More West Virginia Counties Join Workers’ Compensation Pool

June 30, 2011

In the wake of a decision by a West Virginia workers’ compensation insurer to drop its program for government agencies, more counties are lining up to join a risk pool.

County governments throughout the state are joining the West Virginia Counties Group Self-Insurance Risk Pool. The pool was created three years ago by 19 member counties to provide property and liability coverage. Among other things, the pool offers vehicle fleet coverage and power equipment and machine coverage. As of July 1, it will be authorized to offer workers’ compensation coverage.

Wood County is the latest local government to expand its coverage through the risk pool. The county already has its liability coverage through self-insured, member-owned and operated insurer. Created in 2007, it currently has 34 member counties.

Wood County joins 21 other counties that plan on getting workers’ compensation coverage through the pool. West Virginia has a total of 55 counties.

BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Co., which had been the sole source of workers’ coverage for public entities in the state, announced earlier this year it no longer wanted to cover state agencies. The insurer said it lost $30 million over the past three years due to claims by state agencies and volunteer fire departments. In 2010, the insurer paid out $1.57 in claims for every dollar it collected in premiums.

Last year, West Virginia lawmakers enacted a new law opening the door for all public entities to purchase their workers’ compensation coverage through insurers other than BrickSteet.

Topics Workers' Compensation Talent Virginia West Virginia

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