What is OMEX?
The Ontario Municipal Insurance Exchange (OMEX) is a not-for-profit insurer dedicated solely to providing insurance to Ontario municipalities since 1989. We are not a traditional insurer. What makes us different is our underwriting principles and our focus on transparency and accountability. Ontario municipalities are our only clients. We deliver products and services specific to municipal needs. We are on the same team...your commitment to reciprocal insurance ensures our success.
How does Reciprocal Insurance Work?
OMEX operates similar to other insurance companies in that we issue insurance policies, charge premiums, transfer risk to reinsurers and pay claims. We are, however, a member-governed alternative to the conventional insurance market. As a risk sharing group, our members' input helps us create new products and services to support their future needs. Our Board of Directors is composed of senior municipal staff elected by the membership. The day-to-day management of the reciprocal is handled by a team of insurance professionals who are experts in municipal insurance solutions.
Reciprocal insurance premiums do not include a profit factor, but rather reflect the "true cost of claims". The OMEX Members agree to share these costs according to the formula set out in the Reciprocal Agreement.
What is the Reciprocal Advantage?
Most OMEX members point to greater control and cost stability as the greatest advantages of reciprocal insurance. Members determine how OMEX is run and how premiums are spent focusing on products and services that meet their needs. Members work side-by-side with OMEX professionals to ensure appropriate coverage and to reduce their overall insurance costs.
The OMEX management team are experts in the field of municipal insurance. They provide creative, proactive solutions which help our members effectively manage the cost of risk in their municipalities. OMEX acts as a focal point to share best practices so that our members can learn from others and gain knowledge from their experiences.
OMEX claims staff work cooperatively with the municipal staff, adjusters and defence counsel to ensure efficient and timely management of the claims. We watch over your money as if it were our own! At the same time, we encourage members to take an active interest in the disposition of their claims as many useful risk control lessons can be learned.
"The City of Brampton values OMEX's cooperative approach to municipal insurance. Overall, it offers excellent coverage, consultative input into how claims are managed, and strong support in risk management practices."
Roman Parzei, Senior Manager, Investments, Insurance & Risk Management, City of Brampton
Why is "municipally-focused" insurance important?
No other insurer is so completely focused on serving the unique needs of Ontario municipalities. We deliver in-house underwriting, risk management, risk advisory, program administration, claims administration, member education and much more...direct to our members.
Because it's our only business, we create products and services specific to municipal needs. We identify the risks inherent in your operations and provide coverage solutions or risk management tools to help you control that risk. The OMEX team is proactive and has extensive experience in the problems your municipality faces every day. Whether it's a seasonal, or first time event, the OMEX team can share with you best practices to care for both your assets and your employees.
From our broad insurance coverage to member education; from our on-site inspections to our risk management website (CheckPoint Ontario), the OMEX Board and Management realize what is important to our members.
OMEX staff understand the environment under which municipalities must operate in terms of legislation and expectations. Our team provides input to various municipal associations and provincial ministries on matters of municipal risk and insurance. Whether it is serving on the task force reviewing Minimum Maintenance Standards for Ontario roads or dealing with the impact of Joint & Several liability on municipal claims, OMEX is always focused on what is best for Ontario municipalities.
"The County of Dufferin values the full-service approach to all aspects of insurance services that OMEX provides. Its client-centred focus means they are continually looking at ways to improve service and meet client needs. It's not surprising when you consider that OMEX is about municipalities working together to manage their own risk in a cost effective manner."
Linda Dean, Chief Administrative Officer, County of Dufferin
What does "the true cost of claims" mean?
As a not-for-profit organization with low overhead, OMEX premiums reflect the true cost of claims. Our annual premiums are based on the money needed to fund claims, purchase reinsurance and pay operating costs. Friction costs such as commissions and broker fees are dramatically reduced or eliminated. Premiums are tied almost exclusively to the exposures shared by reciprocal members and are largely unaffected by major claims in other jurisdictions or industries. As a result, OMEX tends to focus on long term cost savings and avoid the "ups and downs" of the commercial marketplace.
Are Reciprocals a new idea?
No. Reciprocals are a proven and popular concept among organizations that share a common interest. Most have been in existence since the early 1980's. Today, reciprocals insure the majority of hydro-electric commissions and school boards in Ontario, as well as many hospitals and universities across Canada. Municipal reciprocals exist in other parts of Canada including British Columbia and Nunavut.
"OMEX is so much more than an insurance provider. It's a complete resource for municipalities who want to work towards proactive risk management and decreased costs over the long term."
Valerie Critchley, Executive Director, Council and Customer Services, City Clerk, City of Windsor.