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Basin Electric facing big insurance increase

By Dave Thompson

Bismarck, ND – One potential effect of the September 11th terrorist attack could be increased insurance premiums.

Basin Electric Power Cooperative is finding that out. Basin is holding its annual meeting in Bismarck this week -- and its board of directors was told the premiums for its property insurance will likely go from two-point-nine million dollars to four point five million dollars -- a 55 percent increase.

"I think originally when we started we were using the same budgetary numbers that we had had in the year 2001, until this happened," said Basin general manager Ron Harper. "And now we've got to go back to the drawing board and seek to understand what it's going to do. One of the options to avoid some of the increase is, obviously, to increase our deductible from five million to 20 million, which obviously then suggests that you gotta have some back-up plan over here to take care of those deductibles." :28)

Harper says he thinks Basin can absorb the increase without much of an impact to its member cooperatives or workers. But he says it was a shock.