Trustee wants to shop around for better insurance rates

FLINT TWP. — Naturally, the cost of everything continues to rise but escalating insurance costs have at least one township trustee concerned.

Flint Township properties and casualties insurance rates have increased 36 percent in two years, said Trustee Frank Kasle, after reviewing a recent report provided to the board earlier this month.

Kasle said he specifically noticed that the rates from 2013 to this year increased from $237,000 to $323,000

“That says to me that maybe we are doing something we shouldn’t be,” Kasle said. “Last year, I indicated that we ought to take a look at competitively bidding this insurance to see if we are getting a fair deal,”

He also suggested looking at ways to reduce premium expenses or hiring an expert to review the policy to identify areas where expenses can be cut.

Township Supervisor Karyn Miller said the personnel committee, including Township Treasurer Marsha Binelli and Township Clerk Kim Courts, have similar concerns and have asked their agent for a meeting next month to discuss risk management.

Miller noted that the insurance rate includes police cars and fire trucks and a recently added rider for terrorists’ attacks.

The rate has fluctuated from as high as $400,000 ten years ago to the $237,000 rate in 2013, she said, adding that costs are based on claims. The more claims that go in the higher the premiums can go. The township has little control over, for example, vehicle accidents or if someone decides to file a lawsuit against the township, she said.

Similar to past consultations with agents to discuss health care and worker’s compensation insurance costs, the meeting to discuss liability insurance is purposed to look for ways to reduce risks and lower claims. The police and fire chief have both been asked to attend the meeting, she said.

Miller also said she was not sure if competitive bidding, as Kasle suggested, would work but would look into it.

Trustee George Menoutes said that based on his years of board and personal experience, when switching insurance companies, the rates go down the first year, then get bumped right back up to previous levels the next year.

All agreed that the township insurance premium is substantial.

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