PACE projects 2 percent premium increase for 2014-15

Lower claims through the first 10 months of the fiscal year are expected to translate to premium savings for members, trustees of the Property and Casualty Coverage for Education (PACE) Board learned at their May meeting.

Mike Doherty, PACE's chief financial officer, told trustees that under current projections rates would rise an average of two percent next year. That’s a significant change from the double-digit increases of the last two years. Member rates can also fluctuate individually based on claims experience.

Doherty noted that the projected rates also include plans to double coverage for damages from earth movement, from the current $100 million total to $200 million. Trustees unanimously approved that change as part of a review of reinsurance proposals; they approved a 2014-15 proposed budget and a revision of the property coverage document as well.

Lisa Freiley, OSBA director of labor and PACE services, outlined successes from the recent “PACE Day: Safe and Secure Schools” in Eugene, and member use of pre-loss attorney services.

PACE Trustee John Rexford expressed his support for pre-loss services, which members are required to use before taking an adverse action against an employee, or they could face a $25,000 deductible.

“This is an approach we use at our ESD,” Rexford said. “It's a pretty effective way to cap your costs; I really support this approach.”

Geoff Sinclair, director of claims services, noted that members have embraced the pre-loss approach and that no one has had to pay the higher $25,000 deductible since it was adopted in 2013.