Thursday, June 21, 2012
County wants bids on insurance at one time
By SUE WATSON
The Marshall County Board of Supervisors voted recently to ask their insurance agents to give the county a 30- to 45-day notice when policies come up for renewal.
Supervisors said they want to look into bundling as many of the policies as possible and have the renewal date come up in the summer months at the same time, where possible.
Bundling casualty and property policies under one provider could help the county save money on premium costs, they said.
The health policy would also be bid at the same time, likely in August in time for budget planning.
Setting renewal dates in August would help the board plan its budget each year.
Supervisor Charles Terry initiated the discussion.
“How are we going about the process?” he asked the board.
“I would like to rebid when the majority of the policies come up for renewal,” said Chuck Thomas, chancery clerk.
Supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett agreed that the county may get a better rate if it bundles certain policies in the property and casualty category.
“And we can do payments and budget it,” Thomas said.
Board attorney Kent Smith advised that a proposal from Traveler’s Insurance, that would save the county $100,000, was offered only if the casualty and property policies were bundled. He said if policies already in force were cancelled, the county would pay a penalty for early cancellation that would eat away at the savings.
“So, you should try to bundle to keep penalties down and then get quotes,” he said. “We will get policies to be rebid at the same time, including the health policy.”
County administrator Larry Hall cautioned that insurance bids or quotes should be taken in early August while the budget is being planned in order to give both agents and the board time to work on the details before the September 15 deadline to adopt the new budget.
Supervisor George Zinn III then asked if the county was interested in offering a gap plan since a company had approached him about making a presentation.
Thomas said there was a recent open enrollment and it would be 11 more months before that would be considered.
Terry asked if county employees would be confused if they used two cards – a health insurance card and a gap card. He said if the county saves money using a gap card with the health policy, it could save taxpayers money.
Hall explained that such a plan would be paid for by the county, not the individual, and that it would not be voluntary. All employees or no employees would get the bridge, he said.
“It’s parallel with your insurance,” he said. “It probably would save the county money to do it, but folks may not understand having two cards.”
He suggested the current health insurance provider should be asked to come to the board to explain how the bridge plan works.
In solid waste matters, the board passed a resolution to allow amendment of the Marshall County Solid Waste Management Plan to incorporate a proposed Class II rubbish pit in the northern end of the county. An agreement with John Porter, property owner who is proposing the site, is being worked out between the county and Porter to establish tipping fees and other benefits the county wants in return for approving the rubbish site.
The board authorized a letter to be sent to the municipal governments in the county informing them that the county’s rubbish pit is about filled and soon will not be able to accept rubbish from towns and cities.
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