Rates for county’s property, workers’ comp insurance down for FY18

The Greene County supervisors got unusual news when insurance agents Joan St Clair and Jill Hankel updated them on the cost of the county’s insurance for the fiscal year starting July 1.

The bill is still large – $195,760 – but that’s $31,450 less than the current fiscal year.

The total decrease comes even though ICAP (Iowa Communities Assurance Pool), a self-insurance pool for Iowa public entities, has changed from replacement cost rather than functional replacement costs. Previously, for example, the courthouse was valued at $8,372,000, which is the cost to build a courthouse of a similar size. Using replacement cost, the courthouse with its historic features and materials, is valued at $16,716,000.

Value of all buildings on the policy is now $27,464,000, up from $16,162,000.

Despite the change in values, the premium for ICAP is decreasing $2,000, from $149,416 to $147,390. According to St Clair, ICAP “adjusted the rates to make it work.”

The really good news came on workers’ comp insurance through Iowa Municipalities Workers’ Compensation Association (IMWCA). The county’s premium is decreasing from $74,508 in the current year to $45,065, a decrease of $29,443.

The cost of workers’ comp insurance is determined in part by claims against it. The experience modification factor, which considers expected claims for each classification of work, is .72, the lowest the county has had. The county will pay only 72 percent of what the normal rate to insure each class of work. The county will get a 47 percent discount because of the low experience modification factor and another 20 percent discount for experience. “Those are huge, huge discounts compared to what the base policy would be,” St Clair said.

The county got other news when insurance broker Sandi Scheuermann and agent Terry Lang provided updates on health insurance. The county self-insures for health insurance, and numbers run on a calendar year, not a fiscal year. She had figures available through the end of May.

Medical claims and prescriptions in the first five months have been more than expected, creating a loss ratio of 111 percent. The county has had to use reserves in its self-insurance fund. “We’ve stressed all along you have to have money in reserve for that exact reason,” Scheuermann said.

 

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