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Fund 101: How Can Our Expert Staff Help You?

October 14, 2019 Kristen Pham

When you join the TASB Risk Management Fund (Fund), you gain access to the knowledge of professionals dedicated to helping you achieve excellence in education. The Fund is supported by approximately 200 TASB staff members. We have teams who help keep your schools safe, make data-driven decisions, prevent property and vehicle damage, secure quality care for injured employees, reduce costs and claims, address emerging risks, and more.

TASB staff are here to help you:

1. Get the coverage you need

The Fund was first created in 1974 as the TASB Workers’ Compensation Self-Insurance Fund (WCSIF) because there was a new legal requirement and need for public education entities to get workers’ compensation coverage. While the Fund has evolved to offer five lines of coverage, one element that has stayed the same is the responsiveness of TASB staff to member needs. Our team of underwriters ensure coverage is priced appropriately for each member based on the market and various other considerations. The underwriting team also understands that members’ needs change and regularly evaluates Fund offerings to ensure the needs are fulfilled.

“The [TASB] Risk Management Fund helps ensure that all of the district’s assets (including personnel) are well protected. To me, the blanket property coverage is crucially important, and is not something many other carriers offer,” said Sid Grant, associate superintendent at Coppell ISD.

Regionally based risk management marketing consultants communicate this coverage and are the primary contacts for members. Marketing consultants work with you through the process of obtaining and renewing coverage and help you get the most out of your membership.

2. Protect your most valuable resources

Risk solution consultants in your region help you identify potential claims and prevent them. They provide you with the training, resources, and knowledge you need to keep your facilities, vehicles, employees, and ultimately your students safe. This team can help you maintain roofs; enhance accident review processes; improve campus safety; and ultimately reduce claims. These consultants have a wide range of expertise, from fleet management to environmental health, that helps your organization reduce costs and losses. They work one-on-one with members and offer training opportunities that include webinars, on-site sessions, and presentations at industry conferences.

3. Address emerging risks

As the public education environment changes, organizations are exposed to new and unique risks. Our team of special risk consultants work with members to prevent and respond to these risks. They can help you protect your organization’s data; address legal issues such as bullying and misconduct; implement campus safety measures; and comply with workers’ compensation reporting requirements. Like risk solution consultants, special risk consultants provide in-person and online training for members.

4. Resolve claims and recover after an incident

While the goal is to prevent claims, we recognize incidents and injuries still happen. Claims adjusters help you respond to claims efficiently so that you can return to the important work of serving Texas students. Adjusters go beyond the tasks of intaking and processing claims—they also wear the hats of an investigator who asks the right questions, a liaison who consults with medical staff, and most of all, a support system for you. One aspect that differentiates TASB adjusters is that they know the education business and share the mission of educational excellence. When an incident happens, they are dedicated to helping members recover and return to normal operations.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, staff members visited with those who were impacted and provided them with the support they needed.

“While my constant communication with them via the phone was great, actually going, seeing, hugging them, and spending a few hours with them through all of this is more than any phone call could do. It builds trust, which is key in my relationship with our members,” TASB Property Claims Adjuster Kim Shelly said.

TASB adjusters respond with care and compassion in every situation. When Austin Community College Police Officer Chris Hernandez was injured on the job and he relied on his workers’ compensation adjuster, Stephanie Carby, to get him the treatment he needed.

“She cared about me, and so did her boss and her boss’ boss. That just shows how awesome [TASB] has been…I can’t believe how lucky I am to have people in my corner,” Hernandez said.

Sometimes there are third parties involved in Fund member claims. We have an in-house subrogation recovery specialist who works to ensure that the party responsible for a member’s loss covers the cost.

5. Secure quality medical care for injured employees

When an employee is injured or becomes ill on the job, it is important to help them recover and return to work. TASB has an in-house medical team that includes registered nurses and intake coordinators who process preauthorization requests from healthcare providers treating members’ injured employees. This work is completed under the oversight of a medical director, who provides guidance on complicated claims.

Workers’ Compensation members also have access to the Subdivision Workers’ Compensation Alliance (Alliance), a partnership network of five Texas risk pools (including the Fund). The Alliance maintains a network of high-quality medical providers throughout the state used by injured employees and negotiates rates to provide cost savings to Fund members. This network has been frequently recognized in the annual Texas Department of Insurance Network Report Card.

6. Make data-driven decisions

When you have the information about your risks and costs, you have the power to reduce them. Our business intelligence team provides the data needed to help Fund members and TASB staff make informed decisions. The team consists of analysts with varying specializations—including math, statistics, database administration, and public policy. They use data to drive strategy and help members understand their claim history.

7. Get the answers you need

You can contact dedicated service advisors in the Member Support Center for answers to your questions related to the Fund by calling 800.482.7276 or emailing inquiry@tasbrmf.org. The advisors can also be reached by a live chat on select pages of the Fund website. They have been trained on several risk management topics to ensure they can help as much as possible and connect you to the right resources.

A heart for education

Since the Fund is administered by TASB, members have access to staff who understand school policies, legal requirements, school district human resources and financial operations, and school board operations. First and foremost, TASB staff want to help members and support educational excellence. Since the Fund was founded in 1974, it has continued to be more than insurance, backed by professionals who have a passion for education. The Fund is also governed by a Board of Trustees that include Texas school board members, superintendents, and school business officials who help make policy and strategy decisions that support the Fund’s mission.

Visit the Fund website for more information about the resources we offer to members.

Tagged: coverage, "Fund Basics", "Fund membership"