Our weekly column of additional items of interest from in and around the Massachusetts insurance industry…
The Insurance Library Association of Boston’s IPYA Silent Auction is Happening Now
While The Insurance Professional of the Year Award Luncheon is not until Friday, we thought our readers should know that the Silent Auction is already a go. Whether you are planning to attend or not, you can still support the Library and its 117th year mission to provide information and guidance in all things insurance.
Those interested in checking out all the current silent auction items for this year or to make a bid can do so via this link here.
P.S. We’ve donated a $250 gift card to L’Espalier. Good Luck!
Governor Baker and Merrimack Valley Local Officials Announce $1 Million Emergency Loan Fund for Impacted Merrimack Valley Businesses
A new $1,000,000 emergency loan fund for businesses directly impacted by the recent gas explosions has been created.
After spending time with impacted business owners, we came up with this fund as a critical tool to help get folks back on their feet in the wake of the gas explosions,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Local businesses are the bedrock of our economy and are in dire need of solutions to make sure they can stay in business and continue to provide good paying jobs, and we are grateful for the regional lenders that have come together to support this important effort.”
Mayors of each of the affected cities and towns echoed Governor Baker’s sentiments:
“Businesses in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover find themselves in a situation they did not create but nonetheless are victims of,” said Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera. “With this fund being created, we don’t intend to solve all of their problems, but we hope this provides some much needed relief. I’d like to publicly thank the Governor Baker’s team, MCCI and the 10 banks that have stepped up to help business in the three communities with the creation of this fund.”
“Andover’s downtown and several other business districts are in the affected area. This program will provide our businesses with the resources to make the investments needed to reopen and get their employees back to work,” said Andover Town Manager Andrew P. Flanagan. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our community and critical to our local economy. I’m pleased that we are in a position to help them reopen.”
“The foundation of the economy of North Andover and the broader Greater Lawrence area is built on the success of our local small businesses,” said North Andover Town Manager Andrew Maylor. “This fund will help ensure that these small businesses will have access to the capital they need to meet their challenges, succeed, and grow.”
More details on the fund
The fund will offer emergency loans to eligible businesses in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, with no payments and no interest for the first six months. For businesses that extend beyond a six month period, market rates will apply and loans will be able to be extended or restructured for multi-year term loans.
The fund will open October 1 and have an expedited application and approval process, with the goal of getting all applications processed within 24 and 48 hours. According to the official release, the fund is the result of the collective effort of Mass Growth Capital Corporation, Lawrence Partnership, the ten lenders involved with the Lawrence Venture Loan Fund and Mill Cities Community Investments (MCCI).
Mass Growth Capital Corporation contributed $500,000 to the fund, with another $500,000 committed by the Lawrence Venture Loan Fund, with equal participation from the following regional lenders:
- Enterprise Bank
- Eastern Bank
- TD Bank
- Merrimack Valley Federal Credit Union
- Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union
- Pentucket Bank
- Align Credit Union
- The Savings Bank
- Reading Cooperative Bank
A $250,000 loan loss reserve for this fund has been contributed by Columbia Gas. More specific details can be found in the official release on the Governor’s homepage.
WCRIBMA’s Governing Committee Approves Test Audit Program For 2019
As reported in both the latest issue of The Massachusetts Agent and on the WCRIBMA website, the rating bureau’s Governing Committee has approved a new test audit program to begin at the start of 2019.
The WCRIBMA’s Governing Committee has approved the implementation of a test audit program as authorized in Article IV of the WCRIBMA’s Constitution. Under the program, each carrier is required to designate a primary individual to act as the carrier contact (Program Coordinator) to which all subsequent correspondence related to the Test Audit Program will be distributed. To designate a Program Coordinator, please complete the attached Program Coordinator Designation Form. Refer to Circular Letter #2337 for details.”
The reasons for this new test audit program include:
- To monitor the accuracy of the audits of the member carriers; to verify that classifications, rates, rating plans and other rating values are accurately applied; and to further ensure that the rules contained in the Massachusetts Workers Compensation & Employers Liability Insurance Manual (MA Manual) have been applied correctly.
- To assure that statistical data reported to the WCRIBMA is consistent with the business operations of insured risks and to ensure that proper information is reported on the unit statistical reports used for the calculation of rates and individual experience rating modification factors.
- To serve as an educational resource for member carriers and improve audit proficiency through the evaluation of a carrier’s auditing practices.
- To establish minimum auditing standards and to develop a program for monitoring carrier performance toward the achievement of established standards.
- To maintain incentives for member carriers to meet or exceed established quantitative performance standards.