From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 2, Number 4 - April 25, 2002
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

No. 9ís insurance costs rise 41 percent

by Cat Urbigkit

No

The skyrocketing cost of property casualty insurance was the subject of much consternation at last Thursday eveningís Sublette County School District No. 9ís board of trustees meeting.

District business manager Jack Reisig said since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the market for such insurance has tightened. Policies written for a two-square-block area of New York are worth far more than all the policies in the entire state of Wyoming, Reisig explained, so few companies have any interest in offering such insurance to the district.

Reisig said that the one company interested in providing the coverage to the district, quoted a price with a 41 percent increase, up from last yearís $58,000 to $72,000.

"We really donít have any choice ... but to go with them," Reisig said, "because legally we canít be without insurance."

Trustee Bob Beiermann said he hoped the insurance industry isnít profit-taking because of last fallís tragedy.

"If itís coming back on every American here because they are paying higher insurance, then the terrorists have won," Beiermann said. "I donít like that."

Insurance representative Brian Sawyer spoke about how the industry has reacted to Sept. 11 with higher rates, stating, "I almost think itís an excuse," to which Beiermann interjected, "Then theyíre guilty."

Sawyer then explained that insurance companies did sustain $70-110 billion in losses in the terrorism attacks, and with the reinsurance market controlled by a half-dozen major companies, the ramifications are widespread.

In the end, the board did vote to purchase the $72,000 insurance policy.

In other business, the board voted for a budget increase to provide all staff members with a 3-percent increase in base salary and an 8-percent bonus and a similar incentive package to new teachers.

Elementary school principal Christine Meiring told the board about a program ExxonMobil has set up for the Parent Teacher Organization in LaBarge. If the spouses of ExxonMobil employees volunteer their services to the elementary school, for every 20 hours donated, the company kicks in a $500 contribution to the PTO, Meiring said, noting that the first check had just arrived.

The board set its next meeting for May 23 at 7 p.m.

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