California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) staff members were once again at the forefront of risk management trends, sharing knowledge and best practices with municipal staff and industry peers at two important conferences: the 2022 California Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO) Conference, “Discover CSMFO: Exploring our Financial Future,” and the Public Agency Risk Management Association (PARMA) 48th Conference and Expo, “The Carnivàle of Risk”.
CSMFO promotes excellence in financial management through innovation, continuing education, and professional development. The CSMFO Annual Conference, in San Diego, February 16–18, featured educational and motivational sessions, as well as networking events and an exhibit hall.
In their presentation, “Cyber Security – A Growing Risk: What You Should Know and Do,” California JPIA Finance Director Jason McBride, and Baker Hostetler Partner Scott Koller, whose practice focuses on data breach response and security compliance issues, discussed how the rapid expansion of cyber security risks—including malware, ransomware, password theft, phishing, inadvertent disclosure, and other threats—has driven change in the cyber liability insurance market. Leveraging Koller’s extensive experience in managing risks associated with data and information technology, the session challenged attendees to rethink how to protect their agencies and their systems, and what to do if their agency is the victim of an attack.
California JPIA team members were featured in several sessions at the PARMA Conference, in Anaheim, February 27–March 2. Authority session topics encompassed a wide variety of topics, including the following presentations:
- California JPIA Insurance Programs Manager Jim Thyden, along with other industry experts, presented “Evolution of Risk Management,” a leadership-level session that reviewed how the last two years have proved challenging for public entity risk managers, including the pandemic, civil unrest, and the continued impact of climate change and social inflation. Thyden discussed how risk management priorities have changed, what new risks have emerged, how the insurance marketplace is responding, and what public agencies should be concerned about for the future.
- As part of a panel presentation titled “The Mountainous Expedition of Presumption Injuries,” California JPIA Workers’ Compensation Program Manager Jeff Rush discussed the evolution of presumptive injuries: from how, in the late 1970s, the phrase “rebuttable presumption” became synonymous with workers’ compensation and specific employee classifications, and how, since then, statutes have expanded the benefits afforded and new presumptions have been added, such as PTSD and COVID.
- California JPIA Liability Program Manager Paul Zeglovitch, along with Carl Warren Liability Pool Claims Manager Chris Kustra, and Collins + Collins LLP Partner Michael Wroniak, presented “Liability Claim Reserving and Case Evaluation,” where they shared their expertise about the various means by which third party administrators and claims managers properly set reserves on liability claims and lawsuits, as well as the effect that has on finance departments, pools, and insurers. They also explained the factors that affect the valuation of claims and cases, in both litigated and non-litigated environments, and they described the most efficient way to resolve them.
- Occupational injuries continue to cause increasing costs for employers and employees in the government sector. In “How Effective Leaders Enhance Worker Safety in the Public Sector,” California JPIA Senior Risk Manager Tim Karcz, and Pismo Beach Assistant City Manager Jorge Garcia, discussed how certain leadership styles can influence occupational safety performance among employees in the public sector. They also shared insight as to how an organization’s function, objectives, employee needs, and executive management impact which leadership style is most effective.
- In “Keeping it Real: Loss Adjusting Practices and Insights,” California JPIA Senior Risk Manager Melaina Francis provided actionable insights for public agencies to use so they may develop a game plan that can be launched directly after a property loss. Francis also discussed the importance of creating a loss adjusting team so that agencies can mitigate damages and restore operations as quickly as possible after a loss.
PARMA, is an association dedicated to the professional development of California public agency risk managers and other municipal staff who support risk management in their organizations. It is guided by a cadre of volunteer leaders, including four California JPIA staff members: Workers’ Compensation Program Manager Jeff Rush, who serves as vice president; Liability Program Manager Paul Zeglovitch, who is a director; Insurance Programs Manager Jim Thyden, who is a past-president and member; and Senior Risk Manager Alex Mellor, who, along with Jim, serve as members of the conference planning committee.
“California JPIA staff members are dedicated to risk management, and their dedication shines through their leadership of organizations that support enrichment and professional development for public agency employees,” said Chief Executive Officer Jon Shull. “Our staff’s engagement on this level reinforces the Authority’s role as the preeminent municipal risk management leader in California.”
Providing innovative risk management solutions for its public agency partners for more than 40 years, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) is one of the largest municipal self-insurance pools in the state, with more than 120 member cities and other governmental agencies. Members actively participate in shaping the organization to provide important coverage for their operations. The California JPIA provides innovative risk management solutions through a comprehensive portfolio of programs and services, including liability, workers’ compensation, pollution, property, and earthquake coverage, as well as extensive training and loss control services. For more information, please visit the California JPIA’s website at cjpia.org.