(Red Oak) – Significant insurance increases continue to give Red Oak school officials some caution.
At its regular meeting Monday night, the Red Oak School Board approved a one-year insurance contract for the 2022-23 school year with United Group Insurance, including a 16% raise — or more to $47,000. – the total premium for the current year of approximately $342,500. The policy covers several areas ranging from workers compensation to cyber insurance. Red Oak School Superintendent Ron Lorenz said nearly every element of the policy has gone up.
“That includes commercial property, liability insurance, commercial auto, workers’ compensation, and then there’s kind of a generic bucket of additional coverages — umbrella, errors and omissions, pollution, crime, utility maintenance. ‘equipment, cyber insurance,” Lorenz said. “There’s definitely more detail you can get into all of this, but those are kind of the most important and they’ve all gone up.”
After speaking with representatives from United Group Insurance, Lorenz said an increase of more than 20% for commercial properties from an already $94,000 premium is unfortunately due to the cost of what he says is “doing business” in today’s era.
“The biggest, commercial property insurance, was insurance where it’s so expensive to get supplies to do the job,” Lorenz said. “They said we actually only had two claims in that area, so our increase was pretty small compared to what most districts are experiencing. And I think those two big ones are the cost of business at that time.”
Other notable increases include 26.5% for commercial auto, 23.9% for errors and omissions and a 35.6% increase for cyber insurance from a previous premium of just over 4 $000.
Lorenz says United Group Insurance has provided similar coverage for the past two years. While the council could have pursued another RFP, he said it might have been too late.
“We can go ahead and do a tender and see other competitive quotes, but at this point I think we’re a bit late in the game to do that,” Lorenz said. “That being said, (United Group Insurance) just met with us last Thursday and I think they had a hard time getting numbers from their parents.
While acknowledging the tight deadline for the upcoming school year, board chairman Bret Blackman suggested continuing to re-offer the insurance coverage to hopefully find more competitive rates.