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Weirton selects new workers’ compensation provider

WEIRTON — Weirton Council is opting to go with a new carrier for its workers’ compensation insurance coverage following a series of special meetings held Tuesday morning.

By a vote of 4-1, council decided to award its workers’ compensation contract to Assured Partners with its program through Amtrust.

Councilwoman Flora Perrone cast the lone vote against the decision, with Councilman Fred Marsh abstaining. Councilman George Ash was not in attendance.

Assured Partners was represented Tuesday by Matt Provenzano, who offered a bid of approximately $107,000 for a $1 million policy.

Provenzano noted there are only three companies offering municipal workers’ compensation policies in West Virginia.

“We’re limited compared to our neighbors,” Provenzano said.

He said he was contacted about the bid while on vacation, and was able to put the proposal together in about a day.

Assure America, offering coverage through Encova Insurance Co., also offered a proposal.

“They understand the municipal business. They will keep costs low,” Doug Velegol, agent for Assure America, explained.

The company, previously known as Brickstreet, has been the city’s workers’ compensation provider for several years. They offered a $1 million policy at $176,000.

Velegol said he had to contact the city manager’s office for information as he had not seen an advertisement for the bid.

City Attorney Vince Gurrera said policies for municipal workers’ compensation are still regulated by the state as to what they can offer, providing an “apples to apples” comparison on coverage.

“It comes down to who you’re comfortable with,” he said.

Marsh said his abstention in the vote was the result of not having enough financial information on the two companies to know what they are capable of covering. Perrone said her vote against the resolution was attributed to what she felt was a lack of time to fully vet the proposals.

The special council meeting followed a special meeting of the city’s Finance Committee, where both insurance representatives presented their information.

Finance Committee members opted to send the resolution to council without a recommendation.

“We thought it was best to send it to council without a recommendation and let council make the decision,” Marsh, who chairs the Finance Committee, said.

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