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County renews auto insurance with Travelers

Dakota County has renewed its commercial auto insurance with Travelers Insurance for an annual premium of $174,328, or a 3.1 percent increase over the current premium.

The policy is in place from July 1, 2011, to July 1, 2012, with a liability coverage limit per claim of $500,000 and a per-accident limit of $1,500,000, which are consistent with the county's liability limits under Minnesota law.

The policy covers the county's 319 vehicles in the sheriff, parks, and transportation departments.

The county has experienced significantly fewer losses over the past year. The county incurred losses of $45,465 to date during the most current policy period. This compared to $75,901 during the previous policy period and $184,519 for losses in policy year 2008-09. The past loss history is still having negative effects in the pricing of the coverage as well as the challenging market conditions. Risk Management has taken several actions during the past year to work with departments that have had adverse claim experiences in the past. Last fall, Risk Management worked closely with management in transportation and identified training options for plow operators. A total of 53 plow operators completed a customized defensive driving training course at the Dakota County Technical College.

The training did result in positive impact on reducing this type of claim. Damages related to plowing operations totaled $6,300 for three claims or the 2010-11 plow season as compared to 17 claims for $47,000 for the 2009/10 plow season.