Municipality Insurance: How I Know First-Hand the Importance of Having the Right Policies in Place

Municipality Insurance: How I Know First-Hand the Importance of Having the Right Policies in Place

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August 29, 2018
Post by Byars|Wright

By: Drew Gilbert, Account Executive

As some may already know, I’m currently in my second term as mayor of my hometown. When I first came into office in 2012, we had just been hit very hard by the tornado outbreak in 2011. Coming in, I knew what I was getting into - it was no secret that we were in rough shape, and, unfortunately, I saw first-hand the aftermath of a city that was under-insured. We didn’t have enough insurance to build back anything – not our city hall, our police station, or even our fire station, and this should never be the story for a municipality. We should always have adequate coverage.

For this very reason, I’m extremely passionate about helping municipalities take care of their taxpayers because it’s something that I, myself, love to do. I can tell you confidently today that if we ever found ourselves the same situation, we’re going to have plenty of insurance money to rebuild the city’s infrastructure.

When working with a municipality, I know the coverage they need greatly depends on their unique story, and as an insurance agent, it’s my job to uncover that story and determine their specific needs. For someone that hasn’t done this type of insurance before, it can be quite challenging, and nearly impossible. That’s why I truly believe I’m able to provide valuable knowledge and a unique perspective when it comes to finding the right policies for municipalities. After all, I was first a customer and Mayor before an Insurance Agent, so I know what it takes.

When it comes to the types of coverage a municipality needs, it largely depends on the city or town’s assets.

What are they controlling? Do they own a utility board? Do they have a police department? Are their firefighters’ volunteers, or are they a paid staff? There are so many variables. A municipality that owns a gas system is going to have a lot more risks than one that owns a water system, and that’s why it’s so important to take all these factors into consideration.

In many cases, carriers will put a blanket over the top of municipalities and treat them all the same. But the fact is that all of us are unique; we have unique exposures, unique risks and unique stories; no two are identical.

Of course, municipalities with a police department need much different coverage than other entities.

The riskiest arm in municipalities is undoubtedly a man or a woman carrying a gun for their job. This factor alone adds so much emphasis to the liability that can come out of that department. You’ve seen the volatile relationships play out on the news, and the key here is to be proactive by putting policies, procedures and training in place to try to avoid these situations. Along with city employees carrying a lethal weapon, having a police department makes their property risks very unique, as covering a city hall or jail is much different than covering a retail store.

Need help getting the right municipality insurance policies in place?

If you’d like to make sure you have the essential policies in place, you can contact me through the website, email, phone, carrier pigeon; however you want to get in touch. We’ll start with discussing your situation and priorities before taking a deeper dive into your current policies and coverage. If we find you’re under-insured, we can find you the coverage you need at the best rate possible.

At the end of the day, when we’ve looked at all the options, we want to make sure your municipality gets the strongest coverage and the biggest bang for your buck in order to help your community thrive into the future.

Byars|Wright has developed into a major provider of commercial insurance that delivers a wide-range of insurance products with quality coverage at competitive prices. As an independent insurance agency, we represent numerous companies, all with a history of excellent service. Through these companies, we will find the best pricing and coverage available for our customers.  We hope you’ll reach out to us today online, or give us a call at (205) 694-0088. At Byars|Wright, Relationships Matter.