An insurance company that covers counties and other public entities in Idaho says it won’t renew Canyon County’s insurance policy because of increasing risks and a high volume of claims.
The Idaho Counties Risk Management Program, known as ICRMP, sent a letter to Canyon County officials on May 23, citing “numerous factors including adverse claim development and increasing risk exposures,” the Idaho Press reported. The Nampa-based newspaper obtained the document through public records requests.
Canyon County Public Information Officer Joe Decker said the county’s elected officials couldn’t immediately comment because the situation is onging.
“We are working to evaluate all options, including potential renewal with ICRMP and the potential acquisition of replacement coverage,” Decker wrote in an email. “More information will be forthcoming when available.”
Canyon County Commissioners responded to ICRMP in a June 2 letter that suggested the county might appeal the non-renewal notice. They took issue with the non-renewal decision, saying, “the abruptness and comprehensiveness of this total separation, and the lack of warning or opportunity to cure any perceived issue, is shocking.”
The commissioners also said the insurance company’s documentation showing the county’s “loss history” wasn’t accurate. They said 25 of the claims listed are “unrelated to the county.”
They also said the insurance company was equating so-called “nuisance settlements,” often made when an entity decides that paying someone to end a lawsuit would be cheaper or more convenient than fighting the matter in court, with actual misconduct by the county or its representatives.
Tim Osborne, executive director of ICRMP, said in a phone interview that he could not elaborate on the reasons that the board voted to non-renew the policy. He said his office is working to coordinate a meeting with Canyon County officials to review the “documentation” of the reasons the board voted to non-renew. After that meeting, Canyon County officials could request a meeting with the board in open session about how to move forward, he said.
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