County property and liability insurance rates increase 15%


The Reno County commission on Tuesday approved continued county property and operations insurance coverage with a policy through Fee Insurance Group, despite a more than 15% increase in its rates next year.

Persistent supply chain and labor issues, as well as a claim for courthouse repairs resulting from an earthquake in 2019, were both largely responsible for the increase.

Bob Fee, the county broker with Fee Insurance, said Travelers Insurance was the underwriter and increasing their rates.

Fee Insurance has been the county’s provider for about a decade.

“They looked at a few things on which to base their decision,” Fee said. “Your three-year loss ratio is 159% and your five-year is 106%. They review it because they need to earn money on the account, while also making sure that the rates are adequate. “

The county awarded a contract to Pishny Restoration Services in October 2020 for just over $ 1 million to repair the courthouse dome and to repair cracks in the plaster walls and ceilings on each floor of the courthouse. justice, both attributed to a magnitude 4.2 earthquake that occurred on August 16, 2019. The county filed an insurance claim to cover most of the damage.

The council learned on Tuesday that the concrete and steel dome may require additional repairs, seen while repairs are underway. County administrator Randy Partington said they are still assessing whether further work will be needed.

“The second thing this year that is pushing rates up a bit more than in the past is what’s going on in the economy,” Fee said. “The supply of materials, the cost of materials, the cost of labor, all drive up the costs of everything from automobiles to building materials to equipment. “

Fee said his company had researched other quotes, but only two vendors would have even considered it. One said the county was too big and the other, the Public Risk Pool, raised concerns about pending claims at the courthouse related to earthquake damage.

“They thought you had to fix this, get to bed first,” Fee said.

In addition to damage claims, “which determine the loss rate,” Fee said, “it’s been a few bad years with automobiles and some legal issues with law enforcement that have arisen.”

The company offers eight areas of coverage in the package.

The biggest expense and the biggest increase in dollars was for auto coverage. It rose 16.8%, or nearly $ 25,500, to $ 176,880.

Changes in property coverage costs followed, jumping nearly 20% or about $ 22,200 to $ 134,478.

The largest percentage increase was in cybersecurity coverage, which increased by more than 24%, bringing its cost to $ 20,000, followed by management responsibility of public entities, which increased by 23.3%.

General liability coverage has also increased by over 20% or nearly $ 8,000 to $ 46,114.

“On an ongoing basis, cyber is of great concern to the insurance industry,” said Fee. “We are seeing rates going up quite quickly. “

While the commission praised the county’s IT staff for their knowledge and prevention efforts through regular education and testing, Fee noted that “most people enter through our staff (who open an e- infected mail, for example) and not by sophisticated hacking. “

Before voting to approve the new rates, Commissioner Ron Sellers commented on the increase.

“As citizens watch this sharp rise in rates, remember that the loss is due to damage from the earthquake,” he said. “If you take politics out of the cause of the earthquakes, we know full well what caused those earthquakes in Reno County. The State of Kansas and the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) don’t want to tell the truth about what caused them, but it’s easily known. Hopefully this will not happen again, but it is because of other people, not Reno County, who caused these losses that citizens have to pay.


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