District follows ‘unwritten policy,’ approves local insurance contract
The Tonganoxie school board decided Monday night to honor its commitment to buy its insurance locally, even though that decision could cost $3,000.
Bill Curtis, associate executive director and fund administrator for Kansas Association of School Boards Risk Management Services, advised the local board to accept the sole bid for part of the insurance from Evans Insurance Agency, Tonganoxie. The school district had hired Curtis to advise the board on insurance matters.
Evans had submitted a bid of $99,756, which included $37,592 for workers compensation insurance.
Curtis said that the workers compensation insurance could be obtained through the Kansas Association of School Board's risk management services pool for $34,195.
Curtis advised the district to accept Evans' bid for property and casualty insurance, and to obtain workers compensation insurance through the pool, which would cost about $3,000 less.
Board member Bob Gepner made a motion to accept Curtis' recommendation.
Board member Richard Dean said he understood the district's need to cut costs, but he reminded board members that a year ago they had agreed they would keep the insurance in Tonganoxie. By not accepting the workers comp bid from a local agent, the board members, he said, would be breaking their word.
Richard Erickson, superintendent, agreed.
"You've got a point there," Erickson said. "We did talk about that last year it's an unwritten policy."
Gepner said he agreed with Erickson and Dean.
"You're right," Gepner said. "We should be good to our word if that's what we said."
Terry Needham also expressed agreement.
"I think we did say we would keep it in the community," she said.
Gepner's motion, which had not been seconded, died, and Dean made a motion for the board to accept the Evans bid for the entire insurance package. The motion passed unanimously.
Evans' total bid, when a $2 million umbrella policy was added to the package, came to $106,000.