ICRMA is comprised of 20 member cities located in the Los Angeles and Orange counties of southern California. The members pool their resources under a JPA Agreement to support their individual self insurance programs.
In 1980, when the Independent Cities Risk Management Authority (ICRMA) was formed, members of the Independent Cities Association (ICA) saw an opportunity to reduce liability insurance costs by bringing cities together to increase their purchasing power. After several months of study by actuaries, brokers, underwriters, and risk management consultants, the cities of Arcadia, Downey, Huntington Park, Inglewood, and Manhattan Beach purchased excess liability coverage at approximately one-third the prior year’s cost while obtaining twice the coverage limits of their individual prior year’s purchases.
In 1983, ICRMA expanded services to offer cities the ability to jointly purchase commercial property and excess workers’ compensation coverage. Seven new member cities promptly joined.
In 1984, recognizing that cost-effective coverage was only one component of risk management, ICRMA sponsored its first risk management seminar on the fundamentals of risk management, risk management administration, safety and loss control, risk financing, placement of insurance, employee benefits, risk transfer and other current issues.
In 1985, when insurance coverage costs multiplied alarmingly, ICRMA explored alternatives for providing excess liability coverage, including the establishment of a pooling program. The Governing Board was presented a unique concept to fund a pool through the issuance of Certificates of Participation (COPs). This pooling concept would utilize the funds derived from the COPs to provide a stabilizing financial base to assist in the funding of losses. ICRMA solicited interest from cities in the area and commenced a study with 35 potential participants.
In 1986, the ICRMA Governing Board approved the establishment of an interim pool funded by member contributions to provide affordable excess liability coverage while the COP process was proceeding. The Board also approved the membership of 12 new cities, increasing total ICRMA membership to 24. The successful establishment of the Liability Pool created the need to employ full-time staff to manage the operations of the Authority. The company which was providing part-time staffing was retained to provide a full range of administrative and risk management services.
In 1987, ICRMA again expanded its services to respond to members’ specific risk management needs. Staff coordinated the successful completion of the numerous documents required to accomplish the issuance of COP’s for 23 cities and on March 3, 1987, the sale was officially closed. Over $25 million was deposited in the claims payment fund to provide a buffer for cities’ losses. Two additional cities joined the Liability Program, increasing participation to 25 cities.
In 1992, ICRMA implemented a voluntary pre-employment medical evaluation program to be utilized in conjunction with members’ workers’ compensation loss control efforts. Under this program, jobs are analyzed and rated on a variety of physical abilities and environmental factors. The program combines specific job analysis with a predetermined set of medical standards which provide guidance for a legally defensible decision to hire or to disqualify an applicant from a specific job or a decision to return an injured worker to the job. By ensuring that at-risk workers are not placed in potentially dangerous positions, the program reduces worker injuries, thereby diminishing the frequency and severity of workers’ compensation claims. Participation in the program became mandatory in 2003 for members of the Liability Program.
In 2002, ICRMA appointed a new administrative firm, Bickmore. That year a self-funded Workers’ Compensation Program was developed due to the lack of available commercial insurance, which the members previously obtained through a group purchase arrangement.
In 2007, ICRMA increased its Workers' Compensation Program self-insured retention (SIR) to $5 million. The increased SIR allows ICRMA to better manage its cost for excess insurance coverage within the $1 million and $5 million level.
ICRMA annually sets organizational goals and objectives intended to help member cities increase their risk management awareness, explore new coverage options and reduce losses. ICRMA sponsors risk management programs and seminars, and publishes technical advisories.