Pooling Basics – Course Descriptions

 

Introduction to Pooling:
Public entity risk pools provide coverages and services to make local public entities safer, reduce claims, and ensure tens of thousands of public entities can stay focused on providing community services. Public entity pooling is a unique area of expertise. In this introductory course, learners will understand the role of a public entity risk pool, how different pools operate, and some key ways risk pools vary.

 

Claims:
Claims adjudication is the process of applying a pool’s coverage agreement to a real situation. At all times in the claims process, a pool serves both the public entity member with the claim and the pool membership as a whole. In this course, learners will examine claims as a function of public entity risk pooling.

 

Finance – Important Concepts:
Public entity pools have responsibility for complex financial transactions and member resources (which are ultimately derived from public dollars). In this first module of a two-part course, the learner will explore important baseline pooling financial concepts appropriate for all pool roles.

 

Finance – Actuaries and Audits:
Public entity pools have responsibility for complex financial transactions and member resources (which are ultimately derived from public dollars). In this second module of a two-part course, we focus on tools pools can use to determine financial viability and assure there are no material misstatements in financial documentation.

 

Risk Management:
When a pool assumes risk, it’s for a good purpose: to support public entities providing important public services. Public entity activities all include inherent risks that pools help manage. If the risks are too significant or not fully managed, public entity goals can be thwarted. In this course, learners will focus on why pools prioritize risk management for members, the key steps in risk management, and how managing risk can help pools (and members) mitigate and prevent losses.

 

Member Relations – Supporting Value:
Whether it’s a distinct role or not, member relations is a key pooling function. Pools need to facilitate conversation with pool members about their needs, emerging issues, and operations to effectively meet member expectations and differentiate public entity pools from options in the commercial market. In this course, learners will discover the goal of member relations and the variety of ways public entity pools execute this role.

 

Member Relations – Leveraging Partnerships:
Member relations is a key pooling function. In the first module of this course, Member Relations: Supporting Value, we discuss how pools need to facilitate conversations with pool members about their needs, emerging issues, and operations to effectively meet member expectations. In this second module, we identify ways marketing is used to grow pool membership and explain the basics of relationships between a pool, related membership, and agents/brokers.

 

Governance – Overview:
The legal structure of a public entity pool and the makeup of its governing body – whether referred to as directors or trustees – will dictate how a pool conducts its work. Pools have a number of foundational documents that shape their governance and operations; these documents help to ensure effective governance and influence the culture of the organization. In this two-part course, learners will examine the importance of clear, specific governing documents and the distinct roles of governance.

 

Governance – Roles and Responsibilities:
Pools operate as extensions of their member entities, which means pool members have a great degree of input and influence into key pool decisions. This influence extends through the governing body and governance decisions made by a pool.

 

Underwriting – Roles and Methods:
Underwriting is the means by which a pool generates its funding through the application of rating processes. The underwriting function also involves an assessment of risks the pool is asked to cover and the development and management of coverage documents. In this two-part course, the learner will explore the underwriter’s roles and the process for underwriting in a public entity risk pool. In this first module, the learner will focus on some basic underwriting methods commonly used by pools.

 

Underwriting – Reinsurance:
Underwriting is the means by which a pool generates its funding through the application of rating processes. The underwriting function also involves an assessment of risks the pool is asked to cover and the development and management of coverage documents. In this two-part course, the learner will explore the underwriter’s roles and the process for underwriting in a public entity risk pool. In this second module, the learner will explore the concept of reinsurance and its importance in pooling operations.

 

Employee Benefits:
Employee benefits are a critical component of personnel management for local governments and schools, including medical care, prescription drugs, dental, vision, life, short-term or long-term disability, or other ancillary employee benefits. Regardless of the degree of risk retained by a pool, pools that offer employee benefits coverage act as advocates for members, covered employees, and dependents. This course will examine the rationale for a pool offering employee benefits coverage and how some employee benefit pool operations may be unique.

 

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