How does a Pool differ from an Insurance Company?
A Pool is a cooperative arrangement among Public Entities that works much like an insurance company. Pool members pay a premium, receive coverage, and make claims. Pools specialize in a particular type of member (Public Entities in Alaska, in APEI’s case) and have particular expertise in meeting the insurance and risk management needs of these members.
What services does APEI offer in addition to providing insurance coverage?
APEI is very involved in “Loss Control”, and works with its members to reduce the number of accidents, property damage, and lawsuits. The pool provides both in-person and online training classes for members’ employees in subjects as diverse as OSHA compliance, sexual harassment prevention, and disaster recovery. In most cases, these courses are offered at no cost to the member.
APEI also offers on-site loss control visits to its members, which provide an opportunity for additional training, as well as safety inspections of the member’s facilities. Members participating in loss control training or other activities can see substantial savings in their premium costs as a reflection of the value of these activities.
In addition, APEI offers free legal advice to members on an annual basis, and safety grants to help with playground improvements and other needs.
More information about our loss control offerings can be found here: http://www.akpei.com/Education/LossControlMaterial.aspx.
I like what I’ve learned about APEI. How do I get a quote for insurance coverage?
APEI works exclusively with Insurance Producers, or Brokers, who work with the Public Entity and with APEI to help make sure our insurance program is the best choice for you, and that none of your coverage needs fall through the cracks.
Your first step in getting a quote for coverage from APEI is to contact a broker, who will work with you to submit the necessary information. In most cases, APEI can give you a quote for insurance based on information you may have already submitted to another company on their application – you don’t need to duplicate the information on an APEI application.
I talked with someone from APEI at a conference, and am interesting in learning more about your insurance programs. How do I get more information?
Alaska Public Entity Insurance (APEI) is a “Joint Insurance Arrangement” or “Pool” writing insurance coverage for School Districts, Municipalities, and similar Public Entities in Alaska. Public Entities in Alaska are all the pool writes. The pool has over 25 years of experience in helping to meet its members’ insurance needs.
The pool provides Property, Liability, Automobile, and Workers’ Compensation coverage, and can help you procure coverage for other types of risks, such as Student Accident, Aviation, and Marine.
Our website has some general information about the services provided. We would be happy to talk to you if you have more questions. You can find contact information for us at http://akpei.com/About/Staff.aspx.
Doesn’t it cost a lot of extra money to hire a broker?
Not necessarily. Many insurance companies or pools work through brokers, while some do not. The final premium is frequently similar whether or not a broker is involved in the transaction, and APEI feels that using a broker adds a lot of value to both the member and to APEI.
I don’t have a broker. How do I find one?
There are a number of brokers around the state that work with public entities, and we can suggest some names to you if you are interested (http://www.akpei.com/About/Brokers.aspx). You may also find it helpful to talk with other Public Entity managers that you work with to get their recommendations.
My entity’s fiscal year starts on July 1. How early do I need to get started on the process if I am interested in getting a quote for insurance for next year?
Most of the Entities APEI writes have a fiscal year starting on July 1. All of the pool's policies become effective on July 1. If you have a current policy with another company that expires before then, APEI is able to issue a short-term policy to bring your renewal date to July 1.
If you are currently insured by another pool, you likely are required to give six months’ notice that you are considering shopping your account. You can do that by simply sending a letter to your current carrier by December 31 saying that you are soliciting quotes from other companies – such a letter does not obligate you to change companies, it simply gives you the option to shop around.
It is possible that your Entity has signed a multi-year agreement with your current carrier, committing to renewing your existing policy for several years. While it is generally possible to get out of such an agreement, it can be expensive to do so, and most Entities prefer to wait for their multi-year agreement to expire before looking for other coverage.