MSGIA - Insuring a Bright Future for Montana's Public Schools for over 30 Years!


Shawn Bubb, MTSBA Director of Insurance Services



MSGIA quickly gained traction with MTSBA members through its highly successful Workers Compensation Risk Retention Program (WCRRP). The Workers’ Compensation program has saved MTSBA members millions of dollars in premium and dividends paid over the years by consistently remaining below competitors' price while offering expanded value-added risk management services (such as asbestos inspections) for free that cost thousands anywhere else.  

Starting in 2002, MTSBA took over the operation of MSGIA from the Montana School Services Foundation and that partnership has been key to the continued expansion in new lines of business and enhanced services ever since.  In 2008, MSGIA launched the School Leaders Self Insurance Pool, which resulted in a substantial reduction in rates compared to those then in place among profit-based competitors.  The same ingredients that drove the success of the workers’ compensation program have continued to drive the success and expansion of the property and liability program. Self-funded, member-governed and owned and accountable to the members of MTSBA for over 30 years, MSGIA provides some of the most valuable programs to MTSBA members and we greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve MTSBA members with the best insurance programs available for public schools in Montana.




MSGIA Crisis Management and Social Media Monitoring Services
The MSGIA continues to provide all WC pool members with crisis management and social media monitoring services for all its WC pool members.  Since January 1, 2019, all MSGIA WC Pool members have enjoyed access to these great new member resources to help prevent violent events from occurring at your school district through an open-source social media monitoring service.  MSGIA  members also have access to one hour of Professional Crisis Risk Management services from trained crisis management responders contract through the MSGIA.   In combination with the utilization of professional crisis management services, districts need to be mindful of the importance of consultation with their legal counsel to ensure the significant legal issues that arise in the crisis situations related to students and staff of the district are handled appropriately.  The MTSBA attorneys are well-versed in assisting districts with crisis management and the legal issues that come into play.   Please contact the MSGIA with questions or further interest in these great new school safety risk management programs only available through your MSGIA WC Pool membership.

About MSGIA's Workers' Compensation Resources 
The Montana Schools Group Insurance Authority has provided a Self-Insured Workers Compensation Pool for Montana K-12 School Districts since 1989. Over the years we have developed many programs and resources for our members. 

About MSGIA's Property and Liability Resources 
The Montana Schools Group Insurance Authority has provided a Self-Insured Property and Liability Pool for Montana K-12 School Districts since 2008. We have developed many programs and resources for our members. 

Check Out Safety Resources!
In this section, you will find safety and risk management articles, links, and training programs available for the members of our programs. This is a new resource area for our members, so be sure to come back and visit often as we add content.



Congratulations to Gallatin Gateway Elementary for receiving the MSGIA FY20-Gary Griffith Excellence in Workplace Safety Award

Gallatin Gateway earned this recognition by establishing a safety culture that consistently makes safety a priority in the daily routine for district staff.

Gallatin Gateway has many tools at their disposal, and they use all of them. For starters, they utilize the MSGIA pre-employment physical program for all new hires in their kitchen and custodial areas. This safety-focused approach to HR helps ensure they have good physical matches for the respective positions. And we see evidence of the efficacy of this PEP program strategy, in concert with the other steps they take to be safe, in the fact that the last three years the district had only three minor injuries, not one of which required time away from work. Great Job Gallatin Gateway Elementary!

The district has an active safety committee and completes a yearly audit of the facility to identify hazards. The district works closely with the MSGIA risk manager to provide professional consultations regarding workplace safety assessments and improvements.

Immediately upon walking into the district, you can feel a sense of school pride, and this is often associated with newly designed or implemented safety measures and protocols. Often everyday discussions among the staff revolve around topics such as moving equipment or furniture based on safety rather than aesthetics. In short, the Gallatin Gateway staff are constantly, creatively thinking about making their building and how to make it safer for students and staff.

The district consistently uses the MSGIA-provided Safe Schools online training opportunities. Staff frequently request additional topics for new content in the online platform, which has jump-started conversations with Safe Schools for new content areas.

Most notably, their district safety culture has ingrained the understanding that “safety” is not a one-time or a one-person job. The staff helps each other and looks out for one another to make continual adjustments in the workplace to address changing physical conditions, including that most dynamic of all conditions in Montana – snow! And wouldn’t you know it, they have thoughtful procedures in place to deal with common and yet unpredictable challenges like snow and ice removal.

Every district has a champion supporting and celebrating the strong results they have achieved, and for Gallatin Gateway that champion is their business manager, Carrie Fisher.  Carrie understands well that a safer district is a much more cost-effective district. Not surprisingly, she has volunteered to serve on the safety committee, where she can share these viewpoints and lessons learned with others.

Finally, the ultimate measure of success for a district is realized through the achievement of student learning outcomes. When all the staff assists with identifying and accomplishing annual goals, the district develops a culture steeped in a culture of safety that, most importantly, results in a stable learning environment for students.