeyer, and also all of our department heads for their hard work, dedication, and leadership for our safety program,” he added.
According to their website, MIRMA is not an insurance company or agency, rather a self-insurance pool, owned entirely by participating members. It functions solely for their benefit. MIRMA is an incorporated association that establishes a protected group self-insurance program for its members. It provides comprehensive uniform property and casualty coverage under one plan available. MIRMA was created in the wake of the instability that existed in the municipal insurance market in the 1970s as an actuarially sound alternative to commercial insurance. Operations began on July 1,1981.
“The amount that the city has to pay on an annual basis is determined by categories such as claim history, employees and other such criteria,” said Berry. “A recent example would include having closed our police station, which reduced our number of employees. And so, our assessment went down as a result of that,” he added.
MIRMA is governed by a board of directors composed of 10 members who are elected by the general membership of the association. Even though the association is not an insurance company or agency, it is still regulated by the Department of Insurance and the Division of Workers’ Compensation. In addition to providing a comprehensive package of coverage and limits, MIRMA is designed to be a cost saving device. This is done primarily through long-range cost containment features. When MIRMA was initially formed with its eight charter members, cost savings amounted to $131,500. After more than 30 years of operation, the total cost savings has been estimated to exceed $25 million, when compared to commercial insurance premiums.
“Vandalia will be one of only a few cities that will be recognized at this year’s MIRMA conference for receiving a 100% score on the yearly evaluation,” said Berry.