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Commissioners mull change in insurance coverage


Last updated 3/31/2015 at Noon

Orange County will stick with the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) for another year in insuring its assets after County Judge Brint Carlton introduced going out for bids in the private marketplace for insurance coverage.

The decision was made at the meeting of the Orange County Commissioners Court on Monday, March 30. The vote was 3 to 2 with Precinct 1 Commissioner David Dubose, Precinct 3 Commissioner John Banken and Precinct 4 Commissioner Jody Crump casting the deciding vote not to go with proposals from the private market and staying with TAC, and Carlton and Precinct 2 Commissioner Barry Burton voting to go with the private insurers.

The agenda item read for the discussion and possible action regarding Orange County going out for bids on the county's insurance coverage for the following: auto liability, auto physical damage, general liability, property, crime, worker's compensation, law enforcement coverage, public officials coverage and cybersecurity.

Banken said he did not want to go out for bids since TAC offers the county so much more than just insurance. He added, though, he wasn't opposed to looking at different pricing.

Carlton then changed the wording from going out for bids to going out for proposals.

Missy Pilsbury, airport supervisor, said 90 percent of the 254 counties in Texas are insured by TAC and some of the service offered by TAC consultants, safety training and e-seminars.

Banken feared the county may spend more money by going outside of TAC.

Carlton said he was happy with TAC and asked when was the last time the county seeked insurance in the private market.

Dubose said it was done in 2009 when he was first elected to the commissioners court.

The application deadline for TAC is April 1. The renewal date is July 1.

The commissioners were informed that applying with TAC didn't mean the county was purchasing insurance with the agency.

Dubose said the county is not comparing apples with apples by comparing TAC with private carriers.

“We will be missing out on all the free stuff from TAC,” Banken said.

Connie Cassidy, purchasing agent, said a committee would need to be formed and they would only have two months to get specifications ready and to review proposals. Another challenge is listing everything to be appraised. Though current information is being updated, the last time this was done was in 2010.

Dubose suggested going with TAC this year and see what they have.

“There's strength in numbers and we should stick with TAC,” he said.

Burton said he was hoping for a better baseline for next year.

In other county business, approved requesting any and all available tax credites from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to fund appropriate programs.

Carlton said Orange County may be entitled to tax credits from utilities. It is unknown how much those proceeds are but they could be given to the Orange County Economic Development Corporation to use for printing costs.

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