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Aug 30, 2011 3:01 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Board Discusses Switching Insurance Policies

Aug 31, 2011 11:09 AM

Southampton Town officials have begun to search for ways to reduce rising workers compensation costs and improve employee safety throughout the town.

The Town Board heard a presentation from Loren W. Pratt, marketing manager of the New York State Municipal Workers’ Compensation Alliance, also known as the Comp Alliance, at its work session on Friday to get a sense of what the company could offer the town in terms of favorable rates and improving on the municipality’s number of workers compensation claims.

Currently, the Town Board contracts with a different provider, Public Employers Risk Management Association Inc., or PERMA. Last year, town officials were surprised when PERMA dramatically increased the town’s annual rate by about $400,000, to nearly $1.9 million, according to Russell Kratoville, the town’s management services administrator. The increase represented about a 26-percent jump in workers compensation costs from the previous year.

Mr. Kratoville said the town is currently negotiating with Mr. Pratt’s workers compensation program on a rate for Southampton Town. Since it is a subject of ongoing negotiations, he said he could not provide the figure. He said that if the offer is favorable both in “price and program,” the town might end its contract with PERMA on September 29.

Mr. Kratoville said that his office is conducting a “tremendous amount of research and analysis,” calling up the Comp Alliance’s references to evaluate if the company is a good fit for the town.

“I would obviously say that price is an important factor, but it clearly is not the only factor,” Mr. Kratoville said. “I think one of the things that we’re clearly looking to do is improve the workers’ safety program.”

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