Why was SELF created?
In November 1985, a group of concerned school business officials met and formed a steering committee to determine the feasibility of establishing a statewide school excess liability pool. They wanted to combat the growing liability insurance crisis and provide public educational agencies with a stable and broad liability coverage product. If school districts were able to find commercial insurance, the cost was prohibitive, ranging from $9 per Average Daily Attendance (ADA) to $19 per ADA.
Initially run by school district business officials from 1985-1987, SELF established an office in Sacramento in April 1987. Today SELF is one of the largest and most successful, financially sound pools in the nation providing excess liability coverage to public educational agencies.
What does SELF offer?
Our core program which offers excess liability retention levels between $1 million and $5 million. Our most popular offerings are: $54 million per occurrence in coverage over the district's primary $1 million retention, or $50 million per occurrence over the district's primary $5 million retention level.
An optional excess coverage offering that provides our members with additional limits beyond the core program. Currently for the 2017/18 year, the OEL limits have been absorbed into the core excess liability program. We are exploring options for another OEL offering, $10M to $20M in limits beyond the core limit of $55M.. If your district is interested, contact our office.
What is SELF's philosophy?
The goal of SELF has always been to provide public educational entities with the broadest coverage at the lowest cost while applying sound actuarial principles. Consistency and superior value have always been the focus of the organization in the Excess Liability Program.
Why choose SELF over insurance?
SELF provides coverage solely to California public educational agencies. We have a unique expertise in the more than 500 school districts, County Offices of Education, and Joint Powers Authorities that we serve. When you call us, chances are we have already answered your questions for another district or agency. We may be able to put you in touch with similarly situated school districts.
SELF can provide broader high-quality coverage at lower costs over the long-term than commercial insurance companies because we are member driven, not profit driven. Our rates are based on our expected actual cost, plus the cost of administration. Our administration charge is less than commercial insurance companies because we are a public entity, exempt from taxes.
Another benefit of SELF is that we are a pool. Our charge represents only what we expect to pay for claims in any given coverage year. When purchasing insurance through the commercial market, schools can never be sure of the market cycle.
Who runs SELF?
The SELF Board of Directors directs the activities of the organization. The Board is composed of 16 member elected directors plus alternates. There are two ex-officio members representing the Department of Education and the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office.
Each Board member is elected to a four year term. Half of the Board is up for election every two years.
How is SELF regulated by government?
SELF, like other JPAs, must file an "Annual Report of Financial Transactions of Special Districts" with the State Controller's Office, along with annual audited financial statements.
Furthermore, all requirements governing the conduct of public officials apply to members of SELF's governing board. Members must file a Statement of Economic Interest with the state Fair Political Practices Commission to avoid conflicts of interest. As a public agency, SELF also is subject to open meeting laws and the noticing provisions of the Brown Act.
The California Association of Joint Powers Authorities has established a nationally recognized accreditation program. SELF has been accredited through CAJPA since 1988 and currently holds the Accreditation With Excellence rating.
Is SELF financially strong?
Several factors contribute to SELF's financial strength and stability: a high degree of school district participation, experienced reserving practices, sound investment practices, and professional in-house claims administration.
Nearly half of all public educational entities statewide are members of SELF. Our members include school districts, charter schools, county offices of education, community college districts, regional occupational programs and other education affiliated joint powers authorities.
Are SELF's funds safe from market changes?
By basing its financing plan on the actual experience of members, SELF is able to insulate its members from the swings of the traditional insurance cycle. Outstanding claims management experience and sound investment practices, combined with a vigilant Board of Directors, enable SELF to protect its funds against these cycles.
How are funds managed?
In 1995, SELF selected Public Financial Management, Inc., a nationwide investment firm specializing in investing public funds, to manage our funds. With their assistance we have implemented a successful investment policy.
Our continuing financial success is attributed to:
outstanding claims experience
a sound investment strategy
strong financial markets, and
a vigilant Board of Directors
How are claims handled?
As an excess coverage provider in both liability and workers' compensation programs, SELF sees the role of the claims administrator as overseer of claims. Our job is not to dictate to the underlying claims administrator, but to work in partnership for a successful outcome on the claim.
Excess Liability Program
SELF's Director of Claims Jimmy Rowe, oversees all liability claims operations. Jimmy has more than 15 years claim handling experience in public and private entities and specializes in handling large caseloads.
Excess Workers' Compensation Program
SELF's Director of Claims Jimmy Rowe also oversees all workers' compensation claims operations. Jimmy has more than 15 years claim handling experience in public and private entities and specializes in handling large caseloads.