Mahoning Township has a new insurance carrier after a 4-0 vote with one supervisor absent approved switching from longtime insurer DGK Insurance to HA Thomson Agency at last night's supervisors' meeting. Both companies made presentations at the last supervisors' meeting and provided the data supervisors requested to make their decision.

"In communications between last meeting and this one DGK had sent in newer information. They responded to requests for information to equalize the $10 million liability (HA Thomson offered)," said Chairman John Wieczorek.

He said the additional $7 million dollars in liability insurance would cost $764 per million dollar coverage for a total of about $5,348. DGK also adjusted their workers' compensation insurance reducing it by $3,000 to bring the original $49,000 quotation down to $46,000.

Wieczorek said while the adjustment in the workers' compensation would equalize the two proposals, the extra premiums would still make DGK more expensive than HA Thomson.

Both Wieczorek and Supervisor Franklin Ruch said they found no negative comments about HA Thomson.

Ruch said he spoke to two officials, a former Franklin Township supervisor and a current one. Neither had a problem with HA Thomson, and Ruch added, "The supervisor said they had HA Thomson as their agent for 25-plus years."

Ruch said he was disappointed with the professionalism of Jeffrey Kyle, the DGK agent who presented the package and then sent a letter providing the additional information as well as other information according to Ruch that he did not have a chance to verify before the meeting because of the timing of the arrival of the correspondence.

Wieczorek said that while there were some differences between the two packages and in some cases HA Thomson's was slightly higher, the reduced workers' compensation premiums and other differences made the package less expensive.

Supervisor Linda Benner felt Kyle was a bit complacent when he attended the previous meeting and he should have been better prepared with information especially with the higher liability premium and the change in workers' compensation. She said he should have provided all the information immediately and not required supervisors' questioning and competition to provide a better price.

"We should not have had to ask for a cost for the larger liability coverage or the reduction in workers' compensation insurance."

Wieczorek said he felt similarly in that it took competition to reduce the price.

While all supervisors appeared to lean toward switching, Supervisor Travis Steigerwalt questioned whether they could switch carriers while there were still open claims on the DGK insurance. Solicitor Tom Nanovic said he believed that DGK would probably still cover the open claims, but he cautioned supervisors that if they switched to HA Thomson, they would be in it for "the long haul." But if they withdrew in future years with open claims, the claims would no longer be covered.

"In a practical manner, you would not be able to leave the pool if you have an open claim," said Nanovic.

Ruch finally moved to switch to HA Thomson provided the missing items in the package did not exceed the $6,000 savings between packages and DGK's insurance would continue to cover any open litigation claims. Nanovic said he believed DGK would cover the open claims if they left.

Benner questioned if there was a grace period and Nanovic agreed to check into that with both companies also.

The final voting with the contingencies specified passed 4-0 with only Supervisor George Stawnyczyj missing from the meeting.

Nanovic said he would follow up with both companies on the open issues and advise the board accordingly.