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Mission & History

The mission of Alaska Public Entity Insurance is to provide our members with stable, affordable insurance, broad insurance coverage, and effective risk management services to ensure that maximum funds are available for local government and education programs. APEI is recognized by the Association of Governmental Risk Pools (AGRiP).

ASIC Organizes to Meet the Needs of Alaskan Schools

The Association of Alaska School Boards (AASB) responded to the school property insurance crisis in Alaska by creating the Alaska Schools Insurance Company (ASIC) in 1986 as a Vermont captive insurance company, providing quality property insurance to Alaska’s school districts.

ASIC Reorganizes as APEI and Expands to Include Cities and Boroughs

  • ASIC reorganized by closing its Vermont captive insurance entity and reincorporating as an Alaskan nonprofit Joint Insurance Arrangement under the name of Alaska Public Entity Insurance (APEI).
  • As APEI, the program expanded to include cities and boroughs and to add liability, automobile, and workers’ compensation to the coverages available to our members.
  • Long-time risk management consultant John Haywood was named Executive Director of the newly formed APEI.
  • In 2001, APEI received advisory standards certification from the Association of Governmental Risk Pools (AGRiP), which recognized APEI’s professionalism. APEI has been re-certified by AGRiP every three years since.

APEI Focuses on Financial Stability and Loss Control

  • Added loss control professionals to the APEI team to assist members to actively participate in loss reduction activities to reduce losses and help offset insurance costs.  Services evolved to include premium credit and grant programs, which reward members for engaging in loss control activities, and the development of loss control training seminars, on-line training programs, and site risk assessment visits.
  • Achieved financial profitability by working closely with the company’s actuary to better estimate costs of losses and administration, and by adapting to change, continuing proven programs, and modifying those that did not contribute to profitability.
  • Expanded our coverage offerings to include Student Accident, Volunteer Medical, Marine, and Aviation liability pass through coverages
  • Executive Director John Haywood retired in 2003; Jeff Bush appointed as Executive Director.

APEI Continues to Grow and Expand Services

  • Added dividend program to distribute excess earnings to members.
  • Added cyber liability coverage for all members.
  • Continued to expand loss control offerings, including a monthly webinar series on a variety of loss control topics and the introduction of HR consulting services.
  • Contracted with Willis Pooling Practice as our excess insurance brokers, resulting in improved coverage at lower costs.
  • In 2015, Claims Director Brad Thompson appointed as Executive Director, replacing Jeff Bush who retired after 12 years with APEI.

APEI Moves Forward into a New Era

  • Continued to grow our membership, which now includes 34 school districts and charter schools, and 39 municipalities, boroughs, water/sewer projects, and other municipal organizations.
  • Executive Director Brad Thompson retired in 2017; Barbara Thurston, APEI’s Risk Administrator and long-time Actuary named Executive Director.

APEI Team

Barbara Thurston

Executive Director

Carleen Mitchell

Administrative Manager

Kyle Hardin

Property/Casualty Claims Manager

Jessica Garrett

Workers’ Compensation Claims Manager

Buffy Blais

Workers’ Compensation Claims Examiner II

Cole Cummins

Loss Control Manager

Julie McBrien

Data Analyst

Chris Luck

Professional Administrative Assistant

Board of Directors

Mark Vink, Bering Strait School District, Board Chair
Stephen Giesbrecht, Petersburg Borough, Vice Chair
Terry Eubank, City of Kenai
Phillip Zavadil, City of St. Paul
Pamela Roope, Wrangell Public Schools
Troy Tankersley, City of Wasilla
Laura Hylton, Lake and Peninsula School District
Dave Herbert, Saint Mary’s City School District
Norm Wooten, Association of Alaska School Boards
Brad Thompson, At-Large
Open, At-Large

Thank you to our entire Board of Directors who faithfully volunteer their time to assure that the mission of APEI continues.

Brokers

APEI works with licensed insurance brokers to assure our members get the most appropriate coverage and best service. We can work with any licensed Alaska broker, but the below list reflects the brokers we currently are working with.

Alliant Insurance
Alliant Insurance
Marsh & McLennan Agency
Marsh & McLennan Agency
Chilkoot - Gateway Insurance
Chilkoot - Gateway Insurance
Parker, Smith, and Feek
Parker, Smith, and Feek
Combs Insurance Agency
Combs Insurance Agency
Petersburg - Wrangell Insurance
Petersburg - Wrangell Insurance
Davies-Barry
Davies-Barry
RISQ Consulting
RISQ Consulting
Hale & Associates
Hale & Associates
Shattuck & Grummett Insurance
Shattuck & Grummett Insurance
Brown Agency
Brown Agency
Venneberg Insurance
Venneberg Insurance

Partners

Willis Re Pooling, Broker
– Mary Wray, Sr. Vice President
– Stephen Romero, Vice President

Willis Re Pooling
– Rick Hudson, Sr. Risk Control Consultant

VRS VeriClaim, Property Adjuster
– Joe Lakich, Regional General Adjuster

Vanguard Institutional Advisory Services
– Nick Piccarreta, Investment Consultant

Bickmore, Accounting
– Jim Elledge, Director of Financial Services, Principal

Max E. Mertz, CPA & Advisor
– Max Mertz, CPA

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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.

More information about our loss control offerings can be found here:  http://www.akpei.com/Education/LossControlMaterial.aspx.

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. APEI recommended brokers.  You may also find it helpful to talk with other Public Entity managers that you work with to get their recommendations.

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 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.

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.