What is URMA?
What is URMA?
Utah Risk Management Agency (URMA) is a governmental entity created under the Utah Interlocal Cooperation Act. URMA provides comprehensive risk management services including risk assessment, analysis, consultation, mitigation, education, loss control, and claims and litigation management to its member municipalities and special districts. Additionally, URMA aids its members in purchasing excess and specialized insurance at group rates.
Why Was URMA Created?
In 1985, municipalities faced great difficulty finding affordable insurance because the commercial insurance market discontinued coverage for municipalities. Because of this crisis, a number of cities joined together to create URMA. The concept of URMA is simple – rather than paying premiums to buy insurance from the commercial market, municipalities contribute those funds into a joint-owned fund. The money in URMA’s funds are then used to provide risk management services and pay Members’ claims and expenses. URMA’s member contributions are stable and predictable – regardless of the commercial insurance market industry cycles.
How Does URMA differ from a Commercial Insurance Company?
In some ways, URMA functions like a commercial insurance company. Members pay contributions to URMA and URMA provides the Joint Protection Program, which looks like an insurance policy, and pays claims and losses on the Members’ behalf. However, there are some important differences between URMA and a commercial insurance company.
- Member Control – URMA is owned and managed by its Member municipalities. Each municipality appoints a representative to serve on URMA’s Board of Directors. Since all policies, coverage and programs are approved by the Board of Directors, URMA is controlled 100% by its Members.
- Risk Management First – While URMA provides insurance coverage, it emphasizes risk management activities that improve the community rather than insurance. URMA has an aggressive inspection program to help municipalities identify and prevent losses, thereby saving money.
- Member Accountability – URMA’s programs and policies generally promote responsibility and accountability of individual Members. URMA’s program provides a way in which Members can essentially be self-insured without the inherent risks of a self-insured program. Because Members repay their losses, risk management programs become even more important.
- Personalized Service – URMA’s staff works closely with its Members at all levels in the cities. When a city has a problem, the city knows who to call for help. Because of the staff’s intimate involvement with each of our cities, we have a personal relationship that makes it easy to call us for assistance.
How Safe and Secure is URMA?
To ensure that URMA is able to meet its responsibilities, URMA’s Board of Directors has always ensured that it is strong and financially sound. URMA takes a conservative approach when setting reserves and risk is spread via excess insurance with the strongest reinsurers. As a governmental entity, URMA has an annual audit and actuarial study to assure the Board of Directors that it is on solid ground.