A change in the village of Saugerties liability insurance carrier has saved taxpayers more than $30,000, according to mayor William Murphy. Speaking at the September 19 meeting of the village board, Murphy said the village has switched from New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal (NYMIR) to Travelers, which is represented by local insurance agents Reis Group.
NYMIR, which has provided liability insurance to the village for the last four years, proposed increasing the cost from last year’s rate of $105,350 to a little more than $106,000 for this year. That wasn’t an exorbitant hike, but Reis said they could do better
“Reis came to us and asked what they would have to do to get our business,” Murphy explained. The local agents came back with a one-year liability insurance rate of $76,000.
Assuming the coverage was the same, tThe village government would save about $30,000. “The math for us was pretty simple,” Murphy said.
The new one-year deal with Reis and Travelers is for one year. If an even lower rate is offered next year, the village could realize another savings. “That’s what we will do,” Murphy added.
NYMIR was the company that sent in an insurance adjuster to inspect the village facilities when it took over four years ago. After the inspection, NYMIR told village officials that most of the equipment at the three playgrounds needed to be replaced because it was “unsafe.” The swings weren’t low enough. Someone could fall off the monkey bars, hit the ground and get injured. Fingers could get caught on sharp edges on the slides. A host of other problems were cited.
In those four years, the Lions Club, which built the playground adjacent to Cantine Field, and local pre-school owner Heidi-Jo Brandt have raised money and replaced much of the equipment at the playgrounds.
George Terpening, superintendent of parks, grounds and buildings, and his crew dug up around the playground equipment and added insurance company-approved mulch to provide a soft landing area for the kids.
Even if the village had had a different insurance carrier four years ago, it still would have had to replace much of the equipment, Murphy said. “So it was something that needed to be done.”