Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Trust Us, We've Got You Covered (LMCIT)

Q: What do Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox in Bemidji, $1 million-worth of roses at Virginia Clemens Gardens in St. Cloud, and the historic Burwell House in Minnetonka all have in common?
A: They are all insured by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT)

Hey, somebody needs to provide coverages for the roadside attractions and historical treasures in Minnesota’s cities so they’ll be here for future generations! These are just a few examples of what LMCIT provides ... but there’s more to the story.

While it’s difficult for some to remember the days when cities had trouble finding reliable and stable coverage, there was a very tough period in the mid-1970s when cities were really struggling with volatility and unpredictability in the private insurance industry. In fact, there was only one private insurer that would even insure cities, and our members were complaining about 200 percent and 300 percent premium increases.

Enter the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust. Founded in 1980, LMCIT was one of the first municipal self-insurance pools in the country. Rather than paying premiums to a private insurance company, members contribute premiums to a jointly-owned fund—and these funds are then used to pay for members’ claims, losses, and expenses. Today, LMCIT provides property, liability, workers’ compensation, and employee benefits solutions.

Because the Trust exists solely for Minnesota cities, it is able to develop new programs to address unique city needs when they arise (like open meeting law defense cost reimbursement and PTSD coverage for firefighters)—that private insurance companies may not.

Learn more about LMCIT here–and stay tuned to this blog for a Q&A with LMCIT Administrator Pete Tritz, coming in May!

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