Insurance windfall nets county $293,471

If you’re a county commissioner and your insurance carrier declares a dividend of $293,471 for your county, it helps make your day.

That news came from Jane Hennagir, risk management consultant from the Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust (MCIT), to Mille Lacs County commissioners at their May 15 meeting.

MCIT is the county’s insurance company for property, liability and workers’ comp, as well as providing risk management and training services.

The dividend is decided upon by MCIT’s board and is deposited into the county’s general fund.

In 2011 the dividend of $189,720 was transferred into the capital equipment account. It has also been used to offset the following year’s insurance payments.

The county budget includes only a small amount ($25,000 this year) for the dividend, said County Administrator Roxy Traxler, because the county doesn’t know if it will get a dividend, or how much it will be.

In the past five years, however, Mille Lacs County has received $813,060 in dividends, an average of $162,612 a year, with the smallest payment being $101,620 in 2008.

Mille Lacs County has been a member of MCIT since 1982 and is among 81 of Minnesota’s 87 counties that participate in the MCIT program.

MCIT also provides seminars and webinars for various issues such as land use, personnel issues and workers’ compensation.

Traxler said county employees have attended or will attend various seminars.

“We are also hoping to be providing defensive driving training, at no cost, through MCIT,” she said.

Part of the county’s membership also includes safety training, which Traxler has attended.

MCIT also has an employee assistance program which provides voluntary, confidential no-cost counseling services for county employees and families. The county’s participation level in the program for 2011 was 1.23 percent.

The county was also one of 22 counties that participated in web-based training by MCIT that is designed specifically for law enforcement at a fee of $85 per person.