County increases coverage for disasters

By Kristen Tribe | Published Wednesday, April 18, 2018

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Wise County commissioners decided Monday to spend an additional $2,972 annually to increase its extra expense insurance coverage to $10 million.

The county’s insurance is through the Texas Association of Counties (TAC). County Asset Manager Diana Allen said during the insurance renewal process a TAC official identified a potential gap in coverage in the case of a disaster that destroyed a building or temporarily displaced offices.

Allen noted the jail was the greatest concern.

“If we lost use of a building, then we’d have to find other housing options either for offices or the big one, for inmates, (if the jail was destroyed),” she said.

The county’s current insurance provides $1 million in coverage, but Allen said when she and Sheriff Lane Akin estimated the cost to house inmates for an extended period of time, that alone would push the limits of the coverage.

“Say, worse case scenario the jail was hit by a tornado, it took out the building and it took a substantial amount of time to reconstruct it,” she said. “We would have to house those inmates somewhere else and office personnel as well. The sheriff and I ran some numbers on an average of 175 inmates at $50 per day for a year-and-a-half to reconstruct what we needed.”

Allen said for an additional $500,000 in coverage the cost is an additional $2,639 per year. To bring coverage up to $10 million per year, the cost is just $333 more at $2,972.

“We’d be pretty well covered even if the whole county got hit by something,” she said.

Commissioners unanimously approved increasing the coverage to $10 million.

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