County Commission | The Magazine August 2018 - Page 19

FROM THE COVER q PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE: INSURANCE r ACCA tailors insurance for counties F inancial concerns have formed a common bond uniting Alabama counties since they formally organized as an association in 1929. Working together on money matters has taken many shapes, and insurance has been a major element for more than 40 years. The self-funded insurance programs for workers’ compensation and liability coverage have flourished, with expansion into property insurance in just the last few years. Now, as the Association enters its 90th year, the programs are breaking new ground again – for the betterment of counties – as they transition into self-administration. The history of ACCA’s insurance services can be traced back to the mid-1970s. County budgets were taking a beating from the volatile commercial insurance market, and leaders persuaded the Alabama Legislature to pass a law authorizing counties to set up a self- funded insurance program for workers’ compensation coverage. A total of 33 counties joined during the first year, ©TAlex – with a combined premium of just more than $420,000. A decade later when counties faced similar challenges with liability coverage, the Legislature consented for counties to organize another insurance program. Today, more than 60 counties participate in one or more of these self-funded programs. Because these are self-funded programs, there is a long tradition of returning dollars to members when it makes good sense financially to do so. In April of this year, checks totaling $2,333,550 went out to counties and county-related entities that participate in the programs. The money represented participation in the Safety Incentive Discount Program and a return of investment earnings based on participation and claims experience. Beginning in 2019, the Association will self- 711 East Hobbs Street • Athens, Alabama 35611 Transportation Engineering Geotechnical Engineering Construction Materials Testing Aviation, Civil, and Municipal Engineering Surveying and Land Development Facilities Management and Operations COUNTY COMMISSION | 19