“As the calendar pages turn, certain milestones compel us to pause and reflect,” said California JPIA Chief Executive Officer Alex Smith. “This month marks a significant one for our organization as we celebrate the 15-year anniversary of Paul Zeglovitch. It’s not just about the number of years, but about his incredible journey, meaningful relationships, countless contributions and stalwart support and defense of our members.”
Zeglovitch joined the California JPIA in 2008 and was promoted from liability program manager to claims and insurance director in November. He manages all aspects of the liability protection program, including the program’s third-party administrator and defense panel attorneys representing more than 20 law firms from San Diego to San Francisco.
In his new role, Zeglovitch manages the Authority’s employment assistance and intervention program. He also leads the Authority’s claims and insurance team, including Administrative Analyst Edith Aviña, Employment Practices Manager Kelly Trainer Policky, Workers’ Compensation Program Manager Jeff Rush and Insurance Programs Manager Jim Thyden. Chris Kustra, an account manager at Carl Warren & Company, supports the team. He leverages his technical knowledge of claims and litigation to present cases to the Executive Committee and represent the California JPIA during members’ council meetings.
Zeglovitch said members would benefit from the new team’s increased collaboration and collective wisdom: “By working together more formally, we can facilitate problem-solving and develop more creative solutions. I am excited to help motivate and inspire others within our organization.”
The California JPIA offers members both primary and excess liability coverage that includes bodily injury, personal injury or property damage to a third party resulting from a member activity, as well as employment practices liability. Zeglovitch supports claims management through a collaborative consultation process with members.
“The Authority’s level of involvement with the members is tremendous,” said Zeglovitch. “We support them from a liability standpoint, whether it’s legal opinions, contract review or expert evaluations. Our risk managers are essentially an extension of the members’ staff. Everyone works together to respond as quickly as possible to the members’ needs.”
Throughout each coverage period, Zeglovitch monitors the Authority’s memorandum of coverage – liability program for sections that should be considered for clarification, amendment or change. Annually, he partners with an independent auditor to review and grade the Authority’s third-party liability claims administrator’s service in investigation, reporting, litigation management, reserving and technology. The auditor analyzes the quality of the claims handling, completes a holistic overview of the program and provides recommendations for improvement.
“The audit provides a comprehensive look at the Authority’s claims management process,” he said. “It’s a good indication of how our claims were handled by our adjusters, supervisors and account manager during the year.”
As host of the California JPIA’s annual liability attorney summit, Zeglovitch moderates a forum about emerging case law, litigation strategies and liability claims trends. The summit includes representatives from the Authority’s liability third-party claims administrator, defense panel firms, business partners and Authority staff.
“Paul is the heart and soul of our liability program,” said Smith. “For a decade and a half, he has skillfully guided us through difficult litigation, nuanced and evolving case law, tough mediations and countless legal issues impacting public agencies in California. Paul’s ability to rally and lead our distinguished panel of defense attorneys and our dedicated claims management team has been nothing less than extraordinary. He works tirelessly to deliver the best possible results because he cares deeply about our members and is committed to their success. Paul is well-known for his claims management expertise and unwavering tenacity; he is also a gifted communicator. He understands the important work that needs to be done but always takes time to make personal connections along the way. Paul brings people together and doesn’t just lead; he inspires.”
Zeglovitch was also integral in creating the Authority’s employment intervention program (now known as the employment hotline), which assists members facing challenging employment action and reduces employment practices claims. The employment hotline helps members address employment matters that range from straightforward questions to complex investigations, including discipline, harassment and discrimination complaints, suspicion of criminal activity and reasonable accommodation of disabilities.
“Our employment intervention program has had some excellent results, including having people return to work and become great employees, which is the home run,” he said. “The program has grown steadily over the years and continues to be more successful year after year. We have been fortunate to partner with Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP on this endeavor for over ten years and, more recently, to add former Burke partner Kelly Trainer Policky as an Authority staff member.”
Zeglovitch presented at the Public Agency Risk Management Association (PARMA) Annual Conference earlier this year. In “Managing Employment Practices Liability Exposures – Where Do You Start?,” Zeglovitch and Carl Warren & Company Liability Pool Claims Manager Chris Kustra discussed how to prepare and train managers, conduct pre-claim collaboration with qualified counsel and litigate employment practice liability cases. The prior year, Zeglovitch, along with Kustra and Collins + Collins LLP Partner Michael Wroniak, presented “liability claim reserving and case evaluation,” sharing their expertise about how third-party administrators and claims managers set reserves on liability claims and lawsuits, as well as factors that affect the valuation of claims and cases.
Zeglovitch was a claims supervisor at Carl Warren & Company, where he worked for 16 years. He holds a B.A. in business from the State University of New York at Buffalo and is a credentialed associate in risk management, specializing in public entities. Previously a director, he now serves as secretary/treasurer for PARMA.
“We are fortunate to have Paul in our corner and immensely grateful for his knowledge and leadership,” said Smith. “We congratulate him on achieving this significant milestone and look forward to many more years of teamwork and excellent service to members.”
Providing innovative risk management solutions for its public agency partners for more than 45 years, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority (California JPIA) is one of the largest municipal self-insurance pools in the state, with more than 125 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.