In This Issue​​


Congratulations to Bill Hammon!

TGTLA and Public Entity Partners's Catastrophic Medical Coverage

Workers' Compensation Audits

40 Happiest Cities in Tennessee



 

Tennessee Trivia:

Q: What famous "haunt" did Andrew Jackson write about in his diary?

A: Click here for the answer

 

Message from the President 
 
Dawn.jpg
Old Man Winter has arrived early and with a bang! Last November, we were dealing with spring-like thunderstorms and tornados. This year, we are experiencing record-low temperatures and light snow.
 
I would like to share an interesting article that I ran across. I am sure we can all relate to it in some fashion.
 
AFTERTHOUGHTS AND REGRETS …
 
How often have you said or done something and then later, reflecting on your action, thought to yourself, "How could I have done that?"
 
  Here are some afterthoughts which, unfortunately, too many of us have experienced:
 
     · "That's how we've always done it before." (… before the accident occurred,
        anyway.)
 
     · "I never thought that a little bolt dropped from that distance would cause so much
        bleeding."  (I should have worn a hard hat, I guess.)
 
     · "If I had taken that first aid/CPR course, I probably could have helped him." (… and
        chances are, he would still be here.)
 
     · "I should have taken care of that board with the projecting rusty nails earlier." (Now,
        I have to take off work to get a tetanus shot.)
 
     · "Wow, I never realized that a fire could get out of control so fast." (If I'd called the
        fire department before trying to put it out myself, I might still have a place to work
       tomorrow.)
 
     · "I know they were always preaching that we should lift with the leg muscles instead
       of the back muscles." (What the heck is a herniated disk?)
 
     · "For few more dollars, I could have bought safety shoes." (That deep cut in the toe
       section ruined my new work boots, and this broken toe still hurts.)
 
     · "My safety glasses were in the tool box, but I was just going to grind off this one little
        piece." (I wonder if they'll still let me drive with only one eye?)
 
Any of this sound familiar? They say hindsight is the only perfect science, but foresight could have avoided these incidents, misfortunes and regrets.
 
  Let us all have no regrets!
 
  Please read below to see the great things happening around the state. You will also find
  one article that is important to your coverage provided by Public Entity Partners, along with another article
  that has premium considerations.
 
  Stay safe … and warm!
 
  Best Regards, 

Dawn R. Crawford, President



Congratulations to Bill Hammon! 


BillHammon.jpgBill Hammon, Alcoa’s assistant city manager, was recently honored by Gov. Bill Haslam with Tennessee’s highest honor, “Colonel, Aide de Camp, Governor’s Staff.”
 

This designation is awarded to Tennessee citizens for outstanding achievement at the request of a member of the Tennessee General Assembly. The award is equivalent to actual military commissions, and recipients are commissioned as full colonel.
 
Hammon was recognized in part due to his selection as southeast regional vice president of the International City Management Association (ICMA) and his appointment to the ICMA International Executive Board.
Sen. Doug Overbey, who sponsored Hammon’s review by the governor, presented Hammon with the distinct honor at the Alcoa Board of Commissioners’ meeting in October.


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TGTLA and Public Entity Partners's Catastrophic Medical Coverage

The Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act was first enacted in 1973 in an attempt to balance the needs of individuals recovering from injury or damage negligently caused by a governmental entity with the necessity of offering financial protection for these governmental entities to ensure continued provision of public services to their citizens.
 
TCA Section 29-20-403(b)(2)A provides financial protection for both local governments and taxpayers through the monetary limits that apply to governmental entities in Tennessee State Court. These limits have been raised over the years to the following current amounts:
 
·         $300,000 — Bodily injury or death of any one person in any one accident, occurrence or act.
·         $700,000 — Bodily injury or death of all persons in any one accident, occurrence or act.
·         $100,000 — Property damage for harm to or destruction of property of others in any one
                        accident, occurrence or act.
 
The question that frequently arises is: What happens when the tort limit is not enough to cover the medical costs of a severely injured person or persons?
 
Public Entity Partners’s Board of Directors asked that same question in 2002 and, in response, formulated the “Catastrophic Medical Coverage” that is a part of Public Entity Partners’s general and auto liability policy. Arising out of the tragic NASCAR Café incident in downtown Nashville, our board of directors recognized a need for coverage for these types of events. This terrible accident cost one man his life and severely burned two tourists from the state of Washington. In this case, the tort limits were not sufficient to cover the medical expenses of the individuals who experienced burns. The state legislature, at that time, passed legislation allowing special dispensation to cover the medical costs. It was clear to our board that Public Entity Partners wanted to be prepared if such a catastrophe ever happened to one of our members. 
 
Under Public Entity Partners’s Catastrophic Medical Coverage, if a tort claim reaches half of the tort limit in medical expenses, Catastrophic Medical Coverage is triggered. This additional $1 million coverage for medical expenses only is paid directly to the medical provider(s) to cover those costs. 
 
In the more than 10 years since our board created this specialized coverage, we have NEVER exhausted our Catastrophic Medical Coverage on a single claim. Collectively, our members have had fewer than 10 events that reached a catastrophic nature in terms of medical costs. In ALL cases, our catastrophic coverage has been more than adequate to cover these claims.
 
Do you have questions about Public Entity Partners’s Catastrophic Medical Coverage? Please contact your underwriter for more information.


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Workers' Compensation Audits

Once a year, audits are performed on our members’ workers’ compensation coverage. At this time, auditors analyze, review and compare the estimated sum of annual payroll projections (which are reported by the member at the time of application) to the actual sum of payroll totals for the year.
 
If the audit reveals that a member’s estimated payroll exceeds the actual payroll, the member will receive a credit. The converse of this is also true. If the auditor finds that payroll estimations are lower than actual totals for the year, the organization will receive an invoice for the difference.
 
Many variances cannot be foreseen at the time of application (such as an employee on medical leave); however, there are several factors that members can consider that may help alleviate these “audit surprises.” For example:
 
1.     Proper classification of employees
 
Each workers’ compensation classification code has its own rate for the purpose of calculating premiums. Be sure to classify all employees in the correct payroll classifications. If you are not sure about where they should be classified, contact your underwriter here at Public Entity Partners.
 
However, you should never deliberately misclassify an employee. Think about the nature of the job that particular employee is doing, not necessarily the department in which he/she falls under. An example of this might be a clerk working in an auto repair shop. The clerk’s job is to provide proper clerical support for all repairs and services performed on company vehicles. He or she is not physically performing repairs/maintenance. It might appear logical to classify this employee under code 8380 for Automobile Repair Shop staff; however, the nature of this employee’s job falls under Clerical Office, code 8810, which has a much lower associated risk and will return a lower premium paid for this employee’s position.
2.     Payroll separation — keep detailed payroll records
Many times, an employee can be classified under two or more classification codes, depending on the nature of the job. This allows for payroll separation among the different classifications. Proper documentation to support payroll separation is required. This includes detailed payroll records documenting the number of hours each employee spends in each separately classified activity. Failure to provide adequate payroll records will result in the total payroll being placed in the higher classification.
3.      Plan for temporary/seasonal help
 
Staffing requirements, such as the need for hourly employees or the number of personnel needed, can increase/decrease during certain seasons for some departments. Parks and Recreation may find a need to increase staff and/or hours in the summer months, while winter months may require additional help for street cleaning. Remember to plan for these fluctuations in seasonal staff needs when filling out your application.
 
4.      Certificates of insurance for contract workers
 
Should your organization employ subcontractors during the year, it is imperative to obtain a certificate of insurance to show coverage for workers’ compensation-related incidents. If your organization does not obtain and keep record of certificates of insurance from all subcontractors, the auditor will place these workers under your payroll totals. As a result, you will be charged the premium rate on each subcontractor by job classification.
 
5.      Expansion needs
 
Adding employees due to increased labor demands or promoting an employee from part-time to full-time status are two examples of factors that can affect your workers' compensation premium. If possible, try to plan for any upcoming expansion needs.
 
6.      At application time, review previous audits
 
It is always a good practice to review audit papers from prior years when filling out a renewal application. It's helpful to know how your employees have been categorized in previous years to help ensure they are categorized correctly in the upcoming audit. Many of the variances we see happen consecutively year after year. Look into the reasons why your organization was either charged a premium balance or given a premium credit, and try to make those adjustments to prevent “audit surprises” on the next application.
 
If you have questions about audit details, proper classification codes for employees or any other application concerns, our underwriting department is here to help. Contact us anytime at 800-624-9698.


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According to CreditDonkey, Tennessee has become a hotspot for retirees, with a low cost of living and that good ole Southern appeal.  The evaluation was based on information from the U.S. Census and the FBI Uniform Crime Report.  The criteria included:
 
              1. Restaurants
              2. Crime rate
              3. Commute
              4. Departure time
              5. Income
              6. Divorce rate
              7. Housing
 
 
Rank
City
1
Oak Ridge
2
McKenzie
3
Signal Mountain
4
Church Hill
5
Collierville
6
Franklin
7
Maryville
8
Collegedale
9
Lexington
10
Kingston
11
Mount Carmel
12
Kingsport
13
Clarksville
14
Hendersonville
15
Rockwood
16
Bartlett
17
Lebanon
18
White House
19
Union City
20
Goodlettsville
21
Martin
22
Soddy-Daisy
23
Berry Hill
24
Sweetwater
25
Atoka
26
Johnson City
27
Elizabethton
28
Gatlinburg
29
Alcoa
30
Athens
31
Mount Juliet
32
Greeneville
33
Clinton
34
Spring Hill
35
Munford
36
Dayton
37
Smyrna
38
Portland
39
Millington
40
Sevierville
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tennessee Trivia Answer:

The Bell Witch