“We like to call our work ‘insurance with a purpose,’” says Risk Management Group Director Rod Spangler. “Every dollar districts spend on our products goes back out to support student success. No one in this market is in service to education like we are.”
KASB for decades has offered districts workers’ compensation, property casualty and student accident insurance. With the recent addition of Employee Benefit Solutions, Spangler says the organization has the capacity to cover buildings, staff, students, and employee benefits.
Employee Benefit Solutions is a full-service, for-profit insurance brokerage firm offering school districts options for health, life, dental and vision insurance coverage, retirement planning products and services, and administration of flexible spending accounts.
And in contrast to traditional insurance brokerages, the entirety of KASB’s Risk Management and Employee Benefit Solutions profits are dedicated to Kansas public schools.
“You’re already providing those services to your district,” Spangler says. “Why not do it with KASB Risk Management, where you can put your dollars straight back into service of your students? We’re owned by an association whose primary goal is student success. The revenue from our products supports that mission and makes the organization less dependent on member dues.
“Corporations are ‘profits first’ in service to their shareholders, and that’s as it should be,” Spangler says. “Their secondary purpose may be marketing, which can include supporting our members through local sponsorships, but are they in service to public education or merely in support of? Our sole purpose is service to public education.”
Insurance costs are a significant expense that shows no sign of decreasing in the future. And somewhat surprisingly, insurance is not covered by state law that requires districts to bid out expenses that total more than $10,000.
“There are many risk management choices out there, and districts often feel obligated to use local agencies, but it might be costing you more to stay local,” Spangler said. In fact, a Topeka-area district recently saved $100,000 by moving its risk management business to KASB. Those savings benefit not only that school district but also provide revenue to KASB’s 285 member school districts.
“Local Main Street folks are vital, and they support our schools,” Spangler says, “but our members have to do due diligence on their overhead costs; they’re held to a higher standard by the taxpayer. Why not do a risk assessment and see if KASB’s Risk Management Group can save money you can put back in to supporting students?”
This article first appeared in the April 2019 edition of KASB School Board Review, written by Leah Fliter firstname.lastname@example.org