By Kellen M. Quigley

The Great Valley Town Board unanimously approved Trident Insurance through the Weast Insurance Agency LLC as the town’s insurance provider for 2018.

The $25,272 insurance policy for 2018 will be a slight reduction from 2017, said Town Supervisor Dan Brown. However, all the coverage would remain the same.

The council members all agreed they wanted to stay with Weast Insurance Agency, which had insured the town in 2017. Ned Fenton Insurance also issued a quote from New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal (NYMIR).

“The difficult part with insuring municipalities in New York state is there’s really only two companies,” Brown explained after the meeting. “Trident is a regular insurance company where NYMIR is a group of municipalities in business together.”

Before they voted, Brown said the board discussed the options and concluded that being in an insurance pool was something they did not want to do.

Brown said if there was a natural disaster somewhere in the state or a municipality in the pool lost several million dollars worth of property, everybody in the NYMIR group could sustain a higher cost than what was originally planned for the budget.

“When we’re doing the budget, we really need to know right down to the penny what’s going to be in our budget for 2018,” he said. “It’s all about controlling and managing spending. I like that and the board does, too.”

The board plans to review the policy annually, Brown said, and they invited both insurance agencies to issue quotes again for the following year.

Because the policy starts Dec. 1, 2017, Supervisor Brown said the board had to hold the special meeting Monday in order to approve a provider in time. He said it has to coincide with approving the upcoming year’s budget.

The board also decided they should review the insurance policy and provider options every year, Brown said. The council members agreed they started the process later this year than they hope to in the future.

“It would be nice instead of in the November meeting if we could do it in September or October and have a little more time to digest it,” said council member Gerald Musall.

Council member Lori Finch suggested they could start looking at the policies and options as early as July to have several months to prepare.

A possible issue with starting too soon is not having a budget and needing to use the previous year’s figures, Brown said. He said the numbers may not change much, but if a big purchase or loss were to happen, it could throw off the quoted figures.

“We will review this again next year and be better prepared and do it much sooner than four days before,” he added.