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3 Kansas community colleges form insurance group

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- Three Kansas community colleges have created an insurance consortium after their insurance provider raised rates and said it wouldn't insure schools that allow concealed weapons on campus.

The Independence Community College board of trustees voted last week to join Coffeyville and Neosho community colleges in the consortium. EMC Insurance Company said last week that it would raise rates because of the new gun law that comes into force next week, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported ( ).

After EMC told the colleges of the increased rates, Neosho Community College president Brian Inbody searched for other options and found insurance broker IMA would offer competitive rates. EMC than made a counteroffer, which included a reduced rate and a one-year exemption from its policy against guns, said David Wallis, an incoming ICC trustee.

"I truly believe when the word gets out that there is an option, that this team will be joined by K-12, municipalities and universities across Kansas," he said.

The three colleges are purchasing one policy that will provide "a modest savings," in the first year, ICC president Daniel Barwick said. The savings is expected to grow as more groups join the consortium, he said.

Wright Speciality is handling liability insurance for the consortium and has a neutral stance on concealed weapons on campus, Barwick said.

The new law, which takes effect July 1, requires local governments and universities to allow concealed handguns in public buildings unless they install adequate security. Local governments that notify the Kansas Attorney General are allowed to exempt themselves until Jan. 1. Local governments also are allowed to seek an exemption through July 1, 2017, if they devise an adequate plan to secure the buildings they want to exempt.