County’s insurance premiums rising

There are only three insurance carriers willing to underwrite the county, and costs are rising.

The county’s insurance premiums have been “going up for a while,” according to Finance Director Reiko Matsuyama at the Nov. 17 Kaua‘i County Council meeting.

“We’re always kind of budgeted for the increase,” Matsuyama said. “This time, it was just more than what we thought it was. The primary reason for the increase this time is because of our excess-liability coverage.”

The county had advanced notice that its current excess-liability carrier was not going to offer the county renewal terms due to a decision to not cover public entities moving forward, Matsuyama said.

One company declined to quote the risk due to the claims history of the county. And one, Allied World, provided an excess quote but would not participate on the primary layer, Matsuyama said in a memo, citing past loss history and a recent large claim paid by the county.