Graves Schools Awarded $60,000 from KEMI Refund
By West Kentucky Star Staff
GRAVES COUNTY - The board of directors for Kentucky Employers' Mutual Insurance, the Kentucky Department of Insurance, and Franklin Circuit Court approved a plan to return some $4.77 million to the Kentucky School Boards Insurance Trust Workers' Compensation Fund. The refund is a result of effective management by KEMI to control claims costs. The Graves County School District's refund exceeds $60,000.

"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, who serves as 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 the Kentucky Department of Insurance lauded 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 now is 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 commonwealth and has provided extensive loss education services to improve significantly workplace safety for tens of thousands of school employees. Several school districts also benefited 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 and CEO. "I believe we're fulfilling that promise not only to Kentucky's school districts, but also to all our policyholders."

"The Graves County School District was issued an assessment from KSBIT a few years ago," said Todd Benson, KEMI business development manager. "KEMI managed that loss portfolio and promised to give some money back, if possible, and here we are giving money back today, some $60,154.17."

"Back in the 1990s and early 2000's, the Kentucky School Boards Association had an insurance program trust," said Keith Riley, senior vice-president of property and casualty for Peel and Holland Insurance. "That trust managed workman's compensation for school districts across the state and, unfortunately, faced a financial challenge, requiring the state to take it over. KEMI stepped up, in cooperation with state government, to manage the operations to complete all the claims. In 2012, we made significant assessments. Fortunately, KEMI has done a wonderful job of managing those claims and the fiduciary responsibility of the money assessed. Now, we're returning a significant amount of those dollars." 

"We managed those claims at cost," Benson added, "and we made a promise when we accepted this responsibility that if we managed them efficiently and were able to complete the claims under the $35 million we expected it to cost, we would give money back to the schools."

"We greatly appreciate the intentionality both Peel and Holland and KEMI have maintained with this project. They are keeping their word and the efficient way they've handled this responsibility is remarkable," said Graves County Schools Superintendent Kim Dublin. "I started as superintendent at that time and I know it was a challenge for these organizations as well as the school districts. Together, we worked through it. These funds are coming at a great time for us. We can use them to meet many needs in our district."

Published 06:26 AM, Monday Apr. 15, 2019
Updated 06:30 AM, Monday Apr. 15, 2019

Please login to leave a comment.
  • View Comment
    View Comments