In This Issue


We've Moved!

COVID-19 Resources through PE Partners’ Local Gov Risk Academy

COVID-19 Patient Disclosure to Law Enforcement Agencies

Renewal Applications

Motor Vehicle & Driver Safety Loss Control Guideline

2020 Risk & Insurance Symposium

Amanda Shrum Promoted to CFO

Message from the President - April 2020

Our commitment to local governments during the COVID-19 crisis

The month of April has brought challenges our state and nation have not faced in recent history. As we shared last month, Public Entity Partners is proud to stand with our members as they provide critical essential services to Tennessee’s citizens. We have gathered resources that are aimed at assisting members as they navigate this uncertain time. In addition to focusing on the COVID-19 response, we continue to push forward with fulfilling our mission to our membership.

The mission of Public Entity Partners is to passionately provide the very best
in risk management products and services, expert claims administration
and comprehensive insurance options with absolute integrity.

Throughout this time, Public Entity Partners continues to look for ways to ensure we are responsive to our members’ needs. We recognize the impact that the pandemic is going to have on local government revenues and we are committed to working with our members.

Because of this impact, any member needing special consideration on invoices that are due is encouraged to reach out to our finance department or your underwriter. If your organization would like to switch your premium payment to installments, installment fees will be waived for the period of 4/1/2020 through 3/31/2021.

As our state begins to return to our new normal in the coming weeks, opportunities to gather will be a welcome change. In this newsletter, you will find information about our 5th Annual Risk & Insurance Symposium. Our hope is that you will be inspired by the symposium sessions that are slated to be offered. If you have not attended our previous symposiums, this annual event is a three-day educational and networking opportunity that aims to help participants refocus their safety efforts and learn about emerging risk management issues. Each year, we are privileged to bring national and state risk management leaders to this event to share their insights with our members. Please mark your calendars now!

Much attention has been focused over the past six weeks on local governments’ response to COVID-19, but there are numerous other vital services that are provided as you continue to serve your communities. While many citizens have been driving less over the past several weeks, driver safety is still an important factor in the delivery of essential services from our local governments. Please take a few moments to refresh yourself on this crucial component in your entity’s safety program.

Stay safe,

Charles DeMore signature

Charles DeMore
President / CEO




 

We’ve Moved!

Public Entity Partners’ corporate headquarters has moved.

Please note our new address:

Public Entity Partners
562 Franklin Road, Suite 200
Franklin, TN 37069

If you are sending underwriting applications, claims correspondence, or other updates and information, please use our new mailing address.

All mail has been forwarded through the post office, but if you experience a delayed response on something you have mailed, please reach out to our office so that we can assist you.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, our staff is working remotely. To expedite the handling of any claims, we are asking all members to utilize our online portal. To sign up for the portal, please visit our website.

For invoice payments, please continue to use the address provided on your invoice. Our bank provides a secured payment lockbox.

Public Entity Partners — Payments
PO Box 116553
Atlanta, GA 30368-6553

Our phone and fax numbers will remain the same.

800.624.9698 (office phone)
615.371.0049 (office phone)
615.377.3067 (main fax line)

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COVID-19 Resources through PE Partners’ Local Gov Risk Academy

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, PE Partners’ loss control department has worked to provide additional resources to aid our members and their employees. Along with the existing courses available through our Local Gov Risk Academy, members have access to 23 additional training videos to assist with planning for and responding to the current pandemic. Many of the videos are aimed at law enforcement and first responders.

Topics include:

  • CDC recommendations for law enforcement
  • Application of HIPPA rules and information sharing for law enforcement
  • Legal authority of law enforcement during a state of emergency
  • Sample communicable diseases policy and implementation guide
  • Interim departmental directive frameworks for police and fire
  • Emergency management plan procedures
  • FEMA fundamentals of risk management
  • COVID-19 checklist for law enforcement administrators

The full course listing for Local Gov Risk Academy can be found here. The online training and course content provided through Local Gov Risk Academy is powered through the LocalGovU training platform.

Training Access for Registered Members
Access to training has already been granted for registered members and Local Gov Risk Academy account holders. If your entity is already registered, your learning administrator may visit the landing page, sign in and assign courses for your employees to complete.

Need to Register?
Members who have not established an account for themselves or their entity may find more information about Local Gov Risk Academy on our website and register for access to the training platform. Requests for training access will be granted once your account has been verified, usually within 24 to 48 hours. A LocalGovU customer success representative will reach out to connect once your account has been verified.

LocalGovU will also assist you in adding additional personnel to this account, and courses will be made available to all users listed. Account administrators will have access to run reports, create assignments and more!

Questions/Support
If you need assistance, call 866-845-8887 or email us at PublicEntityPartners@localgovu.com. A customer success representative is available during standard business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST), and can assist with any program questions or technical issues.

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COVID-19 Patient Disclosure to Law Enforcement Agencies

The Tennessee Department of Health recently provided a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), accompanying letter and sample employee non-disclosure agreement to the state’s law enforcement agencies. The MOU allows the Department of Health to disclose a list of positive COVID-19 patients within your jurisdiction, as requested by Gov. Lee.

The patient list is being provided to law enforcement professionals because of the health and safety risks posed to first responders, as well as concerns over the health of incarcerated populations. This disclosure has very specific uses and limitations, along with penalties if your organization fails to follow proper procedures for the use and eventual destruction of the information.

The Department of Health has encouraged anyone who intends to execute the MOU to carefully review the provisions and requirements with local counsel before signing

The HHS’ Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on the circumstances in which legal disclosure of protected health information of an individual infected with, or exposed to, COVID-19 may be provided to first responders and public health authorities. Click here for more information. Additional information about HIPAA is available in this HIPAA Guide for Law Enforcement. For more resources on disclosures for law enforcement purposes, visit the HHS website.

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Renewal Applications

When the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions start to be lifted and we begin returning to the normal routine of our daily lives, all of us at PE Partners stand ready to assist you.

For many of our members, July 1 marks the date annual liability, property or workers’ compensation policy renewals become effective. As we shared in February, providing the right coverage for your organization is important to us. Our underwriting department carefully evaluates each member’s operational exposures to provide you with the most complete coverage.

Since insurance is a contract, we frequently stress the importance of understanding your coverage document and all schedules and endorsements. Reading the insuring agreements and actively making choices about how your coverage is structured are key factors in obtaining the best coverage for your organization.

In order to provide you with any needed quotes for deductibles or limits, your renewal applications must be submitted to our underwriting department 45 days prior to the effective date on your policy. Any changes in limits, deductibles or optional coverages may not be possible at renewal if applications are received after that time.

PE Partners’ member services department is available to assist you and your local agent with completing your renewal applications. This assistance can be provided in-person or through conference calls. Please reach out to your regional member services team member for more information.

 

East Tennessee
Wayne Anderson
WAnderson@PEpartners.org

Middle Tennessee
Callie Westerfield
CWesterfield@PEpartners.org

West Tennessee
Celeste Taylor
CTaylor@PEpartners.org

Additional copies of your applications can be obtained by contacting:
Anna Mai
Underwriting Clerk
AMai@PEpartners.org
800.624.9698

 

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Motor Vehicle & Driver Safety Loss Control Guideline

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of accident and injury in the workforce, including local governments, whose employees drive thousands of miles serving citizens across our state. From emergency services to public transportation services and roadway maintenance, keeping local government employees safe while on the road is always an important goal.

Typically, the month of April is recognized as Distracted Driving Awareness Month through the National Safety Council. Although this year’s campaign was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the dangers of car crashes should not be overlooked.

The National Safety Council provides some staggering facts pertaining to car crashes:

  • Car crashes are the #1 cause of workplace deaths
  • Distracted driving is a leading factor in road fatalities
  • 94% of car crashes are caused by driver error

PE Partners’ loss control department offers a Motor Vehicle & Driver Safety Loss Control Guideline that is available through our online portal. A key recommendation of this guideline is to establish a motor vehicle and driver safety program for your entity’s employees.

A basic written policy for motor vehicle and driver safety should address:

  • Driver selection
  • Driver training
  • Fleet inspection and maintenance
  • Accident reporting procedures
  • Accident review
  • Cell phone usage
  • Take-home vehicles

One of the most important components of this program is the selection of drivers. Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) checks should be included in background checks for new hires in positions that require driving, whether it’s your organization’s vehicles or personal vehicles used for official business. Another important component is a written policy requiring seat belts to be worn by all drivers, regardless of any exemptions that may be provided in state or federal law.

Additional tools that can help monitor the effectiveness of your program include real-time vehicle telematics to monitor driver behavior, and vehicle diagnostics designed to improve driver and fleet safety, thereby reducing accidents and fatalities.

To help offset costs associated with driver training, telematics, or other purchases designed to reduce vehicle accidents, PE Partners offers the James L Richardson Driver Safety Grant, available each October. This is a 50/50 matching grant that can be utilized to cover 100% of the costs associated with MVR checks (up to member eligibility amounts).

If you would like a copy of the Motor Vehicle & Driver Safety Loss Control Guideline or have questions about how you can improve your fleet risk management program, please reach out to your regional casualty loss control consultant.

East Tennessee
Judy Housley
JHousley@PEpartners.org

Middle Tennessee
Chester Darden
CDarden@PEpartners.org

West Tennessee
Paul Chambliss
PChambliss@PEpartners.org

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2020 Risk & Insurance Symposium

Preliminary agenda and registration information is available for PE Partners’ 2020 Risk & Insurance Symposium, scheduled for Aug. 19 - 21 at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs.

While numerous continuing education opportunities typically available to local governments throughout the spring have been cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 virus, we hope to be able to move forward with the Risk & Insurance Symposium in August. This annual event offers sessions related to risk management, cyber liability, workers’ compensation and employment practices liability. The symposium is a great opportunity to renew your organization’s focus on safety and risk management, and learn from industry leaders.

A room block at Franklin Marriott Cool Springs has been reserved, with a negotiated conference room rate of $157 per night. Once the block is full, the Marriott will charge per-night room rates based on market rates, so please reserve your room early.

During the symposium, participants are invited to attend the Excellence in Risk Management Awards Lunch, where we will honor PE Partners members who exemplify excellence, innovation and commitment to the risk and insurance field. Please visit our event website for more information about the awards and the nomination form, and to register and view the agenda for the symposium.

For additional information or answers to any questions about this event, please contact Halie Gallik at 800.624.9698 or hgallik@PEpartners.org.

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Amanda Shrum Promoted to CFO

Public Entity Partners’ commitment to financial soundness ensures that we are here to serve our members for many years to come. When our members came together to form Public Entity Partners 40 years ago, they recognized the importance of creating a mechanism for protecting themselves from the impact that lawsuits, automobile accidents and other claims could have on their budgets.

Our finance department is tasked with safeguarding the integrity of our financial statements and our day-to-day operations, which ensures we are able to pay claims and keep our organization running. Effective March 1, Amanda Shrum was promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and will be leading the department.

“Providing stability and security to members is important for our organization, and I am proud to help achieve that goal,” Amanda says. “I am excited about the opportunity to serve as CFO and appreciate the trust that has been placed in me. In working with our members over the past 11 years, I have developed a great appreciation for the different governmental entities that are PE Partners’ members and the various ways they serve the citizens of Tennessee.”

Amanda earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Middle Tennessee State University. She has worked in various capacities in accounting, and began her career as an unemployment auditor with the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development. Amanda joined the PE Partners team as Controller in June 2009. In that role, she became very knowledgeable about our organization’s financial systems and operations, and has helped position the company for a strong financial future.

Amanda has been an active CPA in Tennessee for the last 14 years and is a member of the Tennessee Society of CPAs. She is an avid long-distance runner and recently became a first-time grandmother. She is a native of Gallatin and continues to live there with her family.

Please join us in congratulating Amanda on her new role!

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