When the North Judson Town Council met Tuesday evening, Clerk-Treasurer Andrew Rowe alerted town council members that the town’s insurance policy premium increased from $56,000 in 2017 to about $62,000 for this year.
Rowe said he has recently been working with Christin Romine, an insurance accountant executive with 1st Source Bank in order to familiarize himself with the town’s history and current policy. He explained that after talking with her, he found that a large factor for the increase is the amount of claims that the town filed over the last few years.
Council President Wendy Hoppe recalled that in 2015, within the span of a few months they lost three police vehicles, including a Dodge Charger and two Ford Crown Victoria patrol cars.
She said, “Our 2007 was wrecked in March and then the fire happened in October, so our 2007 Crown and our 2011 Crown and a 2013 Dodge Charger, all in the same year.
Rowe added that approximately a dozen of the claims went back to that same year but a number of others were added in 2016 and 2017 as well. He said the risk they run with having a high amount of claims is that if they were to switch providers in the future, private-companies would not carry them and they’d be limited to public entities.
However, he said there are some steps they can take to mitigate the incidents, such as utilizing the police department’s vehicle simulator for additional fire-fighter and police training and coordinating other activities to decrease potential liabilities.
When discussing the topic of insurance, the Clerk-Treasurer also presented members with a few additional policies to consider, including a State Board of Accounts recommended cyber-security policy and under insured/non insured coverage. Each new policy would cost an extra $2,500.
While members considered the cyber-security addition reasonable, certain members questioned the necessity of the other suggestion. Rowe was asked to look into whether something similar already exists in their base policy before members agree to add anything on.
Rowe told council members that he would speak with Romine about the concerns they brought up. A special town council meeting will be held in North Judson Town Hall at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, January 8th in order to further discuss the town’s insurance for 2018.