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Jeff Davis School Board to hire insurance consultant

Last Modified: Friday, January 17, 2014 11:00 AM

By Doris Maricle / American Press

JENNINGS — The Jeff Davis Parish School Board will hire an insurance consultant to help the board oversee its policies and requests for proposals.

The board voted unanimously to hire Phil Demmel as its insurance consultant for a small retainer of $500 a year for services.

“With everything happening since the hurricanes and how big things have become the board felt we needed another set of eyes to make sure we have the right ideas and are headed in the right direction,” Superintendent Brian Lejeune said.

The board has not had an insurance consultant in nearly a decade.

“The board will utilize him as much as we can to make sure we are doing things the right way,” Lejeune said. “He doesn’t want to come in and run everything. He is here to help and guide us in the right direction with his expertise.”

Demmel has worked for several insurance agencies and has “extensive knowledge and is well-versed in insurance matters,” according to District Attorney Michael Cassidy.

“He knows how to read insurance policies back and forth,” Cassidy said.

Demmel will assist the board in reviewing and receiving quotes and requests for proposals, as well as other matters concerning the board’s insurance coverage and policies.

“He could be beneficial to the board in reviewing anything proposed to the board and answering any questions and concerns the board may have,” Cassidy said.

Last year, the board asked the state Department of Insurance to review the way quotes are obtained for liability insurance after questions were raised by local insurance agents.

The state found that the School Board did not violate any state laws or ethics codes in its handling of quotes received for livability insurance.

The School Board annually seeks quotes for livability insurance to cover any injuries on school property and damage to buildings.

Unlike most bids, the board is not required to take the lowest bid if another quote is higher, but provides more coverage and better service.

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