Chesterton Tribune



Commissioners okay move to fee based insurance agent pick General Insurance Services

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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.

KBIC first 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.

The Commissioners 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 said.

County Employee Health Insurance

Meanwhile, RE 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.


Posted 11/15/2017




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