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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, March 1, 2002

Big Island police find insurer for auto policy

By Hugh Clark
Advertiser Big Island Bureau

HILO, Hawai'i — The Hawai'i County Police Department has secured new automobile insurance coverage effective today to replace the previous policy that was canceled due to a high number of accidents.

The county will pay $623,481 in annual premiums to low-bidder American International Group, more commonly known as AIG, said county Purchasing Agent Bill Gray. The cost is $195,481 higher than the premiums it paid to TIG Crum and Forster Inc., which declined to renew the policy because of 39 claims over the last two years.

There were two other bidders: Royaland Sun Alliance Insurance Group and Detric.

The new policy covers 351 vehicles that are owned by police officers who use the cars for work. The officers must purchase their own collision coverage for damage to their vehicles.

Gray described the 46 percent increase in premiums as "significant but understandable" because insurance firms nationally are tightening their underwriting standards.

In response to the rash of collisions, Assistant Police Chief Lawrence Mahuna said he has ordered officers involved in accidents to undergo a new remedial driving program that is expected to start later this month.