32. Group insurance. 1. Notwithstanding any provision of section thirty of this chapter, any town may contract for a single policy of insurance indemnifying (1) all fire protection districts and fire alarm districts wholly within such town which are liable for the payment of benefits under this chapter, (2) all territory within such town outside cities, villages, fire districts, fire protection districts and fire alarm districts which is liable for the payment of benefits under this chapter, and (3) the town in relation to such fire protection districts, fire alarm districts and outside territory, against liability imposed by this chapter. If a town has any such liability and contracts for such a single policy, then and in that event only any such policy, if requested by the board of trustees of any village wholly within the town, or by the board of fire commissioners of any fire district wholly within the town, shall also indemnify such village or fire district against such liability. The cost of such insurance shall be a town charge and shall be levied and collected in the same manner as other town charges only in the territory of such town which is liable for the payment of benefits under this chapter and which is outside of any village and fire districts not covered by such a policy. Nothing in this section contained shall impose any additional liability on any town for any benefit payments in relation to volunteer firemen.
2. Notwithstanding any other provision of section thirty of this chapter, any group of cities, villages, fire districts or town boards acting for and on behalf of fire protection districts, fire alarm districts or territories outside any such municipal corporations or districts which are liable for the payment of benefits under this chapter, all of which cities, villages, districts and territories are located in whole or in part within one county, may elect by resolution of the governing board of each member of the group to be insured against liability imposed by this chapter, as a group under a single policy. Such resolutions shall be filed with the chairman of the board of supervisors. The group shall file with the chairman of the board of supervisors an agreement, signed by the officer of the governing body designated by such resolution, agreeing to the effective date of such policy and to the population of each such city, village, fire district, fire protection district, fire alarm district and such territory outside any such municipal corporation or district, and, if any such fire protection district or fire alarm district lies wholly or partly within two or more towns, the population of the district within each such town. The population shall be that which is shown by the latest federal census, or, if not shown by such census, then as estimated. The estimate used for any village, district or other area in a town plus the estimated or actual population of all other villages, districts and areas in such town shall not exceed the population of such town as shown by the latest federal census. It shall be the duty of the chairman of the board of supervisors of the county, upon the filing of such resolutions and agreement, promptly to contract for insurance indemnifying against the liability imposed by this chapter in the manner provided in section thirty of this chapter. Except by mutual consent of the participating members, a member may withdraw from such a group only upon the anniversary date of the policy, and then only upon thirty days' notice of withdrawal by mail to the chairman of the board of supervisors. The cost of such insurance shall be apportioned by the clerk of the board of supervisors of the county to each such city, village, fire district, fire protection district, fire alarm district, and such territory outside such municipal corporations and districts, in the proportion that the agreed population bears to the entire population of the group. Refunds, dividends and discounts in relation to such insurance shall be distributed or credited according to the same apportionment. Upon notification by the clerk of the board of supervisors, the chief fiscal officer of each such city, village or fire district shall pay to the county treasurer, from moneys available or made available, the amount apportioned to such city, village or district. Upon like notification, the supervisor of each town in which such a fire protection district or fire alarm district is located in whole or in part, or in which such outside territory is located, shall pay to the county treasurer the amount apportioned for such district, in whole or in part, or territory, as the case may be, using moneys raised or made available for the purposes of fire protection in such district or outside territory, or if there be no such moneys or insufficient moneys, using funds of the town available or made available, which funds shall be a charge upon such district or territory for which the town shall be reimbursed. The county treasurer shall pay the cost of such insurance with such moneys, or if any apportioned share has not been paid, the county treasurer shall advance the amount necessary from moneys of the general fund upon resolution of the board of supervisors. Any such advance shall be repaid as soon as moneys are available therefor. If any apportioned share remains unpaid, the county may recover the same by action at law. If any member of the group shall fail to pay its apportioned share within thirty days after notice that such amount has become due and payable, the chairman of the board of supervisors may terminate the participation of such member in the group by notice by mail to such member on a date specified in the notice, and a copy of such notice shall be filed by the chairman of the board of supervisors with the insurance carrier, who shall notify the chairman of the workmen's compensation board of the termination of coverage in the same manner as provided for cancellation of policy under subdivision five of section fifty-four of the workmen's compensation law. If any village or fire district is located in two or more counties, it may elect to join such a group in one of such counties. If any fire protection district or fire alarm district includes territory in more than one county, it shall become a participant only if all the town boards acting for and on behalf of such district shall have elected that such district shall become a participant in such a group, and in such case such town boards shall elect as to which county group it shall join. If any participating fire protection district or fire alarm district includes territory in more than one town, whether or not in more than one county, the amount of cost of insurance, refund, dividend or discount apportioned to such district shall be apportioned in the proportion that the population of the district within each such town bears to the population of the entire district. The figure used for population in such case shall be the one stated in the agreement. If the boundaries of any city, village, fire district, fire protection district, fire alarm district or such outside territory in the group shall be changed during the effective period of any such insurance policy, or if there are changes in the membership of the group, the agreement heretofore mentioned concerning population shall be appropriately amended by a supplementary agreement to be executed and filed in the same manner as the original agreement, in which case the coverage of the policy and the apportionment of the cost thereof shall be changed accordingly.
3. Each policy issued pursuant to subdivisions one and two of this section shall identify clearly each city, town, village, fire district, fire protection district, fire alarm district and outside territory covered thereby.
Last modified: February 3, 2019