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City, county reject late insurance savings

Ralph B. Davis rdavis@civitasmedia.com

18 days 10 hours ago |344 Views | | | Email | Print

PRESTONSBURG — Last week, the Prestonsburg City Council and Floyd County Fiscal Court were presented with alternative proposals for liability insurance that could have saved the two entities a combined $200,000.


Instead, the offers were rejected because they came too late.


Earlier in June, the city council voted to purchase all of Prestonsburg’s insurance through Maverick Insurance for the next three years. However, last Thursday, Rob Wessell, from Central Insurance Services, informed the council that only Central had the authority to provide insurance through EMC, the lowest cost liability insurance provider.


With that being the case, Wessell said Cental could provide the insurance at a rate $40,000 cheaper than Maverick could.


However, if Wessell thought the savings offer would be greeted with enthusiasm, he was wrong. Instead, the council seemed to react with a subtle hostility.


“You’re just about saying we don’t have any choice,” councilman Freddie Goble remarked.


“I don’t understand why we’re even still talking about this,” councilman B.D. Nunnery said, noting that the issue had already been put the rest.


On Friday, the fiscal court turned down an even more lucrative offer. This time, it was Maverick making a play for the county’s business.


Back in May, the court voted to continuing placing insurance purchases through Hatton & Allen Insurance, after agent Denzil Allen asked for some clarity from the court. Allen asked that the court either approve the renewal offer he had given them months earlier, or allow him to withdraw it and open up the process to bids.


However, at that time, Allen said the court might not like any of the bids it received, because the county’s claims had been running about double its premiums in recent years. That implied threat appeared to sway the court into immediate action, with Judge-Executive R.D. “Doc” Marshall and the court voting 4-1 to accept the renewal, with only District 4 Magistrate Ronnie Akers voting against the measure.


However, on Friday, Duran Hall, with Maverick Insurance, told the court he could provide the county’s liability insurance at a savings of about $150,000, with higher coverage limits to boot.


However, the court chose not to make any change.


“I just want this to be put to rest once and for all that we’ve already established what we were going to do,” Marshall said.


“I just want to state for the record, I was against it,” Akers protested.


“I also want to state for the record that we ought to honor our commitments,” Marshall replied.

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