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County chooses new insurance company

December 26, 2008
By KERRY McAVOY/The Leader-Herald

FONDA - Montgomery County has a new insurance carrier, but only after three meetings discussing the pros and cons of all four bidders.

Hays and Wormuth was chosen as the county's new carrier for 2009 at a cost of $369,257, with an option to renew for the next two years.

The county's contract will end Thursday.

Ten Eyck of Albany was the lowest bidder with $319,382. The Hearn Agency of Canajoharie submitted a bid for $411,514. Mang Insurance of Johnstown also made a bid.

The county is contracting with Mang Insurance, which is the insurance agent/broker for New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal out of Uniondale, Nassau County.

NYMIR is a state insurance agency for municipalities. This contract offered additional coverage in flood insurance and helped set up a full-time risk management position inside the county.

Minden Supervisor Tom Quackenbush said he had reservations about choosing Hays and Wormuth, and the Ten Eyck Group, because both had non-admitted carriers. These types of carriers are not licensed by the state the coverage is provided in.

Quackenbush said these types of carriers were not allowed in the bidding process, and therefore should not be chosen to provide insurance for the county.

Quackenbush also questioned Hays and Wormuth not having a "consent to settle" clause that would allow the county to settle or decline to settle a lawsuit.

Hays and Wormuth only has "consent to settle" under the defense portion of the contract. The Hearn Agency did agree to drop its "consent to settle" clause that would lower the cost of the insurance contract to make the bid even with that of Hays and Wormuth.

City 4th Ward Supervisor David Dybas said he would be voting for the lowest priced carrier, Ten Eyck, and wanted to see if the others would as well.

"I want to see if the county is serious about these savings," Dybas said.

Quackenbush said he would like to see the county hire an expert who could review all the bids, along with the counties insurance needs, to find the best fit.

A resolution to hire an insurance reviewer was shot down earlier this month.

"I agree with [Quackenbush], We're babes in the woods," said Palatine Supervisor Sieds Jonker.

Amsterdam Supervisor Tom DiMezza said Zurich Insurance had agreed to provide the needed protection to the county for no additional cost.

"We spent less time selling the [Montgomery] Meadows [the county infirmary] than choosing insurance," DiMezza said. "There is no reason for us not to pass this tonight."

Voting for the resolution were DiMezza, City 2nd Ward Supervisor Barbara Johnson, City 3rd Ward Supervisor Ronald Barone, City 5th Ward Supervisor Karl Baia, Charleston Supervisor Shayne Walters, Florida Supervisor William Strevy, Glen Supervisor John Thomas and Mohawk Supervisor Ed Paton.

Voting against the resolution to hire Hays and Wormuth were Quackenbush, Jonker and Root Supervisor John Thayer.

Board Chairman Vito Greco, Canajoharie Supervisor Robert McMahon and City 4th Ward Supervisor David Dybas all abstained from the vote.

Kerry McAvoy covers Montgomery County. She can be reached at montco@leaderherald.com

 
 

 

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