2019 Annual Meeting: NYSIR Remains Strong
Monday, May 20, 2019
As it moved through the 2018 period, the New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal reached a record number of member districts and BOCES and recorded nearly $100 million in gross written premiums, NYSIR officials told about 50 attendees at this year’s annual meeting, but at the same time faced some challenging losses.
Citing the reciprocal’s upcoming anniversary, NYSIR Executive Director Robert Lulley, Jr. summarized his assessment of the 2018 period by saying that, “at the 30-year mark, the state of your company is strong,” noting $96 million in gross written premiums, $170 million in surplus, significant headway in the implementation of a new operating system and enterprise risk management program, and a current “A” rating by insurance analyst A.M. Best.
Mentioning “a loss picture” that was “atypical and in need of addressing,” including weather-related school property losses and adverse judicial verdicts, Lulley said the first hopefully would be addressed through focused risk management efforts and the second would require “increased diligence on all of our parts.”
Elaborating, John Peppard, Senior Vice President and NYSIR Program Manager at Wright Public Entity, told attendees that weather-related damage claims in 2018 amounted to nearly $9 million, and advised that the reciprocal “experienced changes in the judicial and societal landscape that look to create and perpetuate litigation against school districts and BOCES.” At the same time, he noted, NYSIR prevailed on 28 suits at trial during 2018.
As an example of the organization’s ongoing success, Peppard said NYSIR now protects almost $53 billion in school property values, 16,000 district and BOCES vehicles and nearly a million public school students.
In addition, it was announced that 10 members of NYSIR’s Board of Governors had been elected to three-year terms, including Dr. Jennifer Avery of Otsego Northern Catskill BOCES; Eric Bell of Champlain Valley Educational Services; Janet Bryan of Longwood UFSD; Deborah Heppes of Orange-Ulster BOCES; Dr. Stephen Lunden of Cheektowaga-Maryvale CSD; Anne Marie Marrone Caliendo of Half Hollow Hills CSD; Douglas Scofield of Iroquois CSD; Kelly Seibert of Byram Hills CSD; Eric Stark of Carmel CSD; and Timothy Whipple of Pleasantville UFSD. Lunden currently serves as president of the board. Stark is first vice president, Heppes is second vice president, and Whipple serves as secretary.
Michael Senno of North Rockland CSD and Andrew DiBlasi of Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES were elected to serve one-year terms.
Reciprocal officials also announced the grand winners of this year’s statewide NYSIR Scholarships, which are presented to college-bound seniors graduating from NYSIR member high schools. More than 370 submissions were considered for scholarships, which include 13 grand, runner-up and regional winners in three categories.
The grand winner of the 2019 Bambino Scholarship is Ellie DeLucia of Hamburg High School, Hamburg CSD. The grand winner of the Jensen Scholarship is Christina Forestiere of Pulaski High School, Pulaski CSD, and the grand winner of the Goncalves Scholarship is Yarold Bautista-Martinez of Bay Shore High School, Bay Shore UFSD. Each winner received a $5,000 scholarship.
For more information on NYSIR Scholarships, click here. Watch for an upcoming brief detailing a full list of winners.