All three school districts in Whitley County will be getting some unexpected money, which will total over $100,000, thanks in part to a refund of sorts they are getting from worker’s compensation claims.
The Kentucky School Boards Insurance Trust Workers’ Compensation Fund (KSBIT) oversaw an insurance risk pool that all school districts participated in at one time. It provided low cost insurance to districts but the pool ran a deficit that in 2014 was projected to be between $50 and $60 million that its members had to make up. The deficit was nearly twice as much as originally projected.
The board of directors for Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance (KEMI), the Kentucky Department of Insurance, and Franklin Circuit Court have approved a plan to return $4.77 million to the KSBIT fund. The refund is a result of effective management by KEMI to control claims costs, according to a March 19 news release.
The Whitley County Board of Education will be receiving a $71,600.55 refund, the Corbin Independent Board of Education will be receiving a $24,275.02 refund, and the Williamsburg Independent Board of Education will be receiving a $9,953.34 refund.
In addition, the Laurel County Board of Education will receive a $123,998.34 refund and the East Bernstadt Independent Board of Education will receive $23,375.59 refund.
“I am pleased that KEMI is in the position to provide this refund to KSBIT and I’m proud of the work by KEMI employees who made it possible,” said Brandon Voelker, chairman of KEMI’s board of directors. “KEMI provided improved service and savings to school districts throughout Kentucky at a time when no other insurance company was willing to offer a competitive solution, and I believe KEMI’s success with KSBIT demonstrates why the company was created in the first place.”
In 2014, KEMI accepted $37 million in claims liabilities for KSBIT, which was lauded by the Kentucky Department of Insurance as the “softest possible landing for Kentucky school districts and injured workers.”
KEMI offered schools interest-free loans and planned to handle the claims at cost.
Five years later, KEMI announced plans to return $4.77 million and will be working with the Kentucky Department of Insurance to distribute the funds to former KSBIT members.
KEMI is now the workers’ compensation provider of choice for more than 130 school districts across the state and has provided extensive loss education services to significantly improve workplace safety for tens of thousands of school employees. Several school districts also benefitted from decreased workers’ compensation insurance premiums due to their improved performance and commitment to safety.
“KEMI made a promise to sustain financial stability, maintain strong claims reserves, and deliver both outstanding service and competitive pricing to our policyholders,” said Jon Stewart, KEMI president & CEO. “I believe we’re fulfilling that promise not only to Kentucky’s school districts, but also to all our policyholders.”
KEMI is the largest provider of workers’ compensation insurance in Kentucky, providing coverage to more than 20,000 businesses in all 120 counties of the state.