Village looks to save 10 percent on its liability insurance costs

The village could save about 10 percent on its liability insurance costs and get better coverage in 2013-2014, according to a proposal made in June by their long-time insurance agent.

The savings, agent David R. Meager told the Board of Trustees, would come if the village agrees to change its carrier and join the New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal (NYMIR) — an insurance company for local governments.

NYMIR was founded in 1993 with 26 local government subscribing members. Over one-third of the more than 1,600 general purpose municipalities in New York State are now members, making NYMIR the largest municipal property and casualty underwriter in the entire state.

“When you look at the price (for the policy) and the insurance coverage you’re going to get I have no reservations telling you I think this is the way to go,” said Meager, of Adirondack Trust Insurance.

Joining NYMIR would require a five-year commitment and cost the village an annual “capitalization” or membership fee of $361. Even with that expense the village would still save considerably over three other policy bids submitted along with NYMIR’s.

The village’s liability premium with NYMIR for the new policy year beginning July 13 (membership fee included) would be $22,278. The village’s current carrier, Selective Insurance Group, proposed premium was $24,613. Other company quotes were $24,286 from Travelers Insurance and $23,683 from Houston Casualty Co.

In addition to the lower premium, the NYMIR plan also includes several new or enhanced coverage improvements the village has not had in a policy before such as coverage for flood, earthquake and acts of terrorism for up to $1 million. The policy would also add Village Hall to its blanket coverage — something the other insurance companies would not do — for up to $4.6 million, and include a $1,000 deductible reimbursement for physical damage to any municipal employee’s personal vehicle when being used to conduct village business.

Each year the village reviews its policy with Adirondack Trust to see if coverage needs have changed and whether or not adjustments need to be made. The policy is extensive, Meager said, covering all village buildings and their contents, the water treatment plant and sewer pump stations, playground equipment, automobiles and large construction equipment (backhoes and dump trucks), theft, liability, computer fraud and more.

The policy also covers general liability claims like “slips and falls” on village property and automobile accidents on village streets, Meager explained, for up to $3 million.

Although Trustees were impressed with the NYMIR proposal, village attorney James Peluso, following the presentation, was asked review the NYMIR agreement before signing off.