PCIA Supports Repeal of S.C.’s Second Injury Fund

January 18, 2005

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America is supporting HB 3284, legislation which would repeal South Carolina’s Second Injury Fund, which, due to excessive costs, has become a hindrance to much needed economic development in the state.

The Second Injury Fund was designed to encourage employers to hire or retain workers with pre-existing disabilities or injuries while furnishing economic relief to those employers should a subsequent injury occur to that worker. However, since the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1992, which prohibited the discrimination in employment that the second injury funds were intended to address, 16 states and the District of Columbia have abolished their funds.

“The repeal of the Second Injury Fund is much needed in South Carolina and is one of our top legislative priorities,” Robert Herlong, PCI vice president and regional manager said. “The Second Injury Fund has outlived its usefulness. The biggest problem with the fund is its costs. It adds unnecessary administrative costs without adding value to the workers compensation system. Insurer assessments have increased dramatically in recent years, with approximately 13 percent of workers compensation premiums in South Carolina going to the fund.”

HB 3284 is now before the House Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry. “We applaud the legislative sponsors representatives Robert Leach (R-Greenville) and William Sandifer (R-Seneca) for introducing the bill,” Herlong said. “The current Second Injury Fund environment in South Carolina is not attractive to business or favorable for economic development. Repeal of the fund is an important step in improving competition and controlling costs.”

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