CROWN POINT — The annual renewal of the city's insurance coverages was about as painless as such things get, and the city's Board of Public Works and Safety decided to add coverage against cyber theft.
Kelly Zullo, senior account executive and vice president of Neace Lukens, which handles the city's insurance, told the board at its Dec. 9 meeting the coverage for the Crown Point Fire Rescue Department will cost about $100 less in 2016 despite some increases in coverage. The total premium will be $24,503 with National Fire and Casualty Co.
The news was almost as good for the worker's compensation renewal. Zullo said the city has saved $750,000 over the past four years, and the renewal with Midwest Employers Casualty Co. will be at the same rate as this year of $71,493.
She said the city has taken steps to reduce costs by getting employees more prepared for the job each morning with stretch and flex exercises and by identifying possible hazards on the job, which will reduce the city's out-of-pocket expenses. The exercises started with the city's Public Works Department, which has the most employees, and is being introduced to other departments.
Public Works Director Scott Rediger said employees have gotten behind the program of exercising each day with different employees leading the department in calisthenics.
The closest thing to bad news in the insurance came from the property and casualty category where the city will see a 3 percent increase for a total premium of $444,097 with U.S. Specialty Insurance Co.
The increase is due to some losses the city experienced during the past year, inflation and the addition of about $1 million in equipment and property.
The policy also includes $1,461 for protection against terrorism. Mayor David Uran said, "We feel pretty good about getting only a $10,000 increase."
The board also agreed it is time to have insurance against the loss of both computer and paper records data. City Attorney David Nicholls said, "It is well worth the expenditure" of $9,317 for a total of $2 million coverage. He said it can cost $200 to notify each person of a breach of personal data.
The move was supported by the city's Media and Information Technology Director Adam Graper, who said, "It's not that we don't have protections (against hackers), but those who lost data did, too." Uran said the cost could be shared by all the departments.