SANBORN – Niagara Wheatfield school officials plan to look at ways the district can save money on insurance.
School Superintendent Lynn Fusco told the School Board on Wednesday she would meet with Allison Brady, school business administrator, and Gregory Hawk, regional manager of New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal, to discuss how the district could change its policy to decrease premium payments.
Hawk said his company, which provides insurance coverage for Niagara Wheatfield, charges the district $97,677 a year to insure its buildings. Under its program, the district would pay a deductible of $1,000 per incident.
The lower the premium, the higher the deductible, Hawk said. If the district went to a higher deductible such as $5,000 per incident, the premium would be $83,345. Brady cautioned that if the board opted for lower premiums, it would have to come up with the cash to cover the deductibles.
Hawk, whose company also provides coverage for district buses, said one of the ways the board may be able to save money would be to reduce the number of bus accidents. Although no figures were given, Hawk said the majority of claims received by the company up until March were for bus accidents.
He said the company’s risk manager could investigate the claims and pinpoint problem areas such as locations, times, and drivers of the incidents. With that information, the district could plan how to address the problems such as with driver-education training. Hawk said the company now regularly reviews the driving records of all bus drivers to determine if any should be taken out of rotation.
Board members seemed receptive to the suggestion. Christopher Peters said the numbers indicated there is “a major need for driver training” in Niagara Wheatfield.
The risk manager also could look at other areas of the district such as building security and its plans in case of a shooting incident, Hawk noted.
On a related issue, Fusco said she would get information on the approval of fundraisers by various outside groups.
New board member Gina Terbot said she learned at a recent training by the state School Boards Association that school boards should not formally approve fundraisers by groups other than those held by district entities.
She said the district could be financially liable for any incidents at fundraisers held by outside groups such as parents’ associations and sports boosters groups. Approval for the use of school property for a school’s own fundraiser is a different issue, it was noted.
As a result, the board put off approval of requests for about 13 events.