Progress Update: The NDIRF’s Administration of the NDFT
Published: 3/10/21 (Wed)
The NDIRF has administered the North Dakota Fire & Tornado Fund (NDFT) since June 2019. This Fund provides property coverage for state and local government entities, allowing the NDIRF to further serve you.
We established a three-year plan to communicate our administrative goals for the NDFT, beginning year one with understanding the Fund’s operations and processes so that we could ensure future changes made were well-informed and seamlessly integrated with existing infrastructure. We’re currently halfway through year two in which we are targeting immediate changes including valuations, coverage issues, and ratings.
To provide further clarity about these changes, we hosted webinars in September 2020 to inform you about our overall administration of the Fund. These webinars featured experts from our underwriting, loss control, claims, and finance departments who reviewed key topics related to:
Director of Underwriting Jeff Tescher informed attendees the NDFT provides property coverage to over 1,160 state and local government entities and protects over $15.8 billion of total insurance value for our state. The underwriting department is responsible for issuing renewals, processing endorsements, and enhancing the Fund’s administration and coverages.
Tescher emphasized members and agents should routinely review their policies because the NDIRF continues to discover underinsured or missing buildings from coverages. He also explained the importance of equipment breakdown coverage, which provides coverage in the event an unexpected mechanical or electrical breakdown occurs. Currently, only 34 percent of entities covered under the NDFT have equipment breakdown coverage, and he encourages all entities to add this type of coverage which is available at a nominal cost.
Lastly, Tescher introduced Special Funds Underwriter Rebekah Wallen who is a primary contact for the Fund, serving as a resource for information and assistance. Be sure you add Wallen’s email address (Rebekah.Wallen@ndirf.com) to your inbox to ensure you receive emails from her.
Director of Member Services Corey Olson reiterated Tescher’s comment regarding the NDIRF’s continued discovery of underinsured and missing buildings from coverages, as well as unreported building enhancements (additions, remodels, etc.), which could result in properties not having adequate coverage in the event of a loss. He informed attendees about the Property Valuation Guide which can assist entities in updating their property values. This guide is available by request. Additionally, he shared members of his department are available to perform on-site surveys to help entities value their properties and ensure all buildings are covered.
Lastly, Olson emphasized the importance of communication from entities and/or their agents of record regarding building and outdoor property covered under the Fund, including information about new structures and enhancements.
Assistant Director of Claims Keith Pic shared promptly responding to a loss to eliminate further damage is an important first step in the claims process, and the second is reporting the loss to the NDIRF. The NDIRF’s experienced adjusters and in-house claims team partners with entities and agents throughout the claims handling process, from initial coverage verification to payment. Resources are available online that can walk government entities or their agents of record through the claim reporting process. These resources are available at www.NDIRF.com>Claims>Reporting a Claim.
CFO Nora Frueh informed attendees NDFT statements are mailed the first business day of the month and should be paid in full by the end of the month.
Contact Marketing and Communications Manager Joanna Drennen at (701) 751-9127 or Joanna.Drennen@ndirf.com if you’re interested in viewing a recording of the one-hour webinar.