The Porter County
Commissioners Thursday took another step in their effort to bring insurance
met for a special meeting where they hired KBIC Consulting of Indianapolis
to be an independent third-party advisor on workers’ compensation policies
as well as property, casualty and auto insurance.
Consultant for KBIC Matt Heffernan said that his company will use different
matrices to vet proposed insurance policies and determine which plan will
“bring the most value to the table.” They will also look at what risk is
present and recommend management processes to keep costs down.
President Jeff Good, R-Center, said the County has legacy issues with its
workman’s comp and wants to monitor it better. When the Commissioners
renewed the compensation insurance policies previously, they were in a bind
due to time constraints. Having KBIC would enable them to look ahead for
this upcoming year. The deadline for workers’ comp renewal is April 10.
Scott McClure said this is “a deep dive” look at policies the County has
currently which could lead to a lower cost in premiums.
“What we are going
to do is going and getting quotes or bids, making sure what we get is priced
right in the market,” McClure said, adding that KBIC will review request for
proposal documents when it is time to renew.
“This has nothing
to do with the (insurance companies) we already have. If the people who we
have are the best, God bless them. If not, we are going to move on to
something different,” McClure said.
As a third-party,
KBIC can give unbiased recommendations on plans because they will not be
paid any more or less for whichever company is chosen, McClure said.
The agreement by
the County is to pay KBIC associates at hourly rates and not to exceed
The goal is not
only to save the County money but to create good conditions for its workers.
“It’s a win-win,”
said Commissioner Laura Shurr Blaney, D-South.
Good and Blaney
voted to accept the contract. Absent Thursday was Commissioner Jim Biggs,
“Just the sheer
amount of insurance we have to carry in County Government, we have to have a
set of outside eyes looking making sure we are doing it the right way. I’m
all for it,” Blaney said.
Expo Center alcohol
Along with worker’s
comp, the Commissioners were also able to save on alcohol liability
insurance for the Expo Center, by about $1,000. Quotes for premiums came in
with the highest being $1,795. The lowest, which was the one awarded, was
from Samuelson Insurance in Portage, at $1,370.
Good said there
will be more times like this when the Commissioners will look to get a
better deal, no matter what the item is.
“We’re turning over
stones and shaking the tress and see what comes out,” he said. “We are
saving $1,000 on our premium for one venue.”
March 15, at 6 p.m. will be the first meeting of the year for the County
Good said the
Commissioners and the Council aim to revamp the RDC which has looked at the
possibility of tax increment finance areas around Porter Regional Hospital
and the Porter County Regional Airport, but none have yet been created.
The five-member RDC
will have some new appointments this year due to changes in leadership on
the Board of Commissioners and the Council. Good said there are “no big
sweeping plans yet” for what the RDC will do, but Wednesday will serve as a
time to reorganize.
Next, Blaney and
Good voted yes to NIPSCO’s request for temporary access on a County-owned
easement near the City of Portage for the third phase of replacing its gas
main. The current 22” gas line will be replaced with a 24” gas line.
meeting, Good explained that these special meetings, or those that are not
on the Commissioner’s approved list of 2017 meeting dates, are for to hear
and approve business items that are time sensitive.
“We’re trying to
move things a little bit faster,” he said.
Commissioners space their meetings by three weeks and this is the second
special meeting this year. Good said more special meetings can be expected
in the future.