(Jan. 10, 2007) — Peace Church Risk Retention Group, at its annual shareholders meeting in Baltimore Md., declared a $500,000 dividend distribution to its shareholders, payable by March 15. The board also announced that it would be reducing its renewal rates for 2007 by 11 percent.
“This is a significant day for us,” said Ed Brubaker, chair of the board. “We have had a good start, continue to see solid growth, and now it is time to see a return on our investment.”
Peace Church Risk Retention Group is an insurance captive that was formed three years ago by the Association of Brethren Caregivers (ABC), Friends Service for the Aging, and Mennonite Health Services. The group represents the health care agencies of the Church of the Brethren, the Religious Society of Friends, and the Mennonites–all historic peace churches–to provide liability coverage for 42 of their nursing and retirement care facilities. The group is administered by AARM, a third-party administrator located in Lancaster, Pa.
“It has long been thought that peace church facilities have been able to self-insure their liability needs without relying on the excessive premiums charged by commercial insurance carriers,” said Brubaker, “and in three years time, we have shown steady growth in capital and reserves, to the point where it is financially appropriate to make a distribution.”
In its three-year history, the Peace Church Risk Retention Group has yet to pay a claim. “Part of our success is the huge emphasis we place on risk management,” said Kathy Reid, executive director of ABC, and a member and officer of the group’s board of directors. “When incidents occur in our facilities, we teach our policy holders to report them to us so that we can take appropriate measures to ensure that these incidents are dealt with at the management level and don’t become potential landmines.”
This approach is somewhat different than the thought process that chooses not to report incidents to insurance carriers for fear of a rate increase. The risk management education has worked so well that instead of a rate increase, the 2007 renewal rates will actually decline by 11 percent. Risk management training courses are offered through the year at various locations around the country.
Peace Church Risk Retention Group currently follows guidelines established by A.M. Best, an insurance rating agency well known in the insurance world, for “best practices” for insurance companies. It also intends to apply for a rating from A.M. Best.