Posted on

Abby to save $17,000 by switching insurers

Abbotsford will save about $17,000 this year by switching to a different insurance carrier that offers roughly the same coverage as its previous provider.

At a special meeting on Jan. 6, the council voted to accept a proposal from Klinner Insurance, which will charge the city a total of $56,259 in premiums for a package of insurance that include liability, automobile and property coverage.

Klinner’s price was $17,346 less than the combined premiums proposed by the League of Wisconsin Municipalities Mutual Insurance (LWMMI), which had been the city’s insurance provider until last week’s council vote.

In December, Jesse Furrer of Spectrum Insurance originally presented the council with a price of $76,469 to renew its LWMMI plan for 2021, but then Klinner and the MacGillis Agency were allowed to present competing offers.

The offer from MacGillis was $71,694, and a revised offer from Spectrum was $73,605 for staying with LWMMI.

City administrator Dan Grady asked Butch Wiegel, Klinner’s sales rep, to explain how his agency was able to offer the same coverage for so much less than its two competitors.

Wiegel said he and Grady spent time going through the city’s current insurance plan to make sure Klinner was offering comparable coverage.

“Everything’s accounted for, so I wish I had a better answer other than our rates are just that much better,” he said, noting that the underwriter, Continental Western Group, wanted the city’s business.

Wiegel was also able to identify a couple areas where the city was doubleinsuring some of its buildings.

Klinner’s deductibles on four cityowned buildings are higher than those from the other two agencies — $2,500 instead of $1,000 — but Wiegel said that’s only for the city’s highest-value buildings, such as city hall and the new wastewater treatment plant.

“You have a $6 million building; a $2,500 deductible isn’t that bad of a deductible,” he said. Wiegel said their proposal was based on property and equipment values provided by LWMMI, but Klinner will send out its own representative to verify those values at some point.

Ald. Jim Weix initially seemed skeptical about Klinner’s ability to provide the same level coverage for over $15,000 less than its competitors.

“That seems a little strange that you can do the same as everybody else for that much less,” he said.

Wiegel said the premiums could change slightly based on reevaluations of the city’s assets, but “it’s highly unlikely they would fluctuate that much” because Klinner’s offer was based on values provided by the previous insurer.

“This is where our rates came in,” he said.

_ The council reviewed several bank accounts connected to the city’s general fund and voted to transfer some of the funds into different accounts. The council also voted to create a new account for the revenue raised by renting out the city’s sewer jetter.

_ The council voted to create a retirement savings account at Forward Bank for the Abbotsford Public Library.