Sulphur Springs Independent School District is switching student accident insurance carriers, renewed the contract for district property/casualty insurance, and extended contracts for general classroom materials and office supplies.
Trustees, during their July 21 meeting, based on District Business Manager Sherry McGraw’s recommendation, voted unanimously to extend contracts with Latson’s Office Equipment and Printing and Quill Corporation for an additional year. The companies were selected in July 2012, with contracts including options for two one-year contract extensions. Trustees last year opted to continue using the same vendors, and again this month agreed to the final one-year extension for each.
McGraw noted that both the Sulphur Springs vendor and the Illinois company with regional Dallas facility had “agreed to keep pricing the same and even lower some costs based on usage.”
“We have no concerns with either company — great service and products received from both,” McGraw noted.
The district will have to go out for new bids for general office and classroom supplies next year, but this year will continue with Latson’s and Quill.
Trustees voted to once again go with Texas Association of Public Schools, with Offenhauser Insurance in Texarkana as the local agent, for schedule-based property/casualty insurance coverage. SSISD has utilized TAPS for more than 20 years, and due to an interlocal government agreement are not required to obtain bids for the service.
Last summer, however, the district sought bids to gauge the market. While a few companies showed interest, only TAPS and Texas Association of School Boards submitted bids. While the TASB bid was a little lower, the board opted to continue using TAPS, in part, due to pending litigation for the moisture issues at the middle school.
This year, TAPS notified the board that the renewal price would increase 1.5 percent from 2013-14 to 2014-15 for schedule-based coverage, which includes the addition of two buses, two other vehicles and additional technology.
McGraw noted that TAPS this year offered two types of property/casualty insurance coverage, schedule-based coverage and blanket coverage.
Schedule-based coverage determines the value of a building, and in the event of loss, will cover the cost of replacement up to tthe valued amount listed on the property schedule. The current policy is schedule-based coverage.
Blanket coverage, an option offered following issues at West ISD, where replacement costs were greater than the values assigned to buildings, covers replacement cost up to the total value of the full policy in the event of loss. Under the blanket plan, if a campus valued at $3 million is destroyed and replacement costs $4 million, the insurance would pay the full $4 million.
The cost to switch this year to blanket coverage would be an additional $16,095, for a total cost of $289,830 for blanket property/casualty insurance with TAPS. The schedule-based coverage rate quoted by TAPS was $273,735.
“We don’t have to do this now, but we may want to consider doing this next year,” McGraw told SSISD trustees during their regular meeting on July 21. “My recommendation is to renew it this year, based on our experience with TAPS, as well as their financial strength. Either policy would be acceptable, depending on which direction the board chooses.”
Trustees voted unanimously 5-0 (board members Jason Dietze and Don Sapaugh were unable to attend the meeting) in favor of renewing the schedule-based coverage with TAPS at the 1.5 percent increase, but still at the overall lower rate of $273,735.
While trustees voted to keep their property/casualty insurance carrier, they opted to switch student accident insurance carriers based on McGraw’s recommendation. Baucom/Wilson Sports again submitted a bid of $48,280 for student accident insurance coverage, with the plan the same as during the 2013-14 school year; the district has used this company just shy of three years. The district received three other bids from two companies. Texas Kids First’s bid was $48,835. Texas Student Resources submitted two bids, one for $37,092 and the other for $46,171.
McGraw recommended the district go with the least expensive plan, the $37,091 plan offered by Texas Student Resources, based on “considerable” savings, other districts’ favorable dealings with the company, consult with SSISD athletic trainer and director, and the fact that local medical professionals often used by the athletes say there shouldn’t be a problem using that insurance locally. Coverage would be similar or better to the policy the district used during the 2013-14 school year, McGraw noted.
“I discussed them with Tammy Carrell, our athletic trainer. I also shared this information with Greg Owens via email,” McGraw said. “I contacted districts that currently use them and could not find anyone who was dissatisfied. Coach Carrell spoke with the trainer at Mount Pleasant, who has used this company for eight years, and they had no problems. Greenville has used them for one year and just renewed. Coach Owens said why don’t we try it for a year. If we have any problems, any issues that come up, we can always go back next year.”
“They have a reputation that you do not have to hunt them down. When we called Mount Pleasant, they said in their eight years of use, they’ve not been hard to get hold of or deal with. The information we have received on this group is that they are reputable,” she said.
McGraw also noted that Carrell “called a doctor that many of our athletes use, and they said we should not have any problems with them.”
She also said that SSISD student accident insurance would pick up after the students’ insurance, if the student has another policy.
Differences in Baucom/Wilson’s bid and Texas Student Resources’ bid included:
- Baucom — maximum medical benefit of $25,000/$100 parent deductible; surgery by a licensed physician 75 percent usual and customary, max, $3,600; $270 per day with a $5,000 max for hospital inpatient miscellaneous expenses, including radiology and diagnostic imaging as listed elsewhere; $1,600 surgery, $175 ER, usual and customary up to $100 ER physician for outpatient hospital care and service treatment at a hospital emergency room or outpatient department, in addition to benefits for physicians’ treatment and radiology and diagnostic imaging (including ER physician); up to $200/$50 reading for x-rays including interpretation; up to $500/$50 reading for diagnostic imaging; $700 per injury for dental treatment; initial trip to hospital for professional ambulance service; up to $500 per injury for orthopedic appliances when ordered by attending physician; usual and customary for outpatient prescription drugs; usual and customary for replacement of eye glasses, contact lenses and hearing aids if medical treatment is also required for the covered injury; semi private hospital room and board; and $50 for first visit, $25 after for a max $225 per injury for physical therapy.
- Texas Student Resources — maximum medical benefits of $25,000; surgery by a licensed physician 75 percent usual and customary up to $3,750; 100 percent usual and customary hospital room and board; hospital inpatient miscellaneous expense; up to $250 per day to a max of $5,000 per covered injury; $150 ER for outpatient hospital care and service treatment at a hospital emergency room or outpatient department; up to $200/$25 reading for x-rays including interpretation; up to $500/$25 reading for diagnostic imaging including interpretation; up to $250 per tooth for dental treatment; 100 percent of the usual and customary for professional ambulance service; usual and customary up to $500 max for orthopedic appliances; $50 per injury for outpatient prescription drugs; 100 percent of the usual and customary for replacement of eye glasses, contact lenses and hearing aids if medical treatment is also required for covered injury; and up to five treatments/up to $125 per covered injury for physical therapy.
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