The AVMA Group Insurance Trust was established by the AVMA to provide various insurance benefits for its eligible members. The Trust changed its name to the AVMA Group Health and Life Insurance Trust (GHLIT) in 1986, in order to further differentiate the Group Trust from the AVMA Professional Liability Insurance Trust. In 2016, the AVMA Group Health and Life Insurance Trust name was changed to the current name AVMA LIFE Trust.
Through adoption of the report of the AVMA Special Committee on Insurance submitted to the House of Delegates August 9, 1956, the Association was empowered to establish the AVMA Group Insurance Trust, currently known as AVMA LIFE Trust.
The purpose of the Trust is to provide and maintain group life, disability, professional overhead and other benefits for members (called the member program) of the Association, as well as those members' dependents, who shall be eligible under the terms of the contract and for other benefits as determined by the trustees. Effective July 1, 2008, the Trust also began offering some benefits to the staff of a member veterinarian.
On April 4, 1982, the Board of Directors created for this Trust an ex officio, non-voting trustee's position. That position is not tied to any specific AVMA position title as of July 20, 1986. Dr. David Granstrom has been designated as ex officio trustee of the Trust. Dr. Granstrom serves as liaison between the Trust and the Board of Directors. His office, located in AVMA headquarters, serves as liaison between the insured members and the trustees and/or the advisors.
The trustees are appointed by the Board of Directors for terms of 4 years beginning at the close of the AVMA annual meeting. Trustees are eligible for reappointment to 2 consecutive 4-year terms for a total of 3 four-year terms or 12 years in all. If an appointment is made to fill an unexpired term of 2 years or less, the appointee will be eligible for reappointment to 3 full 4-year terms. For this purpose, a period of 2 years or less shall not be considered a term. If the appointment to an unexpired term is for longer than 2 years, the appointee will be eligible for reappointment to 2 full 4-year terms.
A record of the appointment is contained in the report of the Board of Directors to the House of Delegates.
Retiring Trust members' terms expire at the conclusion of the Trust meeting held at the AVMA annual meeting, and new Trust members' terms commence at the conclusion of this same meeting.
Each successor trustee must indicate to the Trust in writing that he or she accepts the terms of the Trust Agreement.
The trustees consider changes in the insurance program regarding benefits and types of coverage; they review the actions of the insurance company and broker in promoting the plans; they give close attention to the administration of the program as conducted by the business partners; they review complaints from members and request adjustments when justified; they determine distribution of dividends and are responsible for all matters related to the conduct of the AVMA LIFE Trust.
The trustees should have an interest in the subject of insurance and should be willing to devote substantial amounts of time on occasion to projects undertaken by the Trust.
The chair of the Trust is elected annually by the trustees.
The trustees hold three meetings annually - one in the spring, one in the fall, and one at the site of the AVMA annual meeting in July. The Trust may meet more frequently as necessary. Committees and subcommittees of the Trust may meet as needed and in such locations as is deemed necessary by the Trust chair.
All expenses are paid for out of Trust funds.
The trustees report annually to the Board of Directors and to the House of Delegates. The Trust chair is invited to the Veterinary Leadership Conference and may make periodic reports to them.