MOUNT VERNON — Knox County’s annual insurance contract with CORSA was reviewed and approved Monday for another year, effective May 1.
CORSA, the County Risk Sharing Authority, was established in 1987 by the County Commissioners Association of Ohio, when traditional liability insurance for counties became unavailable or unaffordable. The program is governed by a nine-member board of trustees which consists of commissioners from member counties. CORSA is administered by and for counties, and has 62 member counties and 19 multicounty facilities.
CORSA representative Ginny Shrimplin was joined by local agents Mark Lybarger and Ron Godfrey of Kahrl & Company Insurance for the review with the commissioners. Shrimplin said the county’s Primary Loss Fund, which, after a $2,500 deductible pays out up to $200,000, is calculated by the number of potential exposures the county has, as well as its loss history. The county was invoiced $160,749 for this coverage.
The Secondary Loss Fund, which carries a premium of $38,787, offers coverage for payouts over $200,000. Statewide, counties did not deplete the two Loss funds, resulting in a distribution of $1.6 million across Ohio; Knox County received $22,256 in credit from CORSA.
Shrimplin praised Knox County Loss Control director Emily Marth, whose active program he said resulted in CORSA giving the county an extra $5,954 as a loss control incentive. Shrimplin said many counties haven’t made enough of a loss control effort to receive that credit, but that Knox was exemplary.
Excess insurance and administrative costs amounted to $84,918. Total program costs were $284,454, minus $28,210 in credits, for a total due of $256,244 for the 2010-2011 year. This gets the county up to $6 million in liability coverage. Total insured value for the county is over $98 million.
Shrimplin noted the county’s calculated exposure went up due to reported payroll figures that were over $6 million higher than what was reported in 2009 and before. This resulted in a 3.3 percent rise in premiums, which is offset by added coverage for MOTA at no charge. The commissioners said there should be no significant changes from last year to this year in payroll, so Shrimplin said she will review the figures with the auditor.
“It’s too late to do anything about it now, but we want to fix it for next year,” Shrimplin said, adding that if it was an error that has happened in the past, so be it.
Godfrey confirmed with the commissioners that they do not have and do not desire flood insurance for the county, as only a few water system utility buildings owned by the county are in defined flood plains.
Commissioner Robert Wise asked Shrimplin how much of an increase in the county’s calculated risk is added by housing prisoners from other counties or even potentially federal prisoners in the Knox County Jail. Shrimplin said that although there is a calculated cost, she didn’t know it off the top of her head. She said she would figure that out.
She said that in general, law enforcement is becoming a major insurance concern, as more and more prisoners with mental issues end up in jail during hard economic times. She advised the commissioners to make sure both the jail physician and his substitute have their own insurance coverage.
In other business, the commissioners opened bids for bridge replacement projects on Possum Street, Range Line Road and Gilchrist Road. County Engineer Jim Henry’s estimate for the projects was $731,972. McConnell Contracting from West Lafayette bid $936,444; R&I Construction from Tiffin, $746,356; and Rietschlin Construction from Crestline, $898,759. Henry will review the quotes and report back to the commissioners next week.