History of SIA
In the early 1970s, public agencies were faced with rising insurance costs and few coverage options. Sacramento County school districts were among those affected. The Sacramento County Grand Jury charged the Sacramento County Office of Education with the responsibility of studying this problem and seeking ways to implement a county-wide insurance program.
The County Office of Education invited each school district to send a representative to serve on a task force to research this insurance issue. The decision was made to establish a self-insurance pool to cover common property losses and to purchase excess insurance to cover catastrophic losses.
In the mid-1970s, the California Legislature amended the Government Code to provide that any two or more public agencies could join together to exercise jointly any rights they might individually have, creating the first Joint Powers Agreement, enabling Sacramento County school districts to pool together for the purpose of self-insurance. Under these codes, Schools Insurance Authority (SIA), originally named Sacramento Insurance Authority, was formed on July 1, 1974 making it the oldest joint powers authority (JPA) in California. SIA was committed to saving insurance premium dollars for school districts and stabilizing the cost of insurance over the long period. The original five charter members participating were San Juan Unified School District, Natomas Unified School District, Del Paso Heights School District, Elk Grove Unified School District and Sacramento County Office of Education.
The first program implemented in 1974 was the Property Program, followed by the Liability Program in 1975, the Workers' Compensation Program in 1977 and in 1980, the Benefits Program. In 1980 SIA also hired its first employee, Joseph Farrell, as Executive Director.
Today SIA has a total of 35 members, representing school districts, county offices of education and joint powers authority, all located in Northern and Central California. Although not all members participate in all programs, it is through the joining together for the purpose of self-insuring, group purchase, loss control and greater financial resources, that continued stabilization of insurance costs will be maintained for school districts who participate in Schools Insurance Authority programs.