By DAN REYNOLDS, senior editor, Risk & Insurance®
Glenside, Pa.-based Arcadia University has moved its entire insurance brokerage business to Chicago-based Educational & Institutional Insurance Administrators Inc., an official with the university confirmed last week.
Mimi Bassetti, a director of administrative services with the university, said one of the main reasons for the decision was the fondness that Jerry Greiner, Arcadia's president, had for the EIIA program.
"Our president used to be at Hamline University, and he made a big push. They had EIIA at Hamline, and he wanted us to pursue them," Bassetti said. Greiner joined Arcadia in 2004 after having served as provost at St. Paul, Minn.-based Hamline.
As a university that is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), Arcadia falls into EIIA's bailiwick, as the EIIA also covers universities and other institutions affiliated with the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the American Baptist Church.
EIIA, a nonprofit, currently has 125 members that use its pooling arrangement for property/casualty insurance purchasing, according to EIIA's Web site. The insurer also offers risk management services, employee benefits administration and student insurance.
Mary Ellen Moriarty, the vice president of property/casualty for EIIA, was not immediately prepared to comment on Nov. 25 on Arcadia's transfer of business to EIIA.
Bassetti said that one of the aspects of Arcadia's operations that EIIA found interesting and wanted to take on from a risk management perspective was its study abroad program.
"They are really intrigued by it," she said.
Since 2008, Arcadia has required all undergraduates to have what it calls a "Global Connections Experience" either through overseas study and travel, or volunteering at homeless shelters and other caregivers.
According to a November statement from the Institute of International Education, Arcadia University has the highest rate of participation in study abroad of any master's degree granting university in the United States.
Study abroad programs, although popular with American college students, also present their own set of risks: kidnapping, terrorism and other violence to which U.S. students are not necessarily accustomed.
"The way they (EIAA) presented it to us is, 'You are challenging EIIA, and you will make us better because of the unusual risk related to an overseas travel program,' " said Bassetti.
Bassetti also said that EIIA really understood the fact that Arcadia considers itself a privilege to work with from a risk management perspective. "We have a great loss history," said Bassetti.
In addition to its standard pooling arrangement, EIIA has a "Master Program" of coverage that provides $50 million of general and excess liability coverage per institution.
The program is overseen by a 50-member advisory council made up of representatives of EIIA-member institutions. The program covers risks such as sexual misconduct, pollution liability, crime and special events.
Bassetti said the advisory board also offers an opportunity for the insureds to inform and direct EIIA's programs.
"What they (EIIA) portrayed to us is that they are really an advocate for their schools where they have an advisory board where the school representatives get together and say, 'Hey EIIA, we really are in need of this,' " said Bassetti.
"And if there are enough schools who are in a similar need, they are going to go to their carriers and say, 'You really need to work this for us, you need to get this.' So they have coverages that are very unique that we did not have before."
November 30, 2009
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