I'm writing in response to the editor's column (Risk & Insurance®, February 2005, page 6).
First, the prejudicial title of your editorial "Stinking Funds" is indicative of either shallow journalism or bias or both. Instead of focusing on the reasons for the failure of these "bad apples;" in the last paragraph you besmirch all self-insured funds by offering your opinion that "There's something rotten in the state of self-insured workers' comp funds."
Considering the highly public legal and financial investigations and failures of, among others; AIG, Marsh, Reliance, Legion, why haven't you indicted the entire insurance industry as you have done self-insured funds?
I don't pretend to know the truth about the problems involving A.I.K. or funds in the other states you mentioned. However, in Mississippi, all self-insured funds operate on a one year certificate of authority granted by the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Commission.
All self-insured funds in Mississippi must pass an annual independent actuarial review by the State in order to renew their certificate to operate. Additionally, as regards our particular self-insured fund, we are audited a minimum of eight times annually by four separate independent entities. Why? Because I have an active, knowledgeable, engaged board of directors with one priority: The long-term viability of our self-insured fund.
Perhaps the failure of regulatory oversight and/or the failure of corporate governance were components in the failure of A.I.K. just as they appear to be complicit in the problems with the standard market.
I have been an avid reader and subscriber of your publication for years and have come to expect a higher quality of journalism than evidenced in your poorly worded editorial.
R. Foster Welburn
Mississippi Manufacturers Association
There is one glaring mistake in the caption to the governor's picture in the on the first page of the article titled "Walking the Plank," (Risk & Insurance®, March 2005, page 17).
The caption states, in so many words, that the ruling PLP Government want a referendum but that such a move is unpopular with the voters and the business community.
This couldn't be further from the truth. It is the electorate who want and are essentially demanding a referendum. It is the PLP who want the issue determined in a general election.
It is a very emotional topic and we, the citizens of this country (which includes myself, a born Bermudian), will not rest until we are allowed self determination with one man one vote in a referendum.
W. H. (Cotty) Outerbridge
Senior Vice President
Park (Bermuda) Ltd.
May 1, 2005
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