NASD to save $80K on insurance

Published 12:04 am Friday, October 13, 2017

NATCHEZ — The Natchez-Adams School District premium for workers’ compensation was reduced by nearly $80,000 for the upcoming year.

The $258,898 premium is based off a four-year record Stephens and Hobdy Insurance representative Tate Hobdy told the school board Wednesday.

“The district has done a good job of reducing claims and is now reaping those benefits,” Hobdy said. “We’re in a positive trend right now.”

Email newsletter signup

The district’s premium in the 2012-2013 school year was $170,992, but that number reached a high point of $338,928 in the 2016-2017 year.

School board member Phillip West asked Hobdy how the premium could drop so steeply in one school year.

Hobdy said early return-to-work efforts, quick claim reporting and the expiration of the 2012-2013 school year from the records helped the district reduce its premium.

In the 2012-2013 year, the claims for the district totaled $479,604, approximately triple the company’s premium that year.

Since that year is no longer counted in the four-year record, the premium is dropping again, Hobdy said.

Ray Brown, supervisor of safety and security for NASD, said a new distinction between an accident and an incident has helped lower premiums.

Incidents, Brown explained in the Sept. 19 board meeting, are instances when no cost or time lost incurred.

Accidents, it follows, are instances where time is lost or a cost is associated with the event.

Superintendent Fred Butcher said morale in the district — which he says has increased — also affects premiums in a roundabout way. Teachers who are ready to get back into the classrooms and get back to their students, he said, often return to work early, which helps lower the claims.

Hobdy said he requested quotes from competing workers’ compensation insurance companies, but said the 28 companies he contacted declined to cover the district.

Many firms, he said, do not cover school districts unless they have a spotless record.

The most common accident on school property, Hobdy said, is teachers tripping on backpacks and injuring themselves in the classroom.

The firm NASD currently employs, LUBA Casualty Insurance Company, has provided worker’s compensation for the district for at least seven or eight years, Hobdy said.

Since 2012, the district has claimed $1,248,492 from the insurance company, whereas the combined premiums from the same time period were $1,209,414, putting LUBA at an approximate $40,000 deficit.

Though Hobdy said the district is “not profitable for the company,” LUBA continues to work with NASD because he says the company recognizes the positive trend of lower  claims.

The school board voted unanimously to renew LUBA’s contract for the 2017-2018 school year.