The Kennewick Irrigation District is shopping around to try to save money on liability insurance.
Colleen Storms, district treasurer, told the board this week that the best way to reduce its annual $285,000 insurance premium might be to find a different insurance pool that's more familiar with irrigation districts.
KID liability insurance coverage through Cities Insurance Association of Washington is 35 percent higher than last year.
The board learned last August that claims related to a 2006 drowning and various canal breaks with water damage totaled $1.1 million -- almost twice the amount paid in premiums over the last five years.
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That claims history prompted the insurance pool to put KID on notice and bump the 2011 premium up by $73,000.
Storms said the district can try to find a private insurance company, but she believes staying with another insurance pool would be better.
Not only has Cities Insurance put KID on its watch list, but Storms said the state auditor also is concerned CIAW doesn't have a strong financial position.
Storms recommended trying to join the Enduris insurance pool, which she noted has experience dealing with irrigation districts.
Instead of preparing a request for proposal, which would be done to solicit bids from private insurers, Storms said she will explore directly approaching Enduris or another insurance pool.
The question will be whether the insurance pool will let KID become a member, Storms explained.
No board action was requiredfor her to investigate insurance options.
-- John Trumbo: 582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org