KASB Risk Management Division works to maximize funding

KASB’s Risk Management Division continues evolving to help school districts reduce their risks and maximize their dollars so they can provide more funding in the classroom.

In 2016, KASB Risk Management re-branded, changing its name from Insurance Services, and also changed the way it marketed products. In addition, KASB Risk Management added a new service — health consulting to help members better manage health care costs.

The division also offers workers compensation insurance, property and casualty insurance, student accident insurance, a natural gas consortium called KJUMP and Section 125 & voluntary insurances.

Most recently, KASB Risk Management created the position of Customer Service Specialist and hired Jamie Slack for the job.

“We are hoping to streamline all our member service operations,” said Risk Management Director Rod Spangler.

“Instead of marketing products, we market the agency, then inside the agency we have products that our members can access,” said Spangler.

Fifteen percent of districts’ operating funds are spent on benefits and that figure has doubled in the last 15 years.

The Risk Management Team helps districts review their insurance options, creates strategic partnerships, and monitors the regulatory climate and changes in the insurance industry.

KASB has 107 educational entities in its workers compensation pool; 65 in property and casualty and 177 in the gas consortium. KASB estimates school entities have saved $28 million in natural gas costs over 15 years by joining the consortium

Many school administrators advanced through the classroom and educator ranks and lack the expertise needed to asses risk management options.

Spangler said he will perform a five-minute risk assessment for districts.

“For most superintendents, their knowledge is built around the curriculum and classroom or building administration side of education. Business operations is typically an `on the job’ training effort that many go through,” Spangler said.

“What they need is that strategic risk partner, and unbiased voice that can educate them and support them. For many, the lack of understanding causes a `let’s just keep it the same’ approach, which could potentially cost their districts some significant savings. On the other hand, over managing their risk management or insurance programs also can come with some potential pitfalls as well.

“In the end, business operations and expenses on the business side of school business continue to trend up. With school funding always a concern, the need to manage every dollar to ensure most resources are pointed to the classroom, should cause all our members to look for support. In Risk Management arena, my division can provide that for them,” Spangler said.

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