City insurance bids ultimately getting options, public review

It turns out there can be competition after all for the city’s of Williamsport’s insurance coverage.

City Council’s finance committee last week was handed four requests to submit proposals to the city for its insurance coverage. They came from Henry Dunn Inc., the city’s existing broker of liability insurance, Gallagher Inc., Brown and Brown Inc., and the Jeff Simms Agency, existing broker of workers compensation.

Hopefully, this ends the dispute between Mayor Gabriel J. Campana and council, which surmised previously that the mayor was withholding them. The mayor now says he delayed releasing them so as not to expose the city to legal entanglements.

At this point, it does not really matter.

What matters is that four firms appear interested in competing to provide the city’s insurance coverage. Only good things can come of that competition and the public light under which it is now being examined.

The committee will review the proposals and determine what is the best suited to the city’s needs at the right price and make a recommendation in November.

Competition can only help with the ultimate goal – adequate coverage for the city at the best price possible.

The city was left woefully short of insurance after a January 2014 crash by a police officer while assisting a high-speed chase. The collision claimed the life of a city man and it cost the city $500,000.

Taxpayers can’t afford that sort of exposure for the city.

And it should be obvious the best way to make sure that does not happen is to have several insurance options. That’s no different than the way a private business or individual would pursue insurance coverage.

At the end of the day, it’s a good thing the insurance bidding process was challenged and the city now has options from which to choose. It’s good for the city, good for its employees, and good for its taxpayers.

Public light has a way of making such things possible.