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Liability insurance work group meets

Budget language adopted by the 2016 General Assembly at VACo’s request directed the Compensation Board to convene a work group to examine the issue of liability insurance for constitutional officers and regional jail authorities. Currently, constitutional officers and most regional jails are covered by the Virginia Division of Risk Management’s VARISK program.

Prior to the recession, this coverage was funded by a state appropriation, but in recent years these costs were shifted to localities; premiums are deducted from local Compensation Board allocations. Since this policy change was adopted, localities have advocated for the ability to opt out of VARISK, which could provide an opportunity to obtain comparable coverage from other sources at reduced rates, particularly as VARISK premiums have increased significantly since FY 2013.

The stakeholder group held its first meeting on August 30 and received background information from Compensation Board staff on the creation of VARISK and the recent increase in premium costs. Future meetings will feature presentations by the Division of Risk Management and other insurance providers on the components of current and proposed coverage plans.

VACo is represented on the work group by Orange County Administrator R. Bryan David and Chesterfield County Director of Risk Management Cynthia B. Smith, and staff will keep members apprised of developments. The work group is scheduled to report back to the Chairs of the Senate Finance and House Appropriations Committees by December 1, 2016.

VACo Contact: Katie Boyle

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