PHA Reaps Huge Reward for Reducing Insurance Claims
Dom Mazzoccoli, vice president of underwriting for the Housing Authority Insurance Group (left) presents a dividend check for over $641,000 to PHA Executive Director Carl Greene. 

Standing next to Greene are HAIG underwriter Davina Bachman and Gibriel Cham, manager of underwriting and corporate risk for HAIG.
The Philadelphia Housing Authority's commitment to great property maintenance and workplace safety has paid off again, this time to the tune of over $641,000

The Housing Authority Insurance Group (HAIG) has presented PHA with a check for that sum, the largest check given to any housing authority in the country. That's a $100,000 increase over a year ago when the agency also led the nation in this area. 

    HAIG President and CEO Dan La Brie said the payout is directly related to a reduction in insurance claims over the past year. He said the agency has been showing a positive trend by lowering its loss experience for several years. 

    "These results are evidence of our commitment to operating as safely and efficiently as possible. Money we save on insurance goes right back into our operating budget, which benefits Philadelphia's public housing residents," said PHA Executive Director Carl Greene. 

    The housing authority has a Safety Committee to increase awareness of safety issues among residents and employees. The agency also has ongoing preventive maintenance programs to repair such items as sidewalks, railings, lighting, roofs, floors, security and fire sprinkler systems, to increase safety and lower the chances for property loss or bodily injury. 

    In some instances, PHA makes structural repairs to its housing units to improve safety. 

    Ellen Hugar, PHA's Insurance Services Manager, pointed out that PHA paid 10 percent less in premiums over the past year than it paid a year ago. 

    "You don't want to overinsure or underinsure. When a renewal comes along, we make sure the renewal is appropriate to the risk," she said. 

    Hugar also says that PHA lowers its costs by having in-house experts handling more claim work internally. Those same experts work with field adjusters from the insurance company. This lowers administrative costs that can add up in a hurry and assures accuracy. 

    La Brie said several factors positively influence risk management and the agency's insurance costs: better quality of housing, better law enforcement, reduced density and better maintenance. 

    "If you look at the loss experience getting better and better, typically there's a direct correlation between that and how well the housing authority is implementing its risk management program," La Brie said. "PHA is very effective in risk management. This dividend is definitely earned."