Town, county’s insurance premiums drop

Wayne Carlson, the executive director of the Nevada Public Agency Insurance Pool (POOL/PACT), delivered some welcome news to the Town of Pahrump on Tuesday.

Due to a decrease in the frequency and severity of insurance claims over the last two years, the town’s renewal cost has dropped roughly $12,000 from the previous year.

Nye County Commissioners were happy Tuesday with a $38,880 reduction in their annual renewal, they didn’t even discuss it or ask for a presentation before approval. The county will pay $640,747 for the coverage period from July 1, 2014, to July 1, 2015. Nye County has averaged 391 claims over a 10-year period, with total losses averaging $4.84 million not including deductibles, according to the POOLPACT report.

According to Carlson, the town’s claim count activity, or frequency, averaged 391 claims over the past 10 years.

The latest figures for fiscal year 2012-13, saw 332 claims filed by the town.

“Over that 10-year period, the highest count was 454 claims for fiscal year 2004-05, while the lowest count stood at just 297 for the year 2011-12 for the same 10-year period,” Carlson said.

POOL claims severity was also part of the discussion.

Deductibles over the past decade averaged more than $4,834,000.

The worst year according to Carlson was 2007-08 where more than $17,600,000 in POOL claims were tallied.

The large losses were due to one class action liability loss as well as what was described as one catastrophic property loss.

POOL/PACT’s agent, Carol Ingalls, however, provided the board with more good news regarding the town’s present overall coverage.

“There’s an increase in coverage for flood and earthquake from $100,000,000 to $125,000,000 and of course as of last year, you have the $2,000,000 in cyber liability which is becoming extremely important to have especially with public entities and public records,” she said.

Other areas of coverage according to Ingalls remained the same.

“The exposures within the town stayed fairly flat. Revenues, property insured and number of vehicles all stayed pretty flat from 2013-14, as of December of last year. I was pleased that we were able to present these numbers and let you know the good news,” she said.

Board member Amy Riches said she had concerns about renewing the POOL/PACT contract in light of the Nevada Supreme Court decision to disband the town board form of government.

Town Attorney Bret Meich told Riches and the board that the court’s ruling will not have any impact on the town’s insurance coverage.

“The Town of Pahrump as a separate legal entity will not go away, however, it will be managed by the county commissioners. The assets of the town, meaning its property, real property, cars and the liability for the pool will all remain even though the town will be managed by the Board of County Commissioners,” Meich said.

Additionally, Riches wanted clarification on whether the town’s coverage will eventually overlap with the county’s coverage after the end of the year.

“We are only going to be here until the end of this year when the county takes over. There’s seven months there that we are paying for, that they will be paying for, or is that not right?” she questioned.

Town Manager Susan Holecheck once again reminded Riches that the town is not going anywhere next January.

“The town will still exist but the governance will slightly change. The town will still have its fleet of vehicles and its claims issues. The town is an entity that will still be in existence, but it will be kept separate from the county,” she said.

Following further discussion, board members voted unanimously to renew the POOL/PACT agreement.

The town has been a POOL/PACT member since 1996.

The membership includes 114 entities including towns, cities and counties in Nevada.