City chooses higher property insurance bid

The City of New Albany will keep its current provider of property insurance, but at an increased cost.

Last Thursday, the New Albany Board of Aldermen cast a split vote to continue purchasing property insurance from Twitty Insurance Agency over a lower bid from Collins Insurance.
During the December meeting, Dickson Simmons of Twitty Insurance and Ray Collins of Collins Insurance both submitted bids to the board.  
Simmons’ bid offered two proposals – a $17,938 annual premium with a $2,500 deductible and a $15,568 premium with a $5,000 deductible.  Meanwhile, Collins offered a proposal of a $13,796 annual premium with a $1,000 deductible.
New Albany Mayor Tim Kent and Board Attorney Reagan Russell, who reviewed both proposals, told the board that the differences in coverage were minimal.  They mentioned that Twitty has an A rating and Collins Insurance has an A- rating, but neither felt that was a significant difference either.
Alderman-At-Large Scott Dunnam put forward a motion that they accept Collins’ bid, which was seconded by Ward One Alderman Jeff Olson.  However, Ward Two Alderman Johnny Anderson, Ward Three Alderman Tommie Beasley and Ward Four Alderman Will Tucker all voted against the measure.
Beasley argued that the board should not “switch mid-stream” and that Twitty had “always been good to us.”
Anderson said the differences in the company’s ratings were his reason for voting no.
Anderson proposed that the board accept Twitty’s bid of a $17,938 premium with a $2,500 deductible – a 30 percent higher rate over Collins’ bid.
Both Dunnam and Olson voted against Anderson’s motion.
“I think we have a responsibility to the taxpayers to take the lower bid,” Olson said.