The Porter County
Commissioners heard updates on changes to two county insurance plans at
their meeting Tuesday morning.
Charlie Renie, a
representative of KBIC Insurance Consulting, gave a summary of KBIC’s
recommendations for Porter County property and casualty insurance. Renie
recommended that the county be billed a flat fee rather than pay a
commissioned rate. He also outlined the scope of services for a firm
providing insurance to the county and identified and solicited quotes.
Paying a flat fee
improves transparency and helps to avoid conflicts of interest, Renie said.
“People have a better working relationship if they know how much they’re
paying a person to do the job.” Renie added that the flat fee will also save
the county an estimated $75,000 dollars over the life of the policy.
identified the needs of the county and what agencies may meet them by
surveying department heads and researching reputable agencies on the market.
The consultancy then invited 13 to 15 firms to agree to the scope of
services and join the selection process. Finally, KBIC narrowed the list to
five firms and concluded that General Insurance Services (GIS) would best
serve Porter County.
The county’s policy
will be handled by GIS employees Charlie Keene and Mark Behrendt. GIS is
based in Northwest Indiana, which was a deciding factor for KBIC. Renie said
GIS’s commitment to its mission statement stood out in the interview
process.” They really had a hometown sense of pride, and wanted to service
the counties they and their employees work in.”
GIS has also been
included in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIAB)
Best Practices study group, which examines elite insurance agencies and uses
them as models for improving insurance practices across the board.
duly approved the proposed contract with GIS. Commissioner President Jeff
Good, R-Center, noted that the change from commission to fee-based payment
is a big move for the county, while Commissioner Jim Biggs, R-North,
applauded fee-based. “There is no doubt the county government is going be
better off for it, and the tax payers are going be better off for it,” Biggs
Sutton & Associates continues to work with the county to find the best
provider for county employee health insurance, and expects to solicit bids
from interested agencies early next spring.
The current health
insurance policy ends in May 2018.
Good said the
public can expect an update on the process in either January or February.