Frequently Asked Questions

What is CIAW?

CIAW is a public entity risk program that provides comprehensive property and liability coverage for Washington municipalities, fire districts, and special purpose districts. It was founded in the 1980’s after a change in state legislation allowing public entities to pool risk to address the high prices, inadequate coverage, and minimal access to loss control services then available in the insurance market. The Cities Insurance Association of Washington (CIAW) was formed with the purpose of sharing risk and creating buying power for its members.

What is insurance pooling and what are the benefits?

Insurance pooling is an insurance option intended to transfer risks from an individual to a larger group with the basic operating principle of “strength in numbers”. This option provides more buying power in the insurance market, stable and predictable rate increases as possible, increased resources to prevent and manage losses, and a community of like-minded members who are all in for the same reasons. CIAW offers these benefits and more to our members. 

What is your coverage model?

CIAW provides comprehensive coverage from commercial property, general liability, and wrongful acts coverage to equipment breakdown, business auto, and more. CIAW carries a Self-Insured Retention (SIR) and purchases various reinsurance and excess insurance policies to cover losses that may exceed the self-insurance layer, to protect the program and its members against any catastrophic claim. In addition, CIAW’s assets are protected against an abnormally high frequency of claims that may occur during a given year through an aggregate stop loss policy, selected by the Board of Directors, which helps ensure the amount paid towards claims is capped in any one year and will likely never exceed a predetermined amount.

What services do you provide?

CIAW provides underwriting, pre-litigation recommendations, risk management, and claims management. In addition, CIAW also provides a whole suite of Educational Services and Regional Events to members at no additional cost.

How do I join?

Please speak to your broker about membership. Any broker can access CIAW to provide you a quote through our Sales and Marketing team. Additional information and applications can be found on our Coverage page.

How is CIAW structured and governed?

CIAW is governed by a Board of Directors, all of which are members of CIAW and elected by the membership. To learn more about the current CIAW board members, please visit the Board of Directors page. CIAW hires a program administrator for daily operations in program management, member services, and claims administration, as well as brokerage services.

Who has voting rights?

All members select a ‘Member Designee’ to represent their organization, vote in Board of Director elections, and receive email communications from the pool regarding renewal, updates, services, and other resources.

How do I get involved?

CIAW benefits from active member involvement. If you wish to learn more about serving on the Board of Directors, please contact Jessika Tempel at For other ways to get involved, please consider attending our conferences, regional events, engaging with our services and partner resources, working closely with your broker, and reaching out to us to provide feedback.

Who is Clear Risk Solutions?

A Program Administrator that provides administrative, risk management, third party claims administration (TPA), and insurance brokerage services on CIAW’s behalf. They have specialized in risk pooling for over 40 years and also serve several other pools in Washington for nonprofits, municipalities, and counties. They work on CIAW’s behalf to secure necessary coverages, provide risk management experts for members, handle all claims and underwriting services, and work closely with the Board of Directors regarding pool initiatives, regulatory compliance, legislative matters, and more.

What states does CIAW operate in?

CIAW currently operates exclusively in Washington State.

Is CIAW financially secure?

Yes, CIAW is financially secure. Please refer to our Program Financials and Governing Documents for additional information.

How can I subscribe to your mailing list to receive regular member communications?

Per state requirements, each CIAW member is required to designate a primary member contact to receive regulatory notices. However, everyone is welcome to sign up for CIAW communications – simply fill out the short form via the following link to subscribe.

Broker-Specific FAQs: 

How do I submit a BOR?

Please submit your BOR letter, signed by the member, to our office,, and we will process the change on our end. If the member has waived the 10-day waiting period, please have them indicate that in the letter or via email. 

What supplemental applications will my client need?

Our Supplemental Applications are available on our Coverage page, that might pertain to your client. You can determine which you’ll need during the process of answering the General Application questions. Underwriting may request additional supplemental applications during the quoting process. 

What is CIAW’s policy term start date?

CIAW’s policy terms are one year long, and the policy year starts on December 1 of each year and ends November 30 of the following year.

Where do I pull loss runs for my clients?

Loss runs can be requested from our office by emailing Please provide the name of the member you’re requesting for, as well as a timeline for the number of years you would like included.  

How do I request an endorsement change for my client?

Please fill out the downloadable form listed on the Underwriting page and be sure to include the change requested, an effective date for the change, and any pertinent information. Our office can help you with any other information that might be needed in order to process the request. 

How do I request a certificate of coverage for my client?

Please fill out the downloadable form listed on the Underwriting page, listing the name of the certificate holder, their mailing address, what the certificate is regarding and if the certificate holder requires an additional endorsements. Our office can help you with any other information that might be needed to process the request. Please send all certificate requests to