Many municipalities take the quote and hope approach when it comes to insurance.
What I mean is that they ask a few insurance agents to quote their insurance program, and crossing their fingers, they hope that their rates will be close to their last renewal.
They hope they won’t see any major rate hikes. They may even hope that one of the agents will come in with a price even better than the previous year.
Municipalities with the most successful insurance programs take a more strategic approach to their insurance program.
These municipalities partner with their insurance agents to address the factors that most impact their rates and employ best practices to eliminate claims.
A successful municipality insurance program requires an insurance agent with an in-depth knowledge of the municipal insurance market, a thorough understanding of the coverages a municipality needs, and an ongoing commitment to helping the municipality achieve its insurance goals.
Both the municipality and the agent play an integral part in a successful insurance program. As part of the same team, they partner together for the best results.
For the better part of the past 26 years, Center Township has partnered with Baily Insurance. And Center Township is one of those municipalities that takes a strategic approach to its insurance program.
Talking with Township Secretary Dawn Horr and the Township’s insurance agent, Mike Baily, I gleaned the secrets of their insurance success. I also got insight into how Baily Insurance has helped them achieve their insurance goals.
Introducing Center Township
Center Township is “situated in the western-central portion” of Greene County, Pennsylvania. This township was formed in 1820 and is the largest township in Greene County.
Greene County is a rural county, so Center Township is primarily “devoted to agricultural pursuits.” Though this township has a few small villages, it is primarily beautiful farm country.
This township is committed to using the resources of its residents in a responsible and beneficial way. From excellent road maintenance to the upkeep of their township park, the officials at Center Township are excellent stewards of their resources.
How Center Township Keeps Its Insurance Costs Low
In terms of insurance, Center Township is part of the EMC Municipality Insurance program. This program is open to municipalities with an excellent insurance history. And at the end of each fiscal year, those municipalities receive a dividend check from EMC’s profits.
Center Township is an ideal fit for the EMC Municipality program. Because they have avidly prevented insurance claims, they have an outstanding insurance history.
Principal and Insurance Advisor at Baily Insurance Mike Baily noted, “Center Township does an excellent job. They are knowledgeable. They care about mitigating claims on the front end. They hire good people, so they aren’t dealing with high turnover and issues that result from high turnover. They run their township well. They take their role of stewarding their community resources very seriously.”
Let’s examine these efforts that have been a critical factor in managing their insurance costs.
Working Hard at Preventing Claims
The most significant reason Center Townships insurance costs have been so well managed is its success in preventing claims.
When I asked Ms. Horr about this, she replied, “We’ve had no losses in recent years. We have experience. We’re careful not to have accidents.”
The experience, Ms. Horr mentioned, is due to sound hiring decisions. Center Township doesn’t have high turnover among their employees, and high turnover is a significant factor that contributes to increased claims.
Conscientious team members, the Center Township employees care about their work. They are seasoned veterans who take safety seriously.
Proactive Equipment and Facility Maintenance
Another Center Township prevents claims is by maintaining their equipment and their facilities.
When the Township purchases new equipment, they quickly inform their insurance agent to make sure everything is covered.
And in terms of facilities, Center Township considers its insurance risks and addresses those risks. A good example is their community park which they recently updated.
Center Township’s park sits in a flood zone. And if you’re familiar with Greene County, Pennsylvania, you know that certain parts of our county can expect severe flooding every few years.
To prepare for flooding, Center Township got creative when they updated their park! Instead of building a stationary building for their restrooms and concession stand, they made them portable. Now they have a restroom trailer and a concession trailer that they can easily move to higher ground before a flooding event.
By keeping their park up to code and improving their facilities, this township keeps unnecessary claims from occurring.
This commitment to claims prevention has effectively kept Center Townships insurance costs low.
Partnering with Baily Insurance
Because insurance is a two-way street, both the municipality and the agent have an essential role in creating a successful insurance program.
So what contribution has Baily Insurance made for Center Township?
The Importance of Relationship
An important contribution that Baily Insurance has made with Center Township is prioritizing the relationship.
I would be remiss if I didn’t disclose that, while Baily Insurance has partnered with Center Township for the better of 26 years, there have been times when we have not been their agent.
A few years back, Center Township moved their insurance to another agency. While we had a great relationship, we could not get the pricing offered elsewhere that year.
But relationships are something that our team values highly! And even when we were not actively serving as Center Township’s insurance agency, Mike Baily made a point of investing in that relationship.
Throughout that time, Mike continued to give advice and offer expertise when needed. He maintained a relationship with Center Township as though they were a client.
And he worked hard to win back this municipality’s account.
Commitment to Excellent Service
One comment that Ms. Horr made that stuck out to me was why Center Township returned their business to Baily Insurance. “We left for a short amount of time because of pricing,” she noted. “But we returned because of service.”
Ms. Horr also mentioned that “Baily Insurance does everything they can to get us the best price with the best company and with the best coverage.”
She said, “Mike worked hard to get us back. He always places our insurance with a highly rated insurance company.”
Along with Mike’s commitment, Account Manager Betty Forman’s excellence in servicing the account brought the township back as a Baily client.
Ms. Horr commented, “Betty Forman does an amazing job! She quickly turns things around for us.”
For Baily Insurance, giving excellent service is non-negotiable. We see our clients as part of our family. Their needs are our priority!
Navigating Challenging Insurance Issues – Volunteer Fire Department
One unique issue that Center Township is putting in place workers’ compensation insurance for their volunteer fire department.
Workers’ compensation is a very confusing and complicated area of insurance. Navigating the challenges with workers’ compensation can be daunting.
Ms. Horr noted that their VFD workers’ compensation has been an ongoing challenge. She was grateful for the help that Baily Insurance has given in helping them.
Is your municipality looking for a dedicated insurance partner?
Is your township or borough looking for an insurance partner to help them lower their insurance costs, prevent claims, and provide comprehensive insurance protection?
Why not consider Baily Insurance?
Baily Insurance has been in business since 1880. Since that time, our agency has been committed to serving Southwest Pennsylvania – its individual residents and the community.
Our insurance advisors specialize in municipality insurance and work with many townships, boroughs, counties, and water authorities. Our team understands the unique insurance needs of these public entities.
And we’re also passionate about building thriving communities. We have demonstrated this by serving on boards and financially contributing to organizations and events in Greene County.
But one of our proudest contributions is helping townships and boroughs in our community keep their insurance costs low while providing comprehensive coverage from top-rated insurance companies.
We help our clients save financial resources and prevent accidents and claims. We know that every dollar saved in insurance is a dollar the municipality can use to benefit its community.
If you’d like to take a deep dive into your insurance program to examine if your municipality has the coverage it needs and is getting a fair price, our team would welcome the opportunity to meet with you.
By taking the first step and engaging in our Baily Blueprint process, you’ll get an assessment of your current insurance program – its strengths and its weaknesses. In this short fifteen-minute meeting, we can quickly identify if our agency might be a good fit to work with you.
To schedule a time to talk, fill out our form below, and one of our team members will get in touch with you within one business day.
And from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for serving your community!