What We Learned When Attending #URMIA2018


Old Republic was a proud sponsor of the 49th annual URMIA (University Risk Management & Insurance Association) conference that took place from September 29th through October 3rd. The conference provided attendees with the opportunity to explore risks that confront higher education risk managers, discover best-practices for risk management, and enjoy a mission-focused atmosphere of fun and learning. The conference offered educational workshops and insightful sessions on a variety of topics including cyber-security, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), international travel, fostering a risk aware culture in higher education, and current claim and litigation trends.

URMIA and its member community provide unparalleled and uniquely engaging forums throughout the year for the delivery and exchange of real hands-on industry best practices. And these best practices can lead to improved risk identification, containment and avoidance techniques. As we’ve seen in previous years, the conference offers networking opportunities to meet with clients, prospects and key industry players in a face-to-face setting.

Conference and industry highlights

The risks and exposures of higher education environments continue to evolve quickly due to technology and other factors, including international travel, cyber risk, safety and preparedness concerns such as active shooter situations, workers’ compensation challenges, and expansive campuses. The conference offered higher education risk managers the opportunity to share information and best practices.

During a breakout session on workers’ compensation metrics based on the 2018 State of Education Industry Report, PMA Management Corp.’s president, Frank Altiere engaged with the audience via an interactive Q&A discussion. In an effort to better understand the attendees’ experience with regards to workers' compensation, he asked them questions surrounding frequent causes of workers’ compensation claims, departments with the highest frequency of claims, when slip and falls are most prominent, and tenure of employees. He also offered insight into industry trends and provided a three-step action plan for attendees to use going forward. 

As in previous years, ERM continues to be a frequent topic during the URMIA conference. One ERM session focused on how to protect an institution’s reputation using data from the 2017 United Educators survey, conducted by the Association of Governing Boards. During this insightful session, attendees learned about the current state of reputational risk management, the top reputational risks, and action steps for risk managers to prepare for responding to a major assault on the institution’s reputation. Other popular topics discussed included controversial speakers on campus, data analytics, and health outbreaks.

Networking and relationship building

URMIA hosted networking receptions, as did Old Republic and several industry experts. URMIA continues to provide an excellent venue for connecting and interacting with the industry’s key higher education participants and clients, allowing for idea sharing and collaboration, and gaining a stronger understanding of market and client needs. Old Republic had representatives attending the conference from two strategic operating companies – PMA Companies and Old Republic Specialty Insurance Underwriters. For more information on our offerings, please visit www.oldrepublicinsurancegroup.com.

Michael MacAulay, Senior Vice President, PMA Management Corp.

Mike is the Senior Vice President of Sales for PMA Management Corp., part of PMA Companies' TPA Operations.