The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) created the Liability and Property Pool in 1986. At that time, insurance rates were escalating rapidly, and the traditional insurance market could not provide the coverages needed to meet county-specific needs. Certain types of coverages were either priced too high or were entirely unavailable for local governments. The Pool was created to help counties jointly manage this risk and prevent future insurance market changes from creating havoc on county budgets.
Association staff manages the day-to-day operations of the Pool. Third-party administrator Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. (SCMS) processes the Pool’s claims, providing prompt and responsive service under the oversight of Association staff and the Pool’s Board of Trustees. In 1986, the Pool began with 16 members. Today, the NCACC Property and Liability Pool is the premier property and liability carrier for county governments, representing 104 members (74 counties and 30 entities) statewide.
About the Risk Management Pools
The Pools are governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of county commissioners and county management staff responsible for the Pool’s strategic direction.
As overseers of a joint non-profit agency, the Board’s focus is on meeting the long-term needs of Pool members, the sustainability of its programs, and minimum variance in costs from year to year.
Trustees are appointed to three-year terms by the NCACC President. Should a trustee vacate their seat on the Board, the NCACC President will appoint a county official to complete their term’s unexpired portion.
Trustees must represent a participating member county.
Direction and authority are granted at quarterly meetings of the Board of Trustees, based on staff recommendations and individual members’ feedback.
Membership is open to all counties and certain other county-related entities.
County entities must also receive some budgetary funding from an NCACC member, formally apply for membership, and comply with the Interlocal Agreement. In addition, member entities must be consistent in their exposures to losses, and they are very similar in scope to those of the county government.
The Pool’s package policy provides multiple lines of coverage in one policy. Specifically, these coverages are Property, General Liability, Automobile Liability, Auto Physical Damage, Crime, Public Officials Liability, Law Enforcement Liability, Employment Practice Liability, and Cyber Liability.
The Pool has created its coverage documents to meet the specific needs of the counties.
These coverage documents are reviewed annually for needed coverage enhancements based on claim issues and specific member needs, as well as for clarity.
Members’ contributions are experience rated, which means that a member’s own loss experience influences the contributions it will pay. This rewards a member whose risk control activities have yielded reduced losses and provides an incentive for members to initiate new efforts to control their liability and property losses. Members that choose to take advantage of a variety of available deductible options can realize additional savings.
Rates may also be reduced through upfront discounts and other considerations, as determined by the Board of Trustees.
- Safety Credit – Each County member has an assigned Risk Control Specialist who will conduct a biennial survey of each member county’s safety programs and policies. The credit earned through the member’s efforts to promote safe practices is then applied to their annual contribution for the next two years.
- Multi-Pool Discount – Counties and county entities that belong to both the Liability & Property and the Workers Compensation Pools receive a credit against their total annual contribution based on their number of full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) at the time of renewal.
- Longevity Bonus – In the Fall of 2017, the staff was directed by the Board of Trustees to develop a method to reward long-time continuous multi-pool county Members for their loyalty. Counties that have remained members of both Pools for at least five years attain Super Member status and will be rewarded with a Longevity Bonus based on the length of time they stay a Super Member. Members may double their Longevity Bonus through meeting specific, measurable requirements, actively interacting, and engaging with available NCACC Risk Management Services.
To ensure that funds are available to meet the financial demands of claims and expenses, rates, and loss reserves, we are reviewed twice a year by an accredited actuarial firm. We further require an annual financial audit by a reputable Certified Public Accountant firm to safeguard the Pool financially sound and maintain adequate reserves for paying losses.
Real and personal property is regularly appraised at no cost to participating members. This Pool provides access to detailed reports that document values to ensure sufficient coverage limits for replacement cost (or reproduction cost for historic properties, if listed on the National Historical Register and appraised on a reproduction cost basis).
Boiler and air tank inspections and certifications are done free of charge on request through a single, nationwide Inspection Hotline to comply with the Equipment Breakdown portion of the property coverage.
The Pool has a network of property adjusters across the state to respond to any property losses and specialized CAT teams to assist in major disasters through Sedgwick CMS.
Assistance is available to members on risk management issues regarding coverages, deductibles, contracts, limits, and expense allocations.
The Pools have an on-staff General Counsel with extensive experience in county-specific issues.
Pooling is a means of risk-sharing among members. While pooling is technically not insurance, instead a method to self-insure the first layer of a covered loss, the Pools purchase reinsurance coverage to limit the financial impact of severe or frequent losses.
Proactive risk management and loss control activities include concentrated attention to reducing exposures related to the operation of emergency vehicles and law enforcement detention centers with an emphasis on policy and procedures.
Members have access free of charge to a wide range of risk control services that continue being developed, initiated, and expanded:
- The Human Resources Legal Helpline provides specific legal advice when employment-related decisions with legal implications need to be made promptly.
- The Cyber Liability Portal acts as both a vehicle to report and quickly get help when a data breach occurs and also serves as a valuable information source on all aspects of cyber risk.
- Our online training management program, CountyCollege, has been expanded to give Members free access to more than 300 online courses while simultaneously providing a platform for county management to assign, evaluate, and track all employee training.
- Members continue to enjoy free access to 150+ CountyFlix videos and an online library of Best Practices handouts, training presentations, policy manuals, and policy templates.
- Each member’s assigned Risk Control Specialists can conduct on-site training on a wide range of risk control issues, evaluate each member’s premises and safety initiatives, and assist in developing safety practices, policies, and protocols.
- A Law Enforcement Risk Control Specialist assists county Sheriffs and Jail Administrators statewide in addressing law enforcement risk issues and exposures.
- The FitResponder™ program and it’s Injury Free University provides valuable on-site and online training to address soft-tissue strain and sprain injuries within county First Responder agencies.
- Litigation Management
It is the NCACC Liability & Property Pool policy to provide its Members prompt, high quality, cost-effective legal representation.
When losses do occur, comprehensive guidelines have been put in place to ensure we utilize the very best legal counsel to provide seasoned, specialized representation on your behalf when and where it counts the most.
During the last 39+ years, no standard profit-oriented insurance carrier has defended more county-related liability cases in the State of North Carolina than the NCACC Governmental Risk Pools.