Why it Works
Why it Works
Why is a JIF successful?
The success of the JIF program created by PERMA is based on six specific factors:
Structure: JIFs in the rest of the country are either local or statewide. The advantage of a local JIF is that the members have a greater sense of ownership that motivates stronger risk control. However, because of their smaller size, local JIFs are more dependent upon reinsurance. Under the MEL concept, each member joins a local JIF, and the 19 local JIFs from around the state join together in the MEL to provide excess insurance and insure lines of coverage that are too difficult for a smaller JIF to handle. Twelve of these local JIFs are managed by PERMA and the other seven by other management firms. Under this unique structure developed by PERMA, the members achieve the advantages of both local JIFs and a large statewide pool.
Emphasis on Safety and Claims Management: The MEL's Community Safety Leadership program is recognized nationwide for its effectiveness. We have also put strong controls in place to better manage claims.
Strong Reinsurance: To protect against catastrophic events, all JIFs purchase reinsurance. Because of its size and reputation for sound management, the MEL has long term relationships with the strongest reinsurers in the business, providing the members with greater peace of mind.
Governmental Status: A JIF is a governmental entity and exempt from the taxes, fees and assessments charged by conventional insurance companies. JIFs are regulated by both the Department of Community Affairs and the Department of Banking and Insurance. Under the law, each member appoints a commissioner, and only commissioners can serve on the board. The board must comply with all of the rules for governmental bodies, including the public contracts law, fiscal affairs law, open public meetings act, local officials ethics act, etc. This assures that the JIF operates for the benefit of the public, not service providers and vendors.
Outsourced Administration: The JIFs do not have their own employees. Instead they outsource all management functions, following the process required by the public contracts law. PERMA specializes in this function, substantially reducing overhead costs and allowing the commissioners to focus on risk management issues rather than personnel and administrative matters.
Local Agent Involvement: Most JIFs allow each member to select its own local agent to help it implement the program.
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