I hope everyone had a Great Masked and Socially Distanced Thanksgiving Holiday! WHAT A CRAZY YEAR! Although you’re approaching the school year’s mid-point, MUSIC is wrapping up its 2020 plan year. I want to use this article to provide a general overview of the year’s activities and results.

Although the virus is providing a great deal of uncertainty for everyone, MUSIC finances are stable, and membership remains strong. Generally speaking, the program is experiencing slightly better than expected results of operations for 2020. Through November, property claims are trending above original projections. Fortunately, workers’ compensation and liability claims are significantly below projections, and the overall MUSIC budget is trending slightly better than originally projected. We are cautiously optimistic that we’ll end 2020 with a $4-$6 million operating surplus. MUSIC remains strong and is prepared for a great 2021.

The overall property insurance market has continued to harden over the past eighteen months. Although this shift is making our excess coverage renewals more difficult, the impact on MUSIC is much milder than the impact on commercial insurance carriers. The difference is that the vast majority of MUSIC expenses represent direct claims payments to members, and the general property insurance market drives less than 20% of our total expenses.

MUSIC began 2020 with 476 members and added Belton on February 12, Jefferson City on June 1, and Morgan County R-II on July 1, bringing the current membership total to 479. We currently have three members seeking bids for 2021 and three prospects requesting proposals from MUSIC. Harrisonville will also join the program on January 1.

The 2021 member rates and membership credit remain at current-year levels. A few reasonable actions can improve the safety of your students and staff and reduce your MUSIC assessment significantly. We’re currently contacting several members whose workers’ compensation mods are moving in the wrong direction to offer assistance. Please contact a member of the MUSIC team or me if you’d like assistance bringing your workers’ compensation claims under control.

I’d also like to remind everyone about the Jack Holley/MUSIC Scholarship Program. Each year we present six $2,000 scholarships to graduates from member districts. The scholarship program is named in honor of the original MUSIC Executive Director, Dr. Jack Holley. The scholarships are funded through the MUSIC/MOASBO Golf Tournament and corporate donations. The 2021 applications are currently available on the MUSIC website. Please share this information with your principals and counselors. The submission deadline is February 19, 2021.

As Chairman DuBray mentioned in his message, the MUSIC Board of Directors recently made the very difficult decision to host the 2021 annual membership meeting virtually in January. We’ll definitely miss seeing everyone in person, but we still plan to provide valuable information through the virtual format. Please watch your emails for details on the meeting over the next few weeks.

It has been a very difficult and bizarre year! Fortunately, vaccines will soon be available, and 2020 will be in the rear-view mirror. I wish you a Wonderful 2021 and Thank You for the opportunity to support your efforts as we “Protect Missouri’s Future.”