The Risk Management Services programs of the Municipal Association of South Carolina endeavor to be the provider of choice for the workers' compensation, property and liability needs of South Carolina municipal entities. It exists solely to serve the needs of local government.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s local governments throughout the country experienced limited availability for commercial alternatives to workers' compensation, property and liability coverage. It was not uncommon for municipalities to receive renewal rates with major increases or cancellation notices.
According to a 1986 article in the Association's Uptown newsletter, South Carolina cities and towns were notified "by the Insurance Reserve Fund that their tort liability insurance premiums will be increased 300 percent or more." South Carolina municipalities were at the mercy of the state and commercial insurance markets.
Many state governments at the time began passing legislation to allow municipalities to pool together collectively to insure homogeneous risks. The SC Municipal Insurance Trust was formed in 1983 and began operation in 1984 as permitted by Article VIII, Section 13 of the state constitution, which allowed for joint administration of functions and exercise of powers and the sharing of costs amongst political subdivisions.
In 1986, the state legislature enacted Section 15, Chapter 78 of the Code of Laws, better known as the Tort Claims Act, which permitted the formation of insurance pools insuring property and liability risks. The SC Municipal Insurance and Risk Financing Fund was officially formed three years later in 1989 and began operation in 1990.
Both SCMIT and SCMIRF continue to meet the expectations and needs for which they were originally formed. These programs have helped to insulate members from the volatility of the state and commercial insurance markets and are successful today thanks to the continued support of the cities and towns of South Carolina.
SCMIRF currently has 134 members and SCMIT has 130 members.
In addition to providing workers' compensation, property and liability insurance coverage, SCMIT and SCMIRF offers additional resources and services to meet the needs of its members:
- Risk management and loss prevention services
- LocalGovU online training
- Grants to aid in funding risk reduction initiatives and to reduce claims
- Public safety model policies
- Access to Employment and Labor Hotline and General Liability Hotline
- The eRisk Hub by NetDiligence web portal, containing information on cybersecurity
- Printed safety calendars, law enforcement hiring cards and toolkits on topics such as crisis communication, parks and recreation and public entity contractual liability
- Online claims and policy portals
- RiskLetter, free quarterly e-newsletter
- Regional training on timely topics
- GatherGuard liability insurance for event facility rental
- Access to Municipal Insurance Services, LLC for unique exposure coverage
For more information on risk management services insurance programs, contact Heather Ricard, director or risk management services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803.933.1258.