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TRUMBULL COUNTY Officials again shun risk pool in awarding insurance pact



Published: Wed, May 1, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The panel voted 2-1 to keep the same insurer.

By STEPHEN SIFF

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- Trumbull County commissioners will stick with an insurance company selected last year, despite continuing dissent.

Commissioner Michael O'Brien voted against a measure to award a second one-year contract to Gallagher Pipino Inc., a division of Arthur J. Gallagher & amp; Co. of Chicago. He is concerned about the coverage and the price.

The one-year premium for general liability, law enforcement and fleet coverage will be $415,000 this year, up from $344,000 last year.

O'Brien still believes the county would be better off as a member of County Risk Sharing Authority, an insurance pool in which most of Ohio's 88 counties participate.

Premiums

Trumbull had been a member until last year, when it switched to save $20,000 on the premium for a one-year policy. A consultant hired by the county to examine policies advised against the switch. If the county had stayed with the CORSA policy, offered through Rossi Insurance Agency of Warren, the premium would be under $400,000, O'Brien said.

As well, the county's deductible is $50,000 with the Gallagher policy, as opposed to $5,000 with CORSA, and with Gallagher, the county has to pay an additional fee of $800 each time a claim is filed.

"What might look like a cheaper amount of money is actually a lot more risk," O'Brien said.

He wanted the county to return to Rossi Insurance, which had offered a $551,000 policy for next year, a price which includes a one-time charge of $174,000 to cover liability for accidents on which claims have not yet been filed.

'Go with the lower bid'

"It is a no-brainer," said Commissioner Joseph Angelo Jr., who, along with James Tsagaris voted to award the contract to Gallagher. "You go with the lower bid and save some tax money."

Angelo said the one-year insurance contracts were reviewed by two outside consultants, at a cost of $3,000 to taxpayers. Both consultants picked Gallagher.

There were no bids offering coverage through the CORSA program, which does not write contracts for less than three years.

Angelo said that was one of the reasons he wanted to get out of the program.

"When you bid it out each year you get a better deal," he said.

siff@vindy.com




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