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Successful 2019 Built on Surplus Growth and Risk Management

Tuesday, May 19, 2020  

Attributing business results to “a very strong balance sheet” and a concentrated focus on risk management, New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal officials overseeing an unprecedented virtual annual meeting recently declared 2019 to have been an overall success, despite some underwriting challenges.


NYSIR President Eric Stark opened the online video meeting, citing the necessity to revert to the internet as a workaround for schools and business offices closed in response to New York’s COVID-19 crisis. In general, he said, 2019 was another successful year for the reciprocal, which claims as members 356 school districts and BOCES across the state. Those members remain the key to NYSIR’s success, he noted, adding that “a good portion of that (success) has to do with the services NYSIR provides.”


Stark then turned the meeting over to NYSIR Board of Governors Secretary Janet Bryan, who, after a count of write-in proxies and online attendees, declared a quorum and opened the meeting to board member elections. In a vote of 203-0, candidates John Abbott, East Irondequoit Central School District (CSD); John Belmonte, Sayville Union Free School District (UFSD); Sharon Cihocki, Adirondack CSD; Richard Cunningham, Plainview-Old Bethpage CSD; Andrew DiBlasi, Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES; Wayne Loper, Valley Stream Central High School; Jeffrey Martin, Scarsdale UFSD; Thomas McDaid, North Merrick UFSD; Michael Senno, North Rockland CSD; and Kevin Sheldon, Arlington CSD; were elected to three-year terms. Robert Yusko, Glens Falls City School District, was elected to a one-year term.


Executive Director Robert Lulley called 2019 “a typical year for NYSIR,” citing what he said was “a very strong balance sheet” and a significant ongoing investment in risk management programs, including NYSIR Online University. In the coming year, he added, the reciprocal will be focusing on three areas that he said “schools very much value:” mental health, the responsible use of social media and cybersecurity.


One of the challenges facing the reciprocal, he maintained, had to do with “new exposures we never reserved for,” including potential exposures opened up in 2019 by New York’s Child Victims Act. NYSIR remains the leading insurer of public-school districts and BOCES in New York, he said, and “Our business plans remain on track.”

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