Going from a
commission-based to fee-based model for insurance coverage appears to have
saved Porter County thousands of dollars in premiums.
At the Porter
County Board of Commissioners’ meeting last week, Mark Behrendt and Charlie
Keene of General Insurance Services appeared to discuss their
recommendations for 2018 county insurance. At a previous meeting, the board
followed their suggestion to move from the commission to fee model.
As Keene told the
board, he and Behrendt approached the agencies that the county already works
with and recommended that the board stay with those carriers. All county
insurance is due for renewal Jan. 1 excluding workman’s comp, which is due
Keene and Behrendt
made two other recommendations as well: that the board consider adding
cybersecurity insurance because the current policies do not cover losses or
damages incurred from Internet crimes such as data breaches; and that the
board increase the primary limit from $2 million to $5 million, which would
enable the county to add additional abuse and molestation provisions to
their umbrella coverage.
The board voted to
adopt the recommendations, excepting the cybersecurity insurance, for which
no quotes were presented. The total premiums for next year will be
$1,115,300, down from $1,191,623, a savings of $76,323 or 6.4 percent.
In other business,
Facilities Director Matt Stechly told the board that tens of thousands of
dollars in savings could lie in the utilities expenses for county buildings.
his findings about possible NIPSCO electric rate changes for Porter County’s
public buildings. He found that adjusting the rates for the county jail
would save between $10,000 and $15,000 per year, and the rest of the
buildings he examined could total up to $60,000 in yearly savings if rate
changes are granted.
Biggs, R-North asked how rate changes work. County Attorney Scott McClure
explained that the utility rates on county buildings are not locked in, and
if the level of use or the way NIPSCO categorizes use changes, the county
can request a rate change to lower its costs. Since the jail is a 24-hour
facility, it may qualify to be billed at a different level from a facility
that has nonoperational hours. The board granted Stechly a release to seek
NIPSCO’s approval for the rate changes.