WINFIELD -- Putnam County will pay substantially more for property and casualty insurance next year.
Last year the county's policy cost $399,680, and next year the same policy will cost $511,167.
Harold Payne of Payne and Garlow presented the commission with two proposals for the next fiscal year's insurance policy at its regular meeting Tuesday morning.
The proposals came from Travelers, the current underwriter, and the West Virginia Board of Risk and Insurance Management, known as BRIM.
BRIM's proposal was even higher at $678,523.
The cause for the steep hike?
"Factors beyond our control," Commissioner Joe Haynes said. "Tornados in the Midwest and hurricanes and floods. The risk gets spread across the whole country. It increases for everybody, not just the areas that are affected."
But Haynes added that there's likely a second cause.
"I think the real problem is lack of competition."
Last year the commission also received a proposal from the West Virginia Counties Risk Pool, which is a group of counties that pool resources to self-insure rather than paying premiums to an insurance agency.
"Last year (Travelers) brought us a proposal that was really high, and when the county risk pool was lower, they went back and they came down," Haynes said.
The pool's proposal was still lower than Travelers, but the commission chose the Travelers policy because of differences in coverage.
The pool declined to submit a proposal this year.
Commissioners likely will approve the Travelers proposal at their June 25 meeting. They tabled the matter Tuesday so they could go over the details of each proposal before making a decision.
Payne and Garlow has administered the county's property and casualty insurance since 1996.