Credit vouchers reduce county insurance premium
BY BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
Henry County supervisors received some good news on the insurance front Tuesday during their regular meeting.
Although the county’s premium will increase by $1,268.27 next year, the county’s credit voucher will more than offset the increase, resulting in a premium decrease of $1,900.88.
The figures are based on the fiscal 2018 insurance coverage against last year’s rates with this year’s coverage. Total cost of the county premium will be $161,985.03 after the $19,414.24 credit voucher is applied.
Henry County has its insurance through the Iowa Community Assurance Pool (ICAP) with Mike Vens of Gamrath-Doyle-Vens of Mt. Pleasant serving as the agent.
“There is good news all the way around with a couple of exceptions,” Vens said as he began his presentation. “Most of your rates are down or at least comparable to last year.”
The county’s premium increases came in the auto liability ($1,115.23), auto physical damage ($139.23) and administration and marketing fees ($13.81).
Vens said the auto liability rates increased by 8 percent due to a severe accident at the end of 2015 when a county snowplow hit a truck. In the auto physical damage, the agent said the increase was due to recent claim activity.
All county building coverage limits were increased by 2 percent, Vens said. As a result, the total insured values limit increased slightly from $14.58 million to $15.27 million. Most of the nearly $600,000 increase, Vens said, was in the area of computer and E911 equipment.
Vens said the ICAP program is growing and remains very strong financially. “The credit vouchers and distribution of excess cumulative reserve funds have helped keep costs down while providing very broad coverage for the members. So, with the increase in the credit voucher, the comparative cost is down by about 1.2 percent which is better than the commercial insurance markets.”
In closing, he suggested the county consider increasing its liability limit. Prior to the next premium year, the liability limit was $5 million but has been increased to $12 million. “I don’t think you are light, but I think you should consider it (raising the amount) at some point.”
Jake Hotchkiss, Henry County engineer, also gave his weekly departmental report to the board. Hotchkiss said the engineering and secondary-roads departments are in winter mode.
“We will still try to continue ditching operations where we can,” he began. “You will see more brush cutting in the next month or so. We had such a mild November, but December is making up for it.”
He said the area seems to be in a seven-day pattern where inclement weather strikes on weekends. The small amounts of snow on the weekend are leading to some “tricky” removal operations and questions as to whether to send plows out. “I would much rather have a six-inch snow than a two-inch snow because then there are no questions (about snow removal).”
Hotchkiss said the secondary-roads crew “put in a lot of hours” last week and weekend in road-clearing work.
Secondary-roads workers spent last weekend continuing ditching operations around Salem; started another ditching project near New London; continued tree trimming in the Salem area; hauled rock; worked on sign inventory; and continued cutting brush.
Supervisors will meet again in regular session Thursday at 9 a.m., in the Henry County Courthouse.