How to Comply with Georgia (Or Any) DFCS and DHS Insurance Requirements

If you represent an organization that provides services to youth and families via contract with the Department of Human Services and Department of Family and Children Services (regardless of state), then you know that insurance requirements can be a moving target.

Updates and Increases

Two days ago (January 16, 2013), the State of Georgia updated their insurance requirements for providers of counseling, residential, and other important services for families involved the state’s system.

There are five, basic requirements (with some description for each one in the memrandum–if you’re a Georgia provider, you know what I’m talking about):

  1. Workers Compensation (Occurrence) in the amounts of the statutory limits established by the State of Georgia.
  2. Commercial General Liability Policy (Occurrence), to include contractual liability….
  3. Business Auto Policy (Occurrence) to include but not be limited to liability coverage on any owned, non-owned and hired vehicle…
  4. Commercial Umbrella Policy (Occurrence), which must provide the same or broader coverage than those provided for in the above Commercial General Liability and Business Auto Policies.
  5. Malpractice/Professional Liability Policy (Claims Based) with EDP, Errors and Ommisions Coverage….

(Reprinted from the State of Georgia Memorandum to RBWO Providers, from Yvonne Rodgers, OPM Contracts & Risk Manager, Officer of Provider Management)

Steps to Complying with State insurance Requirements

1. Send the memorandum directly to your agent for review.

As soon as you get these types of memoranda, regardless of state, send them to your insurance agent to compare with your current coverages. You might have everything you need. You might not.

2. Get clarity on what the state is requesting.

For instance, in the above-referenced memorandum, the state is asking for ‘Malpractice/Professional Liability Policy (Claims Based) with EDP, Errors and Ommisions Coverage…’.  EDP stands for ‘Electronic Data Processing’ and is a type of policy that addresses property losses to computer equipment or software. It’s not a part of a Malpractice/Professional Liability policy. Consequently, this requirement is baffling.

It’s therefore important to understand why the State (or any entity) is adding any wording that is confusing. Is Georgia really wanting the organization to procure computer coverage or is the concern around something like Cyber Liability or Privacy insurance? Find out and ask your agent to help you ask the right questions.

3. Send proof of coverage and find out where you comply and where you don’t.

We will often start out by providing proof of insurance as the current policy stands. The state agency will then let us know where we’re not in compliance.

4. Add and/or amend coverages to satisfy requirements.

Work with your agent to make the necessary changes to keep your contract in force.

Don’t Let State or Grant Requirements Run Your Insurance Program

All too often, organizations allow third party insurance requirements determine insurance coverage.

Do NOT do this.

Budgets aside, always perform a thorough review of your exposures and operations with an insurance agent. Then, determine the best coverages and limits for your nonprofit’s operations.

For instance, if my clients only complied with the five items listed above, they might leave all of their business property uncovered!  It’s not required to have building insurance, so who cares?

Or the requirements doesn’t include a requirement for Abuse and Molestation. Is it a good idea to have a group foster home without that coverage?

Your organization is different from all others. Tailor your own program around your situation.

Questions

  1. How do you determine your coverages and limits?
  2. What types of entities place insurance requirements on you?

***Please don’t hesitate to drop me a note or email if you have questions about your program. My contact information can be found here.

 

 

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