The Hays City Commission at next Thursday’s regular meeting will be asked to renew the city’s commercial insurance policy, which expires July 1.
There only was one bid submitted, coming from the city’s current carrier BRIT Insurance in the amount of $196,220. Six other carriers were asked for quotes but declined to bid, said Christina Pyle with Arthur J. Gallagher, the city’s insurance broker.
“We did go out to market this year for the insurance renewal, which hasn’t happened in a couple of years,” Pyle said at Thursday’s city work session. “We wanted to make sure we were doing our due diligence to be sure we’re getting the best price for the city, and we approached six carriers. … All did decline, simply because they could not compete with the pricing.”
BRIT Insurance’s bid reflects a 4.9-percent increase from this year’s policy. The increase is partly due to a few property and auto claims submitted by the city this year, Pyle said. The price had dropped the previous two years.
The city has had the same insurance provider for the past three years, and Pyle noted continuity often is an important factor in securing the best rates. The market also reflects risk factors that are higher in western Kansas, such as wind and hail damage, she said.
“For me, it’s unfortunate we didn’t have any bidders,” Vice Mayor Shaun Musil said. “But I guess maybe it’s good that we’re low enough they can’t beat that. I just think it’s something we need to keep an eye on. I think having several bidders is always a good thing.”
Industry-wide, companies have seen an uptick in the number of claims, Pyle said, noting that could affect willingness to bid competitively on new clients.
Commissioner James Meier said he recently had a similar experience while shopping for personal insurance.
“I started making phone calls and got the same thing,” he said.
“They didn’t even bother telling me what they would do. Just because we didn’t get bids, I don’t think that necessarily means something bad because the same thing happened to me with my home and auto.”
Commissioner Henry Schwaller IV was absent.