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Diagonal officials vote for change

Damage to Diagonal’s landmark water tower spurs unanimous decision to switch municipal insurance providers

Diagonal's water tower broke over the winter and was not fixed until late March, said city council member Les Elliott. The break, which cost the city close to 40 thousand dollars, was not covered by the city's insurance provider, leading to a change from ICAP (Iowa Communities Assurance Pool) to Tyler Insurance.
Diagonal's water tower broke over the winter and was not fixed until late March, said city council member Les Elliott. The break, which cost the city close to 40 thousand dollars, was not covered by the city's insurance provider, leading to a change from ICAP (Iowa Communities Assurance Pool) to Tyler Insurance.

The city of Diagonal will switch insurance providers in the coming weeks.

Diagonal, which is currently insured through Iowa Communities Assurance Pool, will switch to Employers Mutual (through Tyler Insurance), effective June 23.

ICAP has been Diagonal’s insurance provider “for at least 15 years” said city board member Les Elliott. The decision to make the move was agreed upon unanimously Monday night by city council.

“We had a meeting Monday night, and we had a quote from Tyler Insurance Services ... and there’s only two companies in the state of Iowa that handles municipality insurance (Employers Mutual being one). Phil Tyler and his office prepared us a quote ... went over several different items with us, ... and we discussed it as a council and unanimously voted 5-0 to accept his quote.”

ICAP is group self-insurance program formed under chapter 670.7 of the Iowa Code. The member-owned Pool provides coverage to nearly 800 Iowa public entities and is acclaimed for broad coverage, stable rates and outstanding member services. ICAP is endorsed by the Iowa League of Cities, the Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC) and the Association of Iowa Fairs (AIF).

Tyler Insurance is an independent insurance agency contracting with companies of their choosing, and was founded in 1968. Previously known as Scurlock-Tyler Insurance, the agency changed names in 1996.

Tyler Insurance has two offices in the News Advertiser coverage area, with locations in Mount Ayr and in Creston.

Pipe fix

Diagonal’s water tower, a historical landmark in city limits, was damaged over the winter and was unable to get coverage from ICAP.

In a memo sent to the City of Diagonal February 5, ICAP’s senior claims adjusted Brenda Snyder stated in a form sent to the city of Diagonal that the coverage was denied, outlining that after review of the incident, that coverage was denied and was excluded from the coverage agreed upon.

When the water tower froze, the freeze resulted in a broken pipe within the structure. The pipe was not replaced until late March. The process of fixing the pipe involved completely changing it out for a new one was a three-day fix.

“The pipe that goes from below ground, up to the tank on the tower froze and once it froze, it shifted,” explained Elliott. “Then we had to have acompany come in, remove that, and put a new pipe in.”

The broken pipe on the water tower was not detrimental to the city’s water supply. SIRWA (Southern Iowa Rural Water Association) is also a supplier for the city, leading to the town bypassing the water tower.

The break cost the city an estimated 40 thousand dollars, said Elliott, with the money “coming out of reserve.” Now, under the new plan, the town will be paying a cheaper premum and will insure the town entirely

“Phil’s quote has more insurance and it’s less money. It’s got more coverage,” said Elliott. “It 100% would have covered that particular event. He checked with his underwriters and it absolutely would have been covered.”

The policy covers inclement weather should it strike the town, equiment and vehicles that are owned by the city and town property.

The new policy is on a year-to-year basis, and will be up for review on April 1 2021.

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