Michigan Universities Self-Insurance Corporation

The Michigan Higher Education Group Self-Insurance and Risk Management Facility, doing business as Michigan Universities Self-Insurance Corporation (MUSIC), is a consortia of 11 of 13 Michigan public Universities in which Eastern Michigan University is a member.

The mission of MUSIC is to provide a comprehensive risk management and loss control program to member universities by providing broad coverage for common exposures in the most cost effective manner.

Member Institutions

  • Central Michigan University
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Ferris State University
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Lake Superior State University
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Northern Michigan University
  • Oakland University
  • Saginaw Valley State University
  • Wayne State University
  • Western Michigan University

The Corporation is organized along a board and committee structure. The board of directors is comprised of a director and alternate from each member institution. The board sets policy and direction and oversees the operations of the corporation as well as its various committees.

MUSIC Committees are comprised of voluntary representatives from the member institutions. The five standing committees and responsibilities assigned to each are:

  • Claims and Loss Control Committee: Responsible for oversight of the loss control and claims handling activities for the purposes of minimizing the frequency and severity of accidental losses to member universities, and to ensure fair, prompt and cost efficient claims handling.
  • Finance Committee: Charged with oversight of the financial affairs and the assets of the corporation and making recommendations as appropriate to the board.
  • Legal Committee: Responsible for developing policies associated with legal issues that impact the successful operation of the corporation. This includes oversight of the provision of legal services to MUSIC and its members.
  • Planning and Oversight Committee: Provides leadership in assessing MUSIC's corporate performance, develops strategies as required for MUSIC to achieve its corporate mission and maintains and nurtures the corporation's relationships with its members, manager, service providers and other interested parties.
  • Underwriting Committee: Responsible for review and oversight of all underwriting matters relating to coverage within MUSIC's retention and excess of MUSIC's retention.

Participation in the General Liability, Auto Liability and Errors and Omissions Program is mandatory. Members are also encouraged to participate in group purchase programs including, Foreign Liability, Medical Malpractice, Non-Owned Aviation, Automobile Physical Damage, and Pollution and Cyber Risk. 

  • MUSIC President's Overview 

    By Michael M. Doxey, President, MUSIC

    In Michigan's challenging budgetary atmosphere and with growing pressures for identifying ways to save money through cooperative purchasing and other collaborative ventures, it seems appropriate to remind ourselves of a shining example of one of the first successful and effective collaborations between the state's universities.

    In 1985 the business officers and risk managers of the 13 public universities recognized that insurance coverages were either unavailable or very expensive. In response to that crisis, a task force was formed to study the problem and make a recommendation to the Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan. Under the leadership of Robert Romkema, then vice president for business and finance of Eastern Michigan University, the task force recommended the formation of a risk sharing facility. With the support and approval of the Presidents Council, 10 of the 13 public institutions signed a participation agreement on June 25, 1987, authorizing the formation of a non-profit organization called the Michigan Higher Education Group Self-Insurance and Risk-Management Facility doing business as the Michigan Universities Self-Insurance Corporation – MUSIC.

    Now, that precedent breaking venture has completed its 20th year of operation. MUSIC has saved its 11 members several million premium dollars while providing broad coverages to the universities. Errors and omissions (E&O) and commercial general liability (CGL) – the original coverages – continue to be the heart of the program. Property coverage was added in 1989 with several other coverages such as excess workers compensation, automobile liability and physical damage, foreign liability, medical malpractice and non-owned aviation added as group purchases over the years.

    While hard markets and times of natural and man-made turmoil in the insurance industry (9/11, hurricanes, earthquakes) caused premiums to skyrocket and coverages to erode, MUSIC has been a positive force in mitigating the effect of those rising costs on its members. Long term relationships with underwriters and sound loss control practices have paid off in significantly lower premium adjustments, than would have been experienced by the members in the commercial insurance environment.

    In addition, MUSIC has declared dividends that have returned significant equity dollars to its member institutions. In the traditional commercial insurance environment these dollars would have been gone forever. Only through prudent financial management, attention to loss control and effective claims handling have these financial expediencies been possible.

    MUSIC, by design, is a volunteer organization with each person working on behalf of their institution and the facility to bring affordable, consistent and effective risk financing, loss control and claims management to each of our members. This progress and success wouldn't be possible without the commitment and dedication of the member institutions' directors, alternate directors, a host of other volunteers and its third party administrators led by its facility manager, Marsh USA.

    MUSIC and its board of directors want to thank the Presidents Council and the business affairs officers for having the vision to create such an innovative method for resolving the insurance problem and for their steadfast support of the volunteers serving as officers, chairpersons and members of committees, and for allowing them to give their time and expertise to these collaborative efforts. That forward thinking continues to "pay dividends" in the very challenging budget climate we face today. We all should be proud of the 20 years of success of MUSIC and look forward to the challenge of another 20 years of challenges, successes and collaboration.

    Notes

    1. The Presidents Council, State Universities of Michigan, based in Lansing, is a nonprofit higher education association serving Michigan's 15 state universities. Each year, Michigan's public universities serve about 280,000 students, focusing on the delivery of excellent undergraduate and graduate education and equal educational opportunity.
    2. Saginaw Valley State and Lake Superior State joined in 1990 and Michigan State dropped its participation in 2000. 

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