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79A.22 Commercial self-insurance group operating requirements.

Subdivision 1. Board of directors. (a) A commercial self-insurance group shall elect a board of directors who shall have complete authority over and control of the assets of the commercial self-insurance group. The board of directors will also be responsible for all of the operations of the commercial self-insurance group.

(b) The majority of the board of directors shall be owners, officers, directors, partners, or employees of members of the commercial self-insurance group. No third-party administrator or vendor of risk management services shall serve as a director of the commercial self-insurance group.

(c) The directors shall approve applications for membership in the commercial self-insurance group.

Subd. 2. Financial standards. Commercial self-insurance groups shall have and maintain:

(1) combined net worth of all of the members in an amount at least equal to 15 times the group's selected retention level of the workers' compensation reinsurance association;

(2) sufficient assets and liquidity in the group's common claims fund to promptly and completely meet all obligations of its members under this chapter and chapter 176.

Subd. 3. New membership. The commercial self-insurance group shall file with the commissioner the name of any new employer that has been accepted in the group prior to the initiation date of membership along with the member's signed indemnity agreement and evidence the member has deposited sufficient premiums with the group as required by the commercial self-insurance group's bylaws or plan of operation. The security deposit of the group will be increased to an amount equal to 50 percent of the new member's premium. The department of commerce may, at its option, review the financial statement of any applicant whose premium equals 25 percent or more of the group's total premium.

Subd. 4. Commercial self-insurance group common claims fund. (a) Each commercial self-insurance group shall establish a common claims fund.

(b) Each commercial self-insurance group shall, not less than ten days prior to the proposed effective date of the group, collect cash premiums from each member equal to not less than 20 percent of the member's annual workers' compensation premium to be paid into a common claims fund, maintained by the group in a designated depository. The remaining balance of the member's premium shall be paid to the group in a reasonable manner over the remainder of the year. Payments in subsequent years shall be made according to the business plan.

(c) Each commercial self-insurance group shall initiate proceedings against a member when that member becomes more than 15 days delinquent in any payment of premium to the fund.

(d) There shall be no commingling of any assets of the common claims fund with the assets of any individual member or with any other account of the service company or fiscal agent unrelated to the payment of workers' compensation liabilities incurred by the group.

Subd. 5. Joint and several liability. Each member of a commercial self-insurance group shall be jointly and severally liable for the obligations incurred by any member of the same group under chapter 176 for any fund year in which the member was a participant of the commercial self-insurance group.

Subd. 6. Annual audit. The accounts and records of the common claims fund shall be audited in the manner required under section 79A.03, subdivision 10.

Subd. 7. Investments. (a) Any securities purchased by the common claims fund shall be in such denominations and with dates of maturity to ensure securities may be redeemable at sufficient time and in sufficient amounts to meet the fund's current and long-term liabilities.

(b) Cash assets of the common claims fund may be invested in the following securities:

(1) direct obligations of the United States government, except mortgage-backed securities of the Government National Mortgage Association;

(2) bonds, notes, debentures, and other instruments which are obligations of agencies and instrumentalities of the United States including, but not limited to, the federal National Mortgage Association, the federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, the federal Home Loan Bank, the Student Loan Marketing Association, and the Farm Credit System, and their successors, but not including collateralized mortgage obligations or mortgage pass-through instruments;

(3) bonds or securities that are issued by the state of Minnesota and that are secured by the full faith and credit of the state;

(4) certificates of deposit which are insured by the federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and are issued by a Minnesota depository institution;

(5) obligations of, or instruments unconditionally guaranteed by, Minnesota depository institutions whose long-term debt rating is at least AA-, or Aa3, or their equivalent by at least two nationally recognized rating agencies.

Subd. 8. Administration. (a) The commercial self-insurance group shall be required to secure administrative services through a service company which maintains an office in the state of Minnesota. Services provided by the service company or its subcontractor should at a minimum include claim handling, safety and loss control, and submission of all required regulatory reports.

(b) The service company must demonstrate it has the capability to provide, through its employees or by contract, services which are necessary to administer the self-insurance group and it must employ or have under contract a claims adjuster with at least three years of Minnesota specific workers' compensation claim handling experience.

(c) The service company retained by a commercial self-insurance group to administer workers' compensation claims shall estimate the total accrued liability of the group for the payment of compensation for the commercial self-insurance group's annual report to the commissioner and shall make the estimate both in good faith and with the exercise of a reasonable degree of care.

Subd. 9. Marketing and communications. A commercial self-insurance group's applications, coverage documents, quotations, and all marketing materials must prominently display information indicating that the commercial self-insurance group is a self-insured program, that members are jointly and severally liable for the obligations of the commercial self-insurance group, and that members will be assessed on an individual and proportionate basis for any deficits created by the commercial self-insurance group.

Subd. 10. Reinsurance. (a) A commercial self-insurance group shall be required to purchase specific excess coverage with the workers' compensation reinsurance association at the lower retention level for its first three years of operation. After that time it may select the higher or super retention level with prior notice given to and approval of the commissioner.

(b) The commissioner may require a commercial self-insurance group to purchase aggregate excess coverage. Any reinsurance or excess coverage purchased other than that of the workers' compensation reinsurance association must be secured with an insurance company or reinsurer licensed to underwrite such coverage in Minnesota and maintains at least an "A" rating with the A.M. Best rating organization.

Subd. 11. Disbursement of fund surplus. (a) One hundred percent of any surplus money for a fund year in excess of 125 percent of the amount necessary to fulfill all obligations under the workers' compensation act, chapter 176, for that fund year may be declared refundable to a member at any time. The date shall be no earlier than 18 months following the end of such fund year. The first disbursement of fund surplus may not be made prior to the completion of an operational audit by the commissioner. There can be no more than one refund made in any 12-month period. When all the claims of any one fund year have been fully paid, as certified by an actuary, all surplus money from that fund year may be declared refundable.

(b) The commercial self-insurance group shall give notice to the commissioner of any refund. Said notice shall be accompanied by a statement from the commercial self-insurer group's certified public accountant certifying that the proposed refund is in compliance with paragraph (a).

Subd. 12. Satisfaction of fund deficit. In the event of a deficit in any fund year, such deficit shall be paid up immediately, either from surplus from a fund year other than the current fund year, or by assessment of the membership. The commissioner shall be notified within ten days of any transfer of surplus funds. The commissioner, upon finding that a deficit in a fund year has not been satisfied by a transfer of surplus from another fund year, shall order an assessment to be levied on a proportionate basis against the members of the commercial self-insurance group during that fund year sufficient to make up any deficit.

HIST: 1995 c 231 art 2 s 31

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes