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Constitution

CONSTUTION AND BY-LAWS OF THE TOLEDO CLAIMS ASSOCIATION

ARTICLE I

Name

Section 1. The name of the Association shall be THE TOLEDO CLAIMS ASSOCIATION.

ARTICLE II

Object

Section 1. To promote harmony and cordial business relations among the members; to develop a high standard of ethics and to promote the continuing education of the members.
Section 2. To promote the efficiency of claim handling for insurance companies or self insurers to achieve prompt and just settlement of meritorious claims.
Section 3. To agree that everything discussed at meetings of the Association or its Committees shall be professional in manner and in the best interest of the industry and the public.
Section 4. The knowledge gained through membership in this association shall not be used to defeat the common good and welfare of those involved in the claims vocation or the general public.

ARTICLE III

Membership

Section 1. Any claims department head, adjuster, or defense attorney, who is primarily engaged in the handling or adjustment of claims of Insurance Companies, or self-insurers, or retired , or on leave therefrom, is eligible for membership.

  • (a) REGULAR MEMBERSHIP–Any Claims Department head or adjuster who provides full time service for an Insurance Company or Companies, self-insurers in the adjustment and settlement claim losses is eligible for membership. For the purposes of this section the definition of an “adjuster” is defined as “one who handles claims on a full time basis and has no other function.” This can include agency personnel provided that person handles claims only and no other duties, stated or implied.
  • (b) ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP–Any individual primarily actively engaged in the defense or handling of claims for Insurance Companies or self-insurers may be eligible for associate membership, subject to the approval of the Executive Committee and the membership of the Toledo Claims Association. After consideration by the Executive Committee, the application will be voted on at the next regular meeting of the Association. If there is no objection by the membership present, simple majority vote will constitute admission to membership.
  • (c) Regular members have the right to enjoy all benefits and privileges of the Association.
  • (d) Associate members may attend meetings and social functions and serve on committees but will be ineligible to hold office or have voting privileges. Associate members are exempt from meeting requirements as required by Section 5.

Section 2. Any eligible person may be enrolled as a regular member upon the filing of a written application; recommended by a member in good standing of the Association; and payment of the initiation fee to the Membership Committee; and upon approval of the membership Committee; and acceptance of such application; and this applicant may be admitted to membership thirty days after the reading of the application to the Membership, providing no written protest has been filed by a member of the Association. If the Executive Committee approves the application, the Secretary shall advise the member who filed the protest of the reason or reasons that the protest was not honored. If the member who filed the protest wants to pursue the objection further, he can bring it before the membership at the next regular business meeting of the Association. Failure to bring the objection before the membership at the next regular business meeting will constitute no further objection and the applicant will be accepted.

Section 3.

  • (a) Any member may be expelled from membership for just and due cause by two-thirds majority of the voting members present at a regular meeting where it had been announced by the presiding officer that it was the intention to take such a vote.
  • (b) If at any time a member fails to qualify for membership per Section I and Section 2, he or she shall be automatically dropped from membership in the Association, and forfeit the dues. The Membership Chairman shall immediately notify, in writing, the member of the disqualification. Acopy of the letter shall be filed with the Executive Committee.

Section 4. Any member two months in arrears with dues, which shall be due payable on or before October 1st of each year, shall be automatically dropped from membership. Amember so dropped may apply for readmission after a period of one (1) calendar year.

  • (a) The amount of dues shall be established by the Toledo Claims Association as recommended by the Executive Committee. No increase in dues will be permitted without approval of the membership of the Toledo Claims Association. It shall be the duty of the Secretary to notify the membership in The Release of the impending increase and the date that the increase will be voted on.

Section 5. Any member who fails to attend at least three (3) regular meetings in any year (September 1st through August 31st) shall be dropped from membership unless, upon two (2) weeks written notice, he or she shall have established to the satisfaction of the Executive Committee a legitimate excuse for having failed to meet the minimum required three (3) regular meetings. The excuse shall be submitted by the member in writing and the action of the Executive Committee shall likewise be in writing. Amember so dropped may apply for readmission after a period of one (1) calendar year. It is agreed that retired members of the Toledo Claims Association are not obliged to attend three (3) regular meetings in order to maintain membership in good standing. A member in good standing who is known to be disabled shall be excused from the three (3) meeting requirement until he/she returns to full time duties. If the member is permanently disabled, the Executive Committee shall have the power to excuse the member from paying dues as required by Section 4 subject to review on a yearly basis, and approval by the membership.

Section 6. Any member in good standing, upon entering the Armed Forces of the United States, shall retain membership until termination of active duty and return to the claims business and qualifies for membership as described in ARTICLE III.

Section 7. Any member in good standing who becomes inactive due to transfer to another area, and who remains in the claims business, shall be automatically reinstated to full membership upon return to the Toledo area and upon payment of dues.

Section 8. Lifetime membership shall be extended to all Presidents upon completion of their terms of office and will be exempt from paying any dues.

ARTICLE IV

Officers

Section 1. The officers of the Association shall be a President, Vice President, Treasurer and a Secretary.

Section 2. The election of officers shall be the preferred order of business at the annual May regular business meeting of the Association.

Section 3. Each newly elected officer shall take office July 1, and shall continue in office until a successor takes office.

  • (a) In the event of death, permanent disability, transfer from the area or for any other reason that would prevent the elected officer from fulfilling his duties, each officer under that elected office shall by automatically elevated to the next highest office. If less than six (6) months remain on the term to be served the President shall appoint a member in good standing to the last vacated office. If more than (6) months remain on the term to be served, a special election shall be held to fill the vacancy created. This will be done at the next regular meeting following the created vacancy.
  • (b) If election to office is required, as stated in (a) above, the membership shall be given proper notice in the “RELEASE” as to the time, date, and place of said election. The Executive Committee will appoint any Past President to conduct the special election.

ARTICLE V

Duties of Officers

Section 1. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Association or any committee whenever such meetings seem to be necessary. Upon election to office, the President shall also have the authority to appoint any special committees. The special committees shall serve at the pleasure of the Executive Committee and may be eliminated at any time upon a simple majority vote of the Executive Committee.

Section 2. The Vice President shall perform the duties of the President when the latter is absent or incapacitated and act as head of the Audit Committee.

Section 3. The Treasurer shall collect and be custodian of the dues and any assessments voted by the membership and disburse the funds in accordance with the direction of the Executive Committee; report on the finances of the Association whenever requested by the Executive Committee; keep accurate books of receipts and disbursements for any and all functions of the Association; and perform all other duties ordinarily incident to the office of Treasurer. Any disbursement of Association funds exceeding Two Hundred Fifty($250.00) dollars shall be required to bear the signatures of the Treasurer and the President, or in the absence of the President, another Officer of the Association. The Treasurer shall, upon instructions of the Executive Committee, turn over his books to the Audit Committee for the annual audit. He will also attend the Audit Committee meeting but will have no active part in the audit except to answer questions as determined by the Audit Committee.

Section 4. The Secretary shall notify the membership of all meetings; take minutes of all business and Executive Committee meetings; handle correspondence for and on behalf of the Association; keep an active register of membership showing names, addresses, and companies represented; and perform all other duties ordinarily incident to the office of Secretary. It will be the duty of the Secretary to notify any member, in writing, of his/her failure to attend the required three (3) meetings as required by ARTICLE III, Section 5 of the Constitution. Notification by letter or in the “RELEASE” shall constitute the preceding phrase “in writing.” It will further be the duty of the Secretary to notify any member, in writing, who has been dropped from membership for non-payment of dues.

ARTICLE VI

Executive Committee

Section 1. There shall be an Executive Committee of the Association consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Parliamentarian, and the two (2) immediate Past Presidents. If, for any reason, either or both of the two (2) immediate Past presidents cannot serve then the Past President(s) immediately preceding them shall serve in their place. The President of the Association shall be the Chairman.

Section 2. The Executive Committee shall have full control of the Association affairs as they relate to operations. They shall have no control of the Association in general. All matters requiring investigation and deliberation shall be referred to the Executive Committee for its consideration and recommendations. If the investigation and recommendations involve a matter of policy, it shall be brought to the immediate attention of the Association for deliberation and determination of what action, if any, shall be taken. The Executive Committee may be given full power to act by the Association in any matter so referred.

Section 3. The Executive Committee shall hear any and all matters pertaining to the amending of the Constitution and By-Laws and will make recommendations to the membership as to their findings. The Executive Committee shall have no power to change the Constitution and By-Laws without the expressed consent of the membership as provided for in ARTICLE XI.

ARTICLE VII

Meetings

Section 1. Regular meetings of the Association shall be held on the second Thursday of each month, except during the months of June, July, August and December. The time and place of the regular meetings shall be determined by the Executive Committee which may change the time and place if the Committee considers it advisable.

  • (a) Regular meetings are restricted to regular members, associate members and all other guests who could qualify as members.
  • (b) Smoking is not permitted during meetings.
  • (c) Retired members over 65 years of age who have been members of this association for 25 or more years shall receive free lunches.

Section 2. The annual election of the Association shall be held at the regular meeting scheduled in May of each year.

Section 3. Special meetings of the Association shall be subject to the call of the President or Secretary. The President shall also have the authority to call special meetings of any committee if he considers it advisable and in the best interest of the Association.

Section 4. Twenty-Five of the members of the Association shall constitute a quorum at any meeting.

Section 5. The Executive Committee shall meet whenever it is deemed advisable by any member of the Committee but in no event shall there be less than two (2) meetings a year.

Section 6. The majority of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum at any one of its meetings.

ARTICLE VIII

Committees

Section 1. It shall be the duty of the President, upon election to office, to appoint the Standing Committees. He/She shall also appoint, during the term of office, such special committees as deemed necessary.

Section 2. The standing committees and their duties shall be:

    • (a) LEGISLATIVE: To keep the members of the Association informed of national, state, and local laws that have been proposed in legislation or passed affecting insurance claims; to bring to the attention of members and other interested organizations, the difficulties in existing legislation.
    • (b) MEMBERSHIP: To increase the membership; to investigate the qualifications of applicants for membership and report recommendations thereon to the Executive Committee as provided for ARTICLE III, Section 2.
    • (c) PROGRAM: To arrange programs that will present for discussion the many phases of claims work of interest and value to the members; to secure suitable speakers for Association meetings.
    • (d) PUBLICITYAND PUBLIC RELATIONS: To issue such items of news to the press and the insurance periodicals, as approved by the Executive Committee, which in its opinion faithfully and accurately chronicles the actions of the Association or any of its Committees; to arrange for joint meetings with other Associations; to cultivate and maintain good will with public officials and other organizations.
    • (e) DIRECTORY: To publish an annual directory of members and companies. The chairman of this committee will be responsible for the sale of Ads and Publications of the directory. The Chairman will, no later than Nov. 1st, obtain a minimum of two (2) bids for the Executive Committee no later than Nov. 8th.
    • (f) ENTERTAINMENT: To organize and coordinate the various social activities.
    • (g) CIVIC ACTION: To implement beneficial programs to promote harmonious relations with Governmental and community Institutions; to investigate and report to the Association any and all matters that directly affect the operations or policy of the Association. This will include, but is not limited to, local and State matters as it relates to the Claims Business; it will further investigate any and all matters refered to it by the Executive Committee and investigate and report to the Executive Committee all complaints of wrongdoing on the part of any member as it pertains to legitimate business practices of the Insurance Claims Industry. Any member in good standing can request such investigation if he or she has reasonable grounds to believe that a member has violated the Code of Ethics as established by the Civic Action committee and approved by the members of Toledo Claims Association. Awritten report will be presented to the Executive Committee upon completion of the investigation with recommendations of 1) no action, 2) private censure, or 3) expulsion from the Toledo Claims Association. There shall be no right of appeal of the Executive Committee’s decision. It shall be the duty of the Committee to establish The Code of Ethics in the “RELEASE” prior to the first business meeting in September. Awritten copy of The Code of Ethics shall be given to all members in good standing and to all new members upon acceptance into the Association.
    • (h) CHARITY: To investigate and report to the Executive Committee hardship needs of any Association member in good standing and recommend a course of action; it will further investigate charitable needs of other organizations and individuals recommended by the Executive Committee. Any member in good standing may recommend, in writing to the Chairman, any member or organization for charitable need(s). Funding for this Committee shall be at the discretion of the Executive Committee but in no event shall more that five (5%) percent of the Association funds be considered for this committee. In the event that more than five (5%) percent is recommended, then the matter must be brought before the Association at the next regular business meeting. Charities that are sponsored by The United Way are not eligible for donations.
    • (i) BUDGET: This committee shall be made up of the Executive Committee, the Committee Chairman, the Audit Committee, the Parliamentarian, and one (1) Past President of the Association. This committee shall meet prior to the first business meeting in September and lay out the annual budget for the coming fiscal year. This budget will then be presented to the membership at the September business meeting for approval. Asimple majority vote of the Association members present will signify approval. In the event that the budget is disapproved, the Budget Committee will revise the budget and present the revised budget to the membership at the next regular business meeting for approval. Emergency operating funds, if necessary, can be made available by the Executive Committee until the budget is approved. The Emergency Funds cannot exceed twenty (20%) percent of the treasury balance at that time.
    • (j) EDUCATIONALGRANTFUND: This committee shall operate according to the By-Laws as approved by the Toledo Claims Association in 1984. Acopy of these By-Laws shall be maintained by the Secretary of the Association and the Chairman of the Fund.
    • (k) AUDITCOMMITTEE: To audit the Association’s finances no later than June 25th every year and at any other time as directed by the Executive Committee. The Audit Committee shall consist of two (2) Past Presidents selected by the President of the Association. The Past Presidents cannot be members of the existing Executive Committee. The Treasurer of the Association shall be required to be at the Audit Committee meeting with the Association’s books and records but will have no voice in the audit. The sole purpose of the Treasurer being at the meeting will be to answer questions as presented by Audit Committee members. The Audit Committee will present a written report to the Executive Committee prior to July 2nd of the current year. It will be the duty of the Audit Committee to report any discrepancy(s) immediately to the President of the Association who will call a meeting of the Executive Committee for appropriate action. For the purpose of the section, the Executive Committee is defined as officers of the current year and the newly elected officers.
    • (l) NEWSLETTER COMMITTEE: To edit, publish and distribute to the membership a monthly newsletter to be called The Release.

ARTICLE IX

Dues Section

1. Each regular member of the Association shall pay as dues Twenty ($20.00) Dollars per Fiscal year except Charter and Lifetime members.

      • (a) Associate members of this Association shall pay as dues Sixty ($60.00) Dollars per Fiscal year.

Section 2. The Association dues shall become payable on or before October 1 of each year.

ARTICLE X

Procedure at Meetings

Section 1. Order of Business:

      • (a) Roll Call of Officers
      • (b) Reading by Secretary of Article II, Section 3 at first regular business meeting in September.
      • (c) Reading by Secretary of minutes of previous meeting.
      • (d) Report of Treasurer.
      • (e) Report of Committees.
      • (f) Election of Officers at May meeting.
      • (g) Reading of membership applications and sponsors. Introduction of new members.
      • (h) Introduction of guests.
      • (i) Unfinished business.
      • (j) New business.
      • (k) Program.
      • (l) Adjournment.

Section 2. The conduct of all meetings of the Association shall be
governed by the Roberts Rules of Order when not in conflict with the
Association’s Constitution and By-Laws.

ARTICLE XI

Amendments

Section 1. Proposed amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws must be submitted in writing to the President or Secretary. Any proposed amendment shall be given due consideration at the next meeting of the Executive Committee who shall present it to the Association at the next regular business meeting following the Executive Committee meeting with their comments and/or recommendations. The proposed amendment must first appear in The Release in its original form, without comment, before being read on the floor. It shall be voted on by the membership at the regular business meeting and, if the majority of votes are cast in its favor, it shall be immediately adopted. The amendment, as adopted, will then be published in the next regular issue of The Releaseand the next regular printing of the Toledo Claims Association Directory.

 

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