A bill working its way through the Oklahoma Legislature would allow for the creation of an assigned risk plan providing workers’ compensation insurance.
Senate Bill 524 would also repeal the CompSource Mutual Insurance Company Act; CompSource Mutual is currently the state’s workers’ comp market of last resort. It writes about a third of the workers’ comp policies in the state.
The insurance commissioner would be directed to develop the plan and would determine the rates to be charged, which can’t be excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory.
The bill is supported by the Oklahoma independent insurance agents’ association, Big I Oklahoma.
In a media release Big I Oklahoma President and CEO Denise Johnson, said “separating the residual market and establishing it as a stand-alone entity, regulated by the Oklahoma Department of Insurance, allows for a level and fully competitive workers’ compensation insurance marketplace in Oklahoma, while also fully serving the needs of businesses unable to find coverage in the private marketplace.”
In addition to providing an assigned risk plan to provide coverage to employers, the bill would provide rate protections, according to Johnson.
She added that an assigned risk plan “creates a balanced, level playing field for all private workers’ compensation insurers in Oklahoma’s market. It allows for all workers’ compensation insurers to compete for business effectively and fairly under the same laws and regulations.”
Created as the state-backed workers’ compensation insurance provider, CompSource Oklahoma was converted into CompSource Mutual Insurance Co. beginning Jan. 1, 2015. The conversion allowed it to be regulated like private insurers and be required to pay insurance premium taxes.
SB524 is sponsored by Sen. Marty Quinn in the Senate and Rep. Chris Sneed in the House.
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