Wildwood went from unwanted to outperforming in JIF

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WILDWOOD — The city has come a long way in the world of insurance.
According to Thomas Byrne, of the J. Byrne Agency, the city’s insurance provider, the municipality’s loss rate in the Joint Insurance Fund has been 92 percent over the past six years. That is below the average municipal loss rate of 97 percent.
“The average JIF loss ratio is 97 percent,” said Byrne during the city’s Risk Managers Stewardship Report and annual overview presentation. “You’ve outperformed the average member of the JIF.”

That means the Joint Insurance Fund, commonly called the JIF, has paid out 92 percent of what it collects from the city in claims, leaving an 8 percent surplus.
“In the beginning the JIF didn’t want Wildwood,” Mayor Ernie Troiano said.
“Well let’s just say we were skeptical,” Byrne responded.
The JIF was formed in 1985 when several municipalities banded together in order to bring down the cost of insurance premiums.
“They all pool their money together and they pay each other’s losses,” said Byrne. “If Sea Isle has a claim, Ocean City says ‘Ouch.’”
Byrne said that when Wildwood wanted to become a member, the issue was charging the city enough because it had a lot of claims.
But over the last six years, the city’s loss ratio of 92 percent is considered very low, a good thing, for insurance standards.  
Part of that ratio is attributed to the city’s low lost time accident rate. Lost time accidents are defined as serious accidents with the employee leaving work.
Byrne said the municipality’s average of .59 accidents for every 1,000 hours is below the JIF average of 1.79 accidents per 1,000 hours.
Byrne said the city is successful in maintaining a safe environment as well as an active safety committee and employee program.
“The department heads and employees really have done a great job,” Byrne said of the city’s effort not to create an excess insurance cost for taxpayers.

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