SIG Forms Calif. Agricultural Workers’ Comp Group

December 6, 2004

Following up on their success in establishing the California Contractors Network — a self-insured group (SIG) for high-risk employers — Self Insured Solutions has created California’s first Agricultural self-insured group.

“We’re already inside the ten yard line with this new SIG,” according to Tom Wheeler, president of Self Insured Solutions. “We’ve completed our filing with the state Office of Self Insurance Plans, and expect to have a start date of January 1, 2005 for our new group, the California Agricultural Network — CANSIG. Our game plan is set, and we’re ready to start scoring for some of California’s most well known and respected fruit and nut growers.

Initial participants in CANSIG include California growers such as Dave Wilson Nursery, Mid Valley Nut and Ronald Martella Farms.

Self Insured Solutions’ existing SIG, California Contractors Network, now has more than $22 million in annualized contributions, reportedly making CCN California’s largest and most successful construction-based self-insured group fund. “Just as with the members of CCN,” Wheeler explained, “members of CANSIG will receive a substantial savings on workers’ compensation costs, and will accrue significant other financial and employee-relations benefits as well.”

Wheeler said that the typical employer with 50 full-time workers participating in one of SIS’s self-insured groups saves from 10 to 25 percent of their annual workers’ comp costs. And there are reportedly additional benefits to be found.

“Our aggressive safety programs further reduce costs by helping employers identify and eliminate the most common causes of on-the-job worker injuries,” Wheeler said. “Taken together, this approach generates significant and sustainable savings for our participants. In a state such as California, where workers’ comp premiums are among the most costly in the nation, these savings can help thousands of small- and mid-sized agricultural businesses to improve profitability. In turn, this permits them to grow, adding new jobs for new employees, and adding to the economic health of the entire state.”

All of Self Insured Solutions’ self-insured groups reportedly generate savings for their participating firms, for a variety of reasons, including an aggressive claims resolution system. “Our Self Insured Solutions’ team includes skilled investigators who are experienced former police officers who swiftly investigate all claims,” Wheeler noted. “Their mandate is clear — swiftly and efficiently pay in full all legitimate claims, enabling workers to recover and return to work in the minimum medically prudent time. At the same time, we also quickly deny all fraudulent claims, saving our participating companies significant claims costs, and ensuring that all legitimate claims have full access to all resources. This two pronged approach — paying in full all legitimate claims while quickly denying all fraudulent claims — keeps costs down. This approach also ensures that all of our covered injured workers receive all the medical care they need, with no delay.”

For more information, visit Self Insured Solutions has offices in Sacramento and Ontario, and will be opening a CANSIG-specific office in Modesto in January.

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