Who is URMA?
Utah Risk Management Agency (URMA) provides third-party liability insurance, risk management services and education services to its Member municipalities in the State of Utah. Members can also purchase property insurance, special event coverage, and off-duty vehicle coverage under the umbrella of URMA as a group.
Why Was URMA Created?
In 1985, municipalities faced great difficulty finding affordable insurance because the commercial market discontinued coverage for them. Because of this crisis, a number of cities joined together to create URMA. The concept of URMA is simple – rather than paying premiums to buy insurance from the commercial market, municipalities contribute those funds into a joint owned fund. The money in URMA’s funds are then used to pay Members’ claims and expenses. URMA’s premiums are stable and predictable – regardless of the commercial market industry cycles.
How Does URMA differ from a Commercial Insurance Company?
In some ways, URMA functions like a commercial insurance company. Members pay premiums to URMA and URMA provides the Joint Protection Program, which looks like an insurance policy, and pays claims and losses on the Member’s behalf. However, there are some important differences between URMA and a commercial insurance company.
- Member Control – URMA is owned and managed by its Member municipalities. Each municipality appoints a representative to serve on URMA’s Board of Directors. Since all policies, coverage and programs are approved by the Board of Directors, URMA is controlled 100% by its Members.
- Risk Management First – While URMA provides insurance coverage, it emphasizes risk management activities that improve the community rather than insurance. URMA has an aggressive inspection program to help municipalities identify and prevent losses, thereby saving money.
- Member Accountability – URMA’s programs and policies generally promote responsibility and accountability of individual Members. URMA’s program provides a way in which Members can essentially be self insured without the inherent risks of a self insured program. Because Members repay their losses, risk management programs become even more important.
- Personalized Service – URMA’s staff works closely with its Members at all levels in the cities. When a city has a problem, they know whom to call for help. Because of the staff’s intimate involvement with each of our cities, we have a personal relationship that makes it easy to call us for assistance. Our Members are never an unknown face in the crowd – we know them and they know us!
How Safe and Secure is URMA?
To ensure that URMA is able to meet its responsibilities, URMA’s Board of Directors has always ensured that it is strong and financially sound. URMA takes a conservative approach when setting reserves and risk is spread via reinsurance with the strongest reinsurers. As a governmental entity, URMA has an annual audit and actuarial study to assure the Board of Directors that it is on solid ground.