Frequently Asked Questions

Select from categories below:

1. Questions Regarding Public Entity Risk Pooling

2. Questions About IPARKS

3. Questions For IPARKS Members


Questions Regarding Public Entity Risk Pooling

Q. What is a Risk Pool?

A risk pool is an intergovernmental arrangement through which a group of public entities - the members - contribute to a shared fund that pays for claims and provides risk control services.  The goal of a risk pool is to contain and stabilize long-term costs while reducing risks and increasing safety.


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Q. What are the benefits of a Risk Pool?
A. When two or more public entities share risk, aggregate costs are less than the sum of the individual participating entities' costs. All members' contributions to a risk pool help pay claims for any one member's claims. When pool members share knowledge and information, they learn to reduce the risk associated with their primary purpose - providing critical public services.

Nationally, risk pools save taxpayers billions of dollars. Several factors create savings:
  • Unlike commercial insurers, pools add no profit margin (typically at least 10-15 percent) to rates;
  • Pools spend less than commercial insurers on administration and middlemen;
  • Pools are often exempt from the taxes that commercial insurers pay; and,
  • Most importantly, pools emphasize helping members avoid and reduce liability claims and property losses.

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Q. Do many public entities participate in Risk Pools?
A. There are more than 90,000 public entities in the United States. The Association of Governmental Risk Pools (AGRiP) estimates that at least 80% of public entities participate in one or more risk pools.
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Questions About IPARKS

Q. What is IPARKS?
A. Founded in 1991 pursuant to the Illinois Intergovernmental Cooperation Act, the Illinois Parks Association Risk Services (IPARKS) is a local government risk-sharing pool that exists for the primary purpose of providing park, recreation and conservation districts, river conservancy districts, forest preserves and special recreation agencies in the state of Illinois with an alternative to traditional insurance.  IPARKS is the risk management affinity partner of the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD), a nonprofit service, research and educational organization that serves park districts, forest preserves, conservation districts, river conservation districts, municipal park and recreation districts, and special recreation agencies in the state of Illinois.  IPARKS differs philosophically from traditional insurance programs in that IPARKS is owned by its members and serves only its members interests.
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Q. How many park districts and forest preserves are members of IPARKS?
A. More than 170 Illinois park districts, forest preserves, conservation districts, river conservancy districts and specialized recreation agencies participate in IPARKS -- more than any other insurance or pooling arrangement program in the state of Illinois.
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Q. Can I work with my local insurance agent to participate in IPARKS?
A. Yes. Many IPARKS members work with their local agents while others work with IPARKS directly.
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Q. Is IPARKS available to both large and small districts?
A. Yes. IPARKS has a wide variety of members, from one of the largest park districts in Illinois to the very smallest of districts.  IPARKS provides expanded coverages and services to all of its members.
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Q. Are risk control services available to IPARKS members?
A. Yes. IPARKS has risk control professionals who assist members in risk control, by providing on-site visits, park and pool inspections, presentations, and other services. In addition, as part of their IPARKS membership, members have access to an extensive Resource eLibrary,  which provides members with access to best practices, human resources materials, seminars, hundreds of online training courses and webinars which can be viewed live, or on-demand, all of which assist park districts with reducing or eliminating risk.
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Q. What is a Financial Stability Rating®?
A. Demotech, Inc. is a Columbus, Ohio financial analysis firm with over 30 years of experience in providing independent opinions on the financial stability of government risk pools.  Financial Stability Ratings® (FSRs) are a leading indicator of the financial stability of a company.  FSRs are based upon a series of quantitative ratios and considerations using statutory financial data and insurance accounting principles prescribed or permitted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).  For 27 consecutive years, Demotech, Inc. has awarded the Illinois Parks Association Risk Services with a Financial Stability Rating® of AAA (Unsurpassed), its highest rating.
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Questions For IPARKS Members

Q. What is the IPARKS Grant?

The IPARKS Grant Program is designed to help reduce and prevent liability claims and property losses. IPARKS members may apply annually for reimbursement of up to $500 in grant money to fund, or partially fund, safety items that will aid in property and liability loss control or risk management efforts. The funds can also be used towards personal protective equipment, disinfectants, protective gear, signage and other items to assist with ongoing risk management efforts related to COVID-19.


Grant Application

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Q. What is the amount of the IPARKS Grant?
A. Members may apply for up to $500 in grant money annually.
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Q. What items qualify for the IPARKS Grant?
A. Examples of items that would qualify for the IPARKS Grant include (but are not limited to):  playground surface materials; safety signage; safety cones or other hazard warning items; fire extinguishers; personal protective equipment and, automated external defibrillators.
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Q. How do I file a claim?
A. To file a claim, please click on the File a Claim icon on the right hand side of the screen or click the link below.  There you will find Claim Reporting Instructions that will guide you through the claim submission process as well as the forms to be submitted for the various types of claims.

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Q. How do I add a vehicle?
A. To add a vehicle, please email Wendy French at wfrench@bfgroup.com.
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Q. How do I request a certificate of coverage (other than for a vehicle)?
A. To request a certificate of coverage (other than for a vehicle), please email Wendy French at wfrench@bfgroup.com.
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Q. How do I request a certificate of coverage for a vehicle?
A. To request a certificate of coverage for a vehicle, please email Wendy French at wfrench@bfgroup.com.
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Q. How do I request a quote?
A. To request a quote, please email Wendy French at wfrench@bfgroup.com, or click on Contact Us and a representative will respond to your inquiry.
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