Barton Community College has become the first community college to join a consortium of Kansas United School Districts to meet its insurance needs. Barton’s Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to switch to the Kansas Education Risk Management Pool (KERMP), as recommended by Vice President of Administration Mark Dean. The new policies go into effect July 1.
Until then, the college is insured by a number of independent carriers with two primary carriers being Chubb/Phily. Barton switched to the independent carriers last year rather than accept a large rate increase from its former carrier, the Midwest Higher Education Compact. MHEC raised its rates and its deductible for wind and hail damage in 2020 after claims from Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma exceeded the total revenue generated by all participating states in the nationwide consortium.
Last year’s final cost was $396,791 for property and workers comp insurance but the quote from Chubb/Phily and others for 2021 was $44,585. A $1 million deductible on property insurance imposed last year would again be part of the next year’s coverage. With KERMP, the total cost will be $417,614 and the deductible will drop to $250,000.
KERMP requires an initial membership of two years. The insurance pool spreads the risk out among a potential 100 members, all in Kansas.
Membership is open to members of the Kansas Association of School Boards and must be approved by the KERMP Governing Board. Dean said other community colleges may also seek membership. “For the most part, coverages are much better with KERMP, and deductibles are lower.”
The total includes worker comp from United Heartland for $81,221, unchanged from last year. United Heartland was also the worker comp insurer in 2020, when the rate was $82,331.
In other business, the board held an executive session for 30 minutes to discuss the annual review of Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman. No action was taken follow the executive session but Board Chairman Mike Johnson said the board is pleased with the president’s performance and his contract will be renewed for another year.
The board also approved the following new personnel, all on the Barton County campus:
Jason Lindstrom will receive a contract as a history instructor, Sarah Mauler was hired at assistant director of Human Resources and Brian Hendrix was hired as a general facility management worker.