Idaho Hearing Officer Rejects Petition

November 28, 2001

A hearing officer appointed by the Idaho Department of Insurance (IDI) has rejected a petition to allow competing insurance companies and trade associations to intervene in a license hearing for Advantage Workers Compensation Insurance Company (Advantage).

The group seeking to intervene failed to demonstrate they would be directly and immediately affected by the interpretation or enforcement of Idaho insurance statute, ruled D. Duff McKee, IDI’s hearing officer, in a recently issued order. The standard for intervention was not met by the group’s argument that Advantage’s presence or absence in the marketplace would affect competing insurers.

Advantage, rated “A-” by A.M. Best, is an Indiana-domiciled insurance company with corporate headquarters in Salt Lake City. Authorized since 1999 to write workers’ compensation policies in Idaho, Advantage initiated an administrative hearing in September to clarify its status under Idaho insurance statutes. The hearing will determine whether or not Advantage is owned or controlled by or operated for a government or governmental agency. Idaho law prohibits an insurer having such a relationship to government from doing business in the state.

According to IDI administrator Shad Priest, Advantage’s certificate of authority is in good standing. During the proceeding, the company is fully licensed to write workers’ compensation insurance coverage in Idaho.

Advantage maintains it is not owned, controlled by, or operated for any government or governmental agency, and the statute does not disqualify it from selling insurance in Idaho.

Those seeking to intervene in opposition to Advantage included the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII), the Alliance of American Insurers (AAI), American International Group (AIG) and Liberty Northwest.

Contrary to reports from competitors, Advantage does not have a tax-free status – it pays premium tax, federal income tax, and state real and personal property taxes. A member of the Idaho Insurance Guaranty Association, Advantage is liable to pay assessments that may result from insurance company insolvency.

Advantage’s position is supported by WorkCare NorthWest, a program administrator that specializes in providing workers’ compensation insurance and related services to Idaho employers and employees; Idaho insurance agents, Post Insurance Services and H. Dean Summers; the Associated General Contractors of Idaho; and many additional interests.

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