Airport Liability CoveragePublished Jun 15, 2010
The optional airport liability coverage is available to most municipal airports; however, larger airports that have scheduled service will not be eligible for LMCIT coverage at this time.
Alcohol In the City: Liability and Insurance IssuesPublished Dec 1, 2010
What's the city's potential liability when alcohol is used on city premises or at a city function? What types and how much insurance should the city require groups to have? Learn more about these issues involving the use of liquor in the city.
Avoiding Disaster Through Sewer Maintenance: The Back-Up PlanPublished Feb 16, 2010
To avoid sewer back-up liability, a city must exercise reasonable care for its sewer system. A city should also respond to sewer emergencies within a reasonable time. Cities can help avoid disaster through a solid sewer maintenance policy. A good sewer maintenance policy is a written document that guides employees though maintenance activities and helps plan how a city uses its resources. It also assists with long term planning for the city's sewer system.
City Employee Injuries OverviewPublished Feb 22, 2014
Learn about the most common and costly city employee injuries according to League Insurance Trust workers’ compensation coverage data. Understand how to avoid workers’ compensation insurance premium increases by avoiding workers’ compensation losses.
Combining Governmental Services: Issues to ConsiderPublished Mar 1, 2010
Understand major issues to consider when making cooperative agreements with another political subdivision such as the structure of your agreement, contract provisions like costs and equipment contributions, managing employees, and how to handle liability coverage. Contains a checklist of considerations when combining governmental services.
Comparing Workers' Compensation Coverage QuotesPublished Oct 31, 2014
Find questions to ask commercial insurance companies when comparing their workers’ compensation coverage to the coverage offered by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT).
Computer and Network Loss ControlPublished Aug 15, 2014
Learn some of the risks associated with storing and sharing city data on computers. Find out how to protect the city from common risks such as data breaches, virus contamination, hacker attacks, and computer misuse by employees. Understand issues presented by social media such as Facebook, blogs, and Twitter. Links to a model employee computer use policy.
Conducting Employee Accident Investigations & Reporting Employee InjuriesPublished Apr 1, 2011
Learn how to conduct effective employee accident investigations and how to use them in meeting employer obligations to identify, eliminate and protect employees from workplace hazards. Review insurance and OSHA reporting requirements for work-related injuries and illnesses.
Considerations In Drafting Inter-Agency Drug Task Force AgreementsPublished Mar 25, 2010
Learn some of the most important elements to consider when drafting inter-agency drug task force agreements, regardless of the structure used. Review possible forms an agreement may take, key insurance and liability elements, determination of operating procedures and termination of the agreement.
Coordinating Coverages For Separate City Boards And CommissionsPublished Jun 10, 2010
The statutes generally give city boards and commissions full power to manage the activities for which they are responsible, including the authority to purchase the appropriate liability, property, and other coverages needed for those activities.
Coverage for Extraordinary City ExpensesPublished Dec 15, 2006
This coverage provision is designed to assist a city that's been unavoidably hit by unexpected expenses, necessary costs, and expenditures that the city wasn't able to anticipate and budget for.
Covering the City's VolunteersPublished Nov 28, 2011
Cities in Minnesota use volunteers to help provide a wide variety of services. Occasionally cities ask who's liable if a city volunteer is injured, injures someone else, or damages someone else's property. These questions are answered in this memo.
Employee Safety Training: Building on a Firm FoundationPublished Feb 1, 2010
Safety training is essential for maintaining compliance with regulations, keeping workers’ compensation costs down and, most importantly, keeping your most valuable resource – staff – safe and healthy. Read this guide to learn about required trainings and build on your city’s current safety training program.
Entering Private Property for Public Works PurposesPublished Apr 1, 2009
Review private property rights, situations when staff may enter private property, exceptions to consent or a search warrant, private property and rights-of-way, and employee safety when entering private property for work-related reasons.
Equal Access to CitiesPublished Jan 29, 2014
Learn about revisions to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that covers local governments, especially significant changes to building design standards, detailed and new guidance on certain types of access like wheelchairs, service animals and seating for ticketed events.
Experience Rating in LMCIT's Liability and Work Comp PremiumsPublished Oct 31, 2014
Understand League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust’s (LMCIT’s) experience rating formula, which compares the city’s actual loss history with the amount of losses that would be expected for a city of that size, if the city were a perfectly average LMCIT member. Learn how the comparison is used to adjust the city’s future premiums above or below the average.
Fire Department Management and Liability IssuesPublished Feb 24, 2014
Understand the structure of city volunteer or paid-on-call fire departments and their basic management challenges in personnel, finances, and facility safety. Discusses optional organization as a consolidated department, powers of members of a volunteer fire relief association contrasted with employees of the city fire department, and links to sample ordinances for fire charges, a fire service contract between a city and town, and several management policies.
Fire Service Contracts: Can You Put That In Writing?Published Mar 1, 2010
A contract is a legally binding agreement between parties to do or not do something. Contracts come in many forms. The strongest contracts, in terms of enforceability, have an offer, an acceptance, and consideration.
Globally Harmonized System: Hazard CommunicationPublished Jun 1, 2013
Learn about the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), and it's alignment with the Hazard Communication OSHA standard. GHS provides an international approach to hazard communication that gives the uniform criteria for classification of chemical hazards, label elements, and safety data sheets. Typical municipal operations affected include police, fire, public works, and utilities.
In the Driver's Seat: Beating Driver FatiguePublished Jul 31, 2013
Learn how to protect city drivers from the deadly effects of driver fatigue. Understand what causes it and what you can to prevent it or reduce the risk, even as you may face pressure to provide quality service while your resources diminish.
Individually Self-Insuring Workers' CompensationPublished May 9, 2008
In cities whose workers' compensation premium costs are over a quarter million dollars or so, the question of whether the city should consider self insuring individually often comes up.
Insurance Issues for Use of City FacilitiesPublished Apr 29, 2010
If you allow organizations to use city facilities, don't wait until you are faced with the question to decide what your city's insurance requirements will be for that use.
Land Use Conditional Use PermitsPublished Sep 8, 2008
Learn the basics of conditional use permits (CUPs) in administering the city’s land use ordinances. Define conditional use permits, for what purposes they may be granted; learn who grants them and procedural considerations for public hearings and the role of neighborhood opinion. Understand expiration dates, time limits and revocation of CUPs.
Land Use NonconformitiesPublished Sep 8, 2008
Learn what the city can and cannot do about land uses, structures or lots that do not comply with the city's current zoning ordinance. Read about statutory restrictions and the city's role in administering nonconforming uses.
Land Use Ordinance MistakesPublished Jun 1, 2011
Find and fix common land use mistakes in your city's ordinances. Avoid land use problems and claims by reviewing time limits for action, voting threshold requirements, restrictions on nonconforming uses, standards for conditional use and variances and zoning rules for manufactured homes.
Land Use VariancesPublished Jun 1, 2011
Learn about variances as a way cities may allow an exception to part of their zoning ordinance. Review who may grant a variance and how to follow and document the required legal standard of “practical difficulties” (before 2011 called “undue hardship”). Links to a sample ordinance and forms for use with this law.
Land Use: The Neighbor FactorPublished Feb 1, 2009
Learn how to educate city residents about the land use process and encourage public participation to foster civility and responsible decision-making.
Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act Of 2004Published Jul 1, 2010
This Act preempts state restrictions so "qualified" active and retired police officers can carry handguns nationwide. Learn whether cities must help these officers achieve "qualified" status and how to evaluate city liability and financial concerns. Find out when LMCIT liability coverage my apply. Read policy recommendations.
Liability Coverage for Joint Powers AgreementsPublished Jul 26, 2011
A common issue for LMCIT members concerns liability coverage for joint powers operations. This memo explains how LMCIT liability coverage applies to joint powers agreements and what cities need to do to make sure the appropriate coverage is in place.
LMCIT Auto Coverage GuidePublished Oct 30, 2014
Understand auto liability, auto physical damage, no-fault, and uninsured/underinsured coverage offered by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT), including coverage options, provisions, and how coverage works in specific situations such as the use of personal vehicles on city business and coverage for impounded or seized autos. Includes information on filing an auto claim.
LMCIT Bond CoveragePublished May 10, 2010
LMCIT offers public employee bond coverage as part of the overall package of coverage for cities. LMCIT's bond program is designed to make available all of the bond coverage and limits that cities and city officials need.
LMCIT Coverage For Land Use And Special Risk LitigationPublished Jan 31, 2013
Litigation relating to a city's land use regulation decisions, development and redevelopment activities, franchising, city enterprise operations, or debt obligations can be very expensive. LMCIT has developed a specialized approach to cover this type of litigation.
LMCIT Coverage for Skate ParksPublished Sep 3, 2010
LMCIT offers coverage for skateparks to member cities in the property/casualty program. Due to the various types of skatepark configurations and the various exposures presented by them, LMCIT has developed an underwriting approach based upon a two-tier view of skatepark facilities. Underwriting criteria has been established for both tiers.
LMCIT Model Community Center Rental DocumentsPublished Mar 4, 2010
The following model documents were created to assist cities when renting out a community center or other city-owned facility: Community Center Rental Application, Community Center Rental Rules and Regulations, Community Center Rental Agreement.
LMCIT Model Mutual Aid AgreementPublished May 17, 2010
The LMCIT has developed a Model Mutual Aid Agreement for cities to consider when they are working with other local governments. It provides a system to address liability, workers' compensation and equipment damage in mutual aid situations.
LMCIT Property Appraisal ProgramPublished Nov 13, 2012
LMCIT provides a property appraisal service to all of its members. The actual appraisals are completed by Hirons and Associates, a professional appraisal firm.
LMCIT Property Coverage LimitsPublished Jan 29, 2013
This memo discusses property coverage limits; some potential problems cities and agents will need to watch out for, such as historically significant buildings or vacant buildings; and other limits that apply to particular risks or properties.
LMCIT Workers’ Compensation Coverage GuidePublished Oct 31, 2014
Learn about the workers’ compensation statute and the unique coverage features offered by the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust. Understand premium and deductible options. Includes information on filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Maintenance of City TreesPublished Mar 10, 2010
Learn the value of regular inspection and maintenance of city trees, including prevention and abatement of diseases like Dutch Elm, Oak Wilt and Emerald Ash Borer infestation. Understand the types of liability claims commonly made about trees in city rights-of-way, parks and other public places.
Managing Risks in City ContractsPublished May 21, 2012
A contract is a legally enforceable promise between two or more parties. Contracts are an essential part of doing business. Cities enter into many types of contractual arrangements. They can range from the mundane to the extremely complex. Even the simplest contracts should be carefully reviewed and thoroughly understood to protect the city’s rights. A contract establishes which party is responsible for a particular risk. When used properly, contracts are an effective way to manage risk.
Manufactured Homes and ZoningPublished Oct 30, 2009
Learn how cities should regulate manufactured homes and manufactured home parks for consistency with state law. Find out how to review your ordinances for consistency with state law. Understand limitations on city licensing, how to use conditional use permits, and the effect of homes that do not comply with the manufactured home building code.
Minnesota Model In-Car Camera PolicyPublished Sep 16, 2010
The mandatory language within this model policy may create issues with discovery and spoliation of evidence in the event of a lawsuit. LMCIT recommends that the mandatory language be revised in certain areas of the policy to allow for officer discretion. When officers are well trained in the use and application of this equipment there is little concern with them using discretion.
Muscling Manhole CoversPublished Apr 1, 2007
Learn how ergonomic hazards can injure certain soft body tissues, the enormous costs associated with these injuries, risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders, how to prevent ergonomic injuries, and examine an ergonomic case study on manhole covers.
Optional No-Fault Sewer Back-Up CoveragePublished Jan 29, 2013
Optional no-fault sewer back-up coverage will reimburse a property owner for up to $10,000 of clean-up costs and damages caused by a sewer back-up, irrespective of whether the city was negligent or legally liable for those damages.
Park And Recreation Loss Control GuidePublished Oct 8, 2013
Cities strive to make their parks and recreation facilities and programs as safe as possible. Find an overview of key risk management concepts and specific advice for managing many common programs and events such as snow hills, ice skating or swimming facilities, trails, skateparks, parades, sports leagues, and more. Contains links to sample policies, checklists, and forms.
Planning & Zoning 101Published Apr 1, 2011
Learn the basics of why and how cities engage in land use planning and regulation, and why local officials should take time to carefully and conscientiously create land use laws. Tools discussed include comprehensive land use plans and zoning ordinances. Find a graphic to illustrating levels of city council discretion to decide at various stages in these processes.
Planning for Wind TurbinesPublished Nov 9, 2009
The location of wind turbines can present land use issues for cities. Learn how to address them under your city’s comprehensive planning and zoning authority, including addressing commercial and non-commercial turbines, setbacks and height limits, and effects on wildlife. Links to model wind energy conversion (WEC) ordinance.
Police Policies and Official ImmunityPublished Mar 10, 2010
Official immunity is an important tool in the governmental defense arsenal, especially in police cases. When applicable, it shields both officers and their employing agencies from liability, as well as the need to stand trial.
Policy Pep Talk: What Makes a Good Policy?Published Mar 1, 2008
Minnesota cities develop and utilize policies for a variety of operations. From a practical standpoint, policies provide cities with uniform, routine, and efficient delivery of services to citizens.
Providing Assistance In EmergenciesPublished Jul 6, 2012
Providing and receiving disaster assistance raises coverage and liability issues for cities. This memo outlines applicable statutes, how LMCIT coverages apply, potential problems, and a checklist of potential coverage issues in emergency situations.
Public HearingsPublished Mar 8, 2010
Understand the purposes, requirements and procedures for holding public hearings when making city land use decisions.
Public Works Emergency ResponsePublished Apr 1, 2007
Learn about common types of emergencies encountered by public works employees and how to anticipate problems to prevent injuries. Understand potential exposures during emergency response and the importance of training and practice exercises.
Regulating Dynamic SignagePublished Mar 7, 2007
City options for regulating larger electronic billboards with changing images and movement known as "dynamic signs" to provide safe roadways and observe constitutional protections on speech. Provides links to studies and an ordinance sample.
Role With It - Individual Vs. Council AuthorityPublished May 1, 2010
Learn common ways councilmembers may overstep their proper role and the personal liability that may ensue. Understand actions you may take in your role as an individual councilmember versus your role as part of the entire city council.
Safeguarding Your City Against Employee TheftPublished Jul 10, 2010
City staff and elected officials have a responsibility to protect city assets because they are publicly funded. Find out how to safeguard city assets through awareness of the "Fraud Triangle," that place where opportunity, financial pressure and rationalization intersect. Learn the elements of the triangle and common procedures you can implement to reduce employee theft.
Sanitary Sewer Toolkit: A Guide for Maintenance Policies and Procedures Published Sep 18, 2008
Learn how to avoid sanitary sewer backups through improved system maintenance and limit your liability with improved documentation if a backup does occur. Red toolkit icons mark links to model policies, forms, and public education pieces. Find related risk management information on inflow and infiltration, no-fault sewer backup coverage, discretionary immunity, and Pollution Control Agency sewer system by-pass requirements.
Service Contracts: Looking Out for Your CityPublished Jul 16, 2010
A contract is a legally binding agreement between parties to do or not do something, and requires an offer and acceptance. A contract is formed when one party makes an offer which is accepted by the other party.
Sign Ordinances and the First AmendmentPublished Mar 7, 2007
Learn how to design a sign ordinance for your city that meets the requirements of the First Amendment for protecting various forms of speech.
Subdivisions, Plats, and Development AgreementsPublished Aug 12, 2013
Regulating the division of land is a powerful tool in implementing any municipal comprehensive land use plan. Read a summary of the most basic laws associated with subdivisions, plats, and development agreements. Learn about land dedication for infrastructure, park dedication fees, the subdivision approval process, development agreements and exceptions and alternatives to city subdivision authority.
Taking the Mystery Out of Findings of FactPublished Feb 1, 2012
“Findings of fact” (a city’s written explanation of a decision) are a crucial part of land use decisions, and acting without a clue can be treacherous. Take the mystery out of findings of fact by exploring the what, why, and how of findings facts to make defensible decisions.
The 60-Day Rule: Minnesota's Automatic Approval StatutePublished Feb 11, 2014
Learn the elements of Minnesota Statute Section 15.99, which requires municipalities to approve or deny written requests relating to zoning within 60 days. Failure to do so results in automatic approval of the request. Understand the law’s rules and exceptions to stay in control of zoning-related activities.
The Agent's Role and Compensation In LMCITPublished Jan 7, 2011
The city must designate an agent as a condition of participating in the property/casualty program. The city has the option not to use the services of an agent for the workers compensation program.
The ISO Building Code Effectiveness Grading SystemPublished May 9, 2008
The Insurance Services Office (ISO) began a process of evaluating and rating building code enforcement in cities. This initiative largely grew out of insurance companies' experience in Hurricane Andrew and in the Northridge earthquake.
The ISO Fire Protection Rating SystemPublished Jul 14, 2010
The Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) has for many years done evaluations and ratings of the fire protection provided in communities. This system is called the ISO Public Protection Classification program, or PPC.
The National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating SystemPublished Jul 12, 2010
The idea behind the Community Rating System is that if a city has taken steps to reduce the risk of flood damage which go beyond NFIP's minimum requirements, that community's residents should pay less for flood insurance because of the reduced risk.
Tips For Avoiding Land Use ClaimsPublished Feb 3, 2014
Learn simple steps cities can take to avoid lawsuits in their regulation of land use and processing of land use requests.
Tips For Cities In LitigationPublished Jul 22, 2013
Actions of city officials and employees in matters dealing with a threatened or actual lawsuit may affect its ultimate outcome. Learn tips for working with attorneys, how and when to talk about matters involved in the lawsuit, and how to preserve evidence important to the case.
Training Safety Officer: The Control Tower for Police Injury ReductionPublished May 18, 2012
LMCIT recommends that member police departments implement a safety officer assignment when the department is engaged in active police training such as Use of force, active scenario based training, or firearms training/qualifications. The goal of using a training safety officer is to reduce injuries by increasing the amount of risk analysis and control, participant oversight, and safety awareness exercised during the training.
Tuberculosis Screening Published May 14, 2013
Learn about the disease tuberculosis, how it is spread, and what the risk factors are for transmitting this disease. Understand the requirements for screening tests of city employees working in jails and lockups, and those working as emergency medical professionals.
Vacant Building Risk ManagementPublished Dec 16, 2010
Buildings that are vacant are subject to a greater risk from certain types of perils. An interruption of utility service, vandalism, fire, or even a faulty furnace can cause significant damage if it goes undetected. Implementing loss control measures can help avoid damages and costly property and liability claims. The city can minimize the risk for property damage and liability exposure by following the risk management techniques outlined in this memo. Inspecting and ongoing monitoring of these properties is the key to protection.
Vaccinations And Infectious Disease Testing CoveragePublished Apr 1, 2013
Learn about required and recommended infectious disease vaccinations for city workers, and about League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust workers' compensation coverage for costs of testing workers exposed to bloodborne pathogens and other occupationally infectious diseases.
What to Do When Your Employee is Injured or SickPublished Mar 8, 2010
When your city has an employee who is sick or injured, you have a situation that you must deal with carefully. There are many potentially applicable laws to consider as well as the city's own personnel policies, past practices, and collective bargaining agreements.
When LMCIT Denies a Liability ClaimPublished May 9, 2008
When a third party makes a claim against the city and the city submits that claim to LMCIT, it's important to remember the city isn't automatically liable simply because the injury occurred on city property.
Zoning DecisionsPublished Jun 1, 2011
Zoning decisions are the source of controversy and confusion in many communities. Understanding a city’s zoning authority and the standards associated with various zoning tools is important in navigating controversy and dispelling confusion. This memo discusses the nature of a city’s decision-making authority and the legal standards associated with variances, conditional use permits, and nonconformities.
Zoning for ReligionPublished Apr 1, 2010
When considering an application for land use involving a religious institution, cities must comply with the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) law. Learn the requirements of this law and read examples provided by the U.S. Department of Justice on zoning actions and ordinance language that can violate it.