SDPAA Member Benefits!
Lynn Bren, SDPAA Executive Director
But it’s just coverage, right? Is anything really JUST anything? It’s just a quick trip (seven hours later you arrive), it’s JUST a couple of dollars ($50 and 2 bags of stuff later you’re leaving the store). No, my friends, nothing is not just one thing or another anymore. To really know what you’re getting, what you’re doing, and who you’re spending your time and energy on, you must dig just a little deeper.
The SDPAA does offer coverage to public entities across South Dakota, and only public entities across South Dakota. But the SDPAA offers and is so much more than JUST coverage. The SDPAA is a service. The administrative team at the SDPAA is dedicated to providing the best service possible to its clients. The Member Services staff is made up of people who have served their local communities as Mayor and City Administrator / Finance Officer. They’ve been in the sticks, just like you, and know what it’s like to have to make budget decisions, handle personnel issues, take the wrath and even sometimes the praise of those citizens you’ve pledged to serve. Our Underwriting team works diligently to help make sure that your coverage is not only as good or better than what you can find on the commercial market but also gives our Board of Directors the information and power they need to make decisions that ensure stable rates, which in turn helps you control your budget. I have been in the ‘other’ trenches with you, on the other side of the fence during those sometimes, long, and drawn-out claims, where we’ve had to work together to come up with resolutions that we can all be happy with. We all draw on our knowledge from our histories within our communities to help us serve your communities.
The SDPAA is Member Focused. The Board of Directors considers how changes within the Pool’s budget will impact the entities we provide our services to. Further, they look for various resources that can be utilized to help our admin team and service providers help our local communities reach a level of risk management and loss control excellence. We are committed to analyzing trends from across the Country and carefully considering tools and resources that can be put into place to help our Members either avoid or mitigate the exposures from those trends. Partnerships with national agencies and pools across the nation give us access to those resources and ideas which have been tried and proven to work in the favor of our Members.
The SDPAA is resources. The SDPAA prides itself on the huge portfolio of resources that it affords to each Member of the SDPAA. Using our Employment and Government Practices Hotlines, the SDPAA has provided hours of advice to local governments on various topics of all sizes. Whether the question relates to FMLA or elections, termination or hiring, the SDPAA has partnered with expert panel counsel to serve as an aid to those Members in need. For those who aren’t Members of the Pool, the SDPAA was able to send out timely news blasts during the COVID 19 pandemic offering advice and guidance to Members on how to navigate topics such as how to keep employees safe while still allowing public access to government buildings and voting centers. After COVID, we were able to utilize the hotlines to provide support to Members to address the medical marijuana issue and how that complicates our employee drug testing policies and procedures, as well as safe operation of equipment.
The SDPAA resources go beyond the hotlines. The SDPAA offers a variety of online training opportunities. Video training is offered via NEOGov with the option to assign certain training modules to certain employees, track their progress and award completion certificates. Our partnership with Aurora Pictures Streaming allows our Members access to shorter videos that help start safety discussions during those Toolbox Safety Meetings. In addition to these online opportunities, those Members with Law Enforcement exposures also have access to the online training and policy portal supported by LLRMI. We are thrilled to work with LLRMI to provide our Members with up-to-date, state-specific policies, and procedures, coupled with training on these topics that can be accessed online at any time.
Our partnership with Safety Benefits creates an entirely higher level of live training opportunities from Civility to Defensive Driving to MSHA certifications. Members can reach out to Safety Benefits and request personalized training sessions. Recently added to the live training opportunities is Jail Training which is provided by Mathew Peterson at Safety Benefits. To schedule live training, head on over to the Training Section of the SDPAA website to find contact information for Safety Benefits.
Sample policies and procedures beyond those offered in the Law Enforcement online resource are available through the SDPAA. These samples are available at no cost to our Members. Some sample language is found on our website, but full versions of sample policies can be requested through any one of the SDPAA Administrative Team.
The Mission of the SDPAA is to provide exceptional coverage and service to our Members. By consistently reviewing our coverage, the exposures quickly descending upon our Members and the treatment of public entities by the commercial market, we can ensure that our coverage stays exceptional, is offered at stable rates and that our service is, and always will be, five stars.
We welcome the opportunity to talk with your community about the products and services offered by the SDPAA. Whether you’re a current Member of the Pool, or ready to start the process of learning how to become a Member, give us a call at 800-658-3633 OPTION 2!
SDPAA does an outstanding job of providing and explaining liability and property coverage. (After a thorough review) of the County's coverages with me, (the SDPAA) was able to save the County a significant amount of money by eliminating double coverage from other companies. If anyone is looking for coverage, the SDPAA does an outstanding job for its Members.Jim Waterbury, Gregory County Auditor