The city has been told by its insurance company that its policy will not be renewed, apparently because the carrier fears too much liability related to carbon monoxide at the lake.
The city received a non-renewal notice from United National Insurance Co., which provides coverage for general liability and public official errors and omissions.
The notice cites “loss history” as the reason, but the city’s local insurance broker, Rick Stephens, and city staff said the company cited potential claims resulting from carbon monoxide poisoning in the Bridgewater Channel at the lake.
During busy holiday weekends, the channel gets congested with boat traffic and tests have indicated high levels of carbon monoxide.
The family of a man who drowned in 2003 has sued the city and county claiming boaters were not adequately warned of potential carbon monoxide danger.
The city has begun monitoring air quality around the channel and passed an ordinance prohibiting boats from idling while beached.
“Although the city has taken what I consider very good, proactive steps, I think the insurance carrier decided there was still the potential of future claims and just did not want to be involved with it,” Stephens said.
Jaime Schulenberg, the city’s risk manager, said he has already begun looking for a new carrier.
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