From time to time, bad things happen at chapter houses like fires, floods, hurricanes, personal injury, even death. For those occasions, insurance is indispensable.
In the 1980s, Sigma Chi chapters were experiencing a number of claims and finding it difficult, if not impossible, to obtain liability insurance to protect themselves. This same situation was being experienced by other fraternities and sororities. Many attempted to purchase package policies for their chapters. Sigma Chi chose a different way.
Under the leadership of the Grand Trustees, the Risk Management Foundation (RMF) was conceived during the administrations of Grand Consuls Keith Sorenson and Thomas F. Bell and rolled out in 1988. Its mission: to educate chapters on risk management and to provide liability and property coverage to member chapters and their house corporations. Today, 96% of Sigma Chi's chapters are members of the RMF, insuring over 10,000 brothers and $124 million in property coverage. The RMF remains the only program of its kind in the Greek world.
Reporting a Claim. If your chapter is one of the 96% that is insured by RMF, please follow this process.
- Report Promptly so the claims process is not delayed. Contact James R. Favor & Company at 800.344.7335 and Risk Management Foundation at 847.869.8655 or RMF@sigmachi.org
- Secure emergency medical treatment for injured persons.
- If suit is filed or legal process is served, immediately notify James R. Favor & Company, RMF and the insurance claims adjustor.
- Do not admit liability, accept responsibility or make public statements. Only the insurance company has authority to perform these actions.
- Cooperate with the insurance company by providing requested records and information. Cooperate with the investigation, defense and settlement of the claim.
- Assist with the insurance company’s right to enforce against any person or organization that may be liable to the insured because of injury or damage to which your insurance applies.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What insurance coverage is provided for Sigma Chi chapters that are members of the Risk
Membership in the Risk Management Foundation includes the following insurance coverage:
- General liability
- Excess umbrella
- Directors and officers liability
- Fidelity bond (Embezzlement)
The RMF makes the following additional coverages available as well:
- Boiler and machinery
All chapters and house corporations are reminded to comply with their local state workers'
2. Do the liability and umbrella policies provide coverage for undergraduate chapters, alumni advisors, and other volunteers? Yes. Each chapter must provide proof of insurance as required under the Sigma Chi Governing Laws (ECR 6.02-i-4). Undergraduate chapters are afforded protection provided that the chapter is abiding by the RMF and Sigma Chi alcohol policies. RMF insurance also provides coverage to alumni advisors and other volunteers while they are acting on behalf of Sigma Chi Fraternity.
3. Do the liability and umbrella policies exclude, restrict, or eliminate coverage? Yes. The insurance provided as part of membership in the RMF contains several important exclusions or coverage restrictions. This insurance does not provide for or replace your personal insurance protection.
Named insureds are only covered by the RMF's insurance under the following conditions:
- While acting on behalf of Sigma Chi Fraternity
- While acting in accordance with Sigma Chi Fraternity and RMF policies.
Coverage is also specifically restricted or eliminated when other types of conduct are involved. These include, but are not limited to:
- Criminal acts
- Intentional acts
- Sexual abuse or misconduct
- Violations of Fraternity or RMF policies
4. Do the RMF insurance policies cover injuries sustained during Sigma Chi Fraternity athletic events like intramurals? No. Participation in Sigma Chi athletic activities is voluntary. Members and guests assume the risk of injury and participate "at their own risk". Claims in this area are normally covered by personal medical insurance.
5. Does the RMF's insurance cover members' medical costs for accidental injuries? No. The RMF insurance coverage is not an accident and health policy. Claims in this area are normally covered by personal medical insurance.
6. Could undergraduates or alumni volunteers be named in a lawsuit? Yes. Undergraduates, chapter officers and alumni volunteers have been individually named in legal actions. The named insured under the RMF policy are subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations of the insurance.
7. As an undergraduate, how is my personal insurance or parents' insurance affected? You should always report any potential insurance claim to your personal insurance agent or carrier. The insurance provided as part of RMF membership is in excess of any other insurance available to you, such as your personal or parents' automobile or homeowners insurance.
8. As a volunteer, how is my personal insurance affected? You should always report any potential insurance claim to your personal insurance agent or carrier. Where permitted by law, the insurance provided for volunteers under the RMF policy is primary and will stand ahead of your personal insurance.
9. Does the RMF insurance provide auto liability coverage for undergraduates, alumni officials, or other volunteers if their automobiles are being used on Fraternity business? Yes. However, because of individual state automobile financial responsibility statutes--that is, state laws that generally require that you as the owner or operator of an automobile maintain primary auto insurance--the RMF insurance is limited to that which is in excess of your personal auto liability insurance.
10. Does the RMF insurance cover an undergraduate's or volunteer's personal property? No. The RMF insurance program does not cover loss or damage to personal property--i.e. computers, bikes, books, clothing or other personal items. Usually loss or damage to your personal property is easily insured under renters insurance or your personal or parents' homeowners policy.
11. Does the RMF insurance cover damage to my automobile if it is damaged on Fraternity property or when in use on Fraternity business? No. As with loss or damage to other personal property, your automobile is not covered by the RMF insurance program.
12. How are the fees determined for RMF’s liability coverage? Fees for liability coverage are determined by RMF’s insurance underwriters. Some of the more important factors include:
- The RMF's history of premiums paid versus losses paid
- Status and development of open claims
- Deductibles and coverage limits
- Exposures in number of chapters and members
- Overall loss control response and compliance efforts
13. How are chapter liability contributions determined? Chapter membership contributions are reviewed and determined in accordance with the membership allocation formula. Some of the more imporant factors include:
- Chapter size
- Chapter loss control response and compliance efforts
- Other risk management actions and programming
- Chapter claims history
14. How can we decrease chapter membership costs?
- Reduce your exposures by strictly following the law, Sigma Chi Fraternity and RMF alcohol and drug policies, and the RMF insurance policies.
- Respond and comply promptly with loss control requirements.
- Implement the Risk Management Chairman position and risk management committee into your chapter's executive structure.
- Develop ongoing risk management efforts to provide consistent education and awareness to the membership.
15. How can we decrease chapter property contributions?
- Reduce your exposures by focusing on life safety improvements such as fire protection and alarm systems.
- Ensure these systems are always operating properly with consistent monitoring and professional servicing each year.
- Maintain effective security systems to protect the property and contents.
- Participate in the Life Safety/Loss Control inspection program and respond in writing to promptly confirm compliance with any loss control requirements.
- Develop and implement a short-term plan to install a complete sprinkler system.
16. Do claims by other fraternities and sororities affect RMF and our chapter's rates? Yes. Although the most important factor is always your own chapter's loss record, the loss record of the whole fraternity world does have an affect as well. Because the insurance marketplace for fraternities is limited, any significant catastrophe or precedent-setting legal claim can have a broad impact in this market.
17. What are the benefits of a "group" policy? Group policies have been proven to offer the broadest coverage at the most affordable costs.They provide continuity and often include additional services such as educational programming and loss control assistance as well as chapter house inspections.
18. When is the RMF membership contribution billed and payable? Statements for each new program year are distributed at Balfour LTW and via e-mail in early August. Payment is due in full by September 15, unless the chapter opts for the half- or monthly-payment plan.
If membership contributions are not paid by the due date, membership in the RMF program may be suspended and insurance coverage terminated. Without insurance, individual chapters and their members may become personally liable for any claims that might arise.
19. How often does the RMF review its insurance program? The RMF Board of Directors reviews various aspects of the risk management program annually. Additionally, Sigma Chi Fraternity's Executive Committee reviews the RMF Board's recommendations annually.
20. Who do we contact with questions?
RMF Managing Director
1714 Hinman Ave.
Evanston, IL 60201
Phone (847) 869-3655
RMF Program Manager
James R. Favor & Company
14466 E Evans Ave
Aurora, CO 80014-1409
Phone: (800) 344-7335