California Approves Workers’ Comp Self-Insurance Group for Private Schools

January 6, 2005

Facing the ever-increasing workers’ compensation costs, a group of private schools recently was approved by the California Department of Industrial Relations, Office of Self-Insurance Plans to begin operating a self-insured group and is inviting private and parochial schools throughout California to join them.

The California Private Schools Workers’ Compensation Self-Insurance Group, Inc. (CAPS-SIG) provides the umbrella organization under which the schools will operate. Seven schools currently comprise the self-insurance group with a goal to control losses and reduce costs.

The group is utilizing a little-known law passed in 1993, which allows two or more employers with the same industry code to form a nonprofit mutual benefit corporation for the purpose of self-insuring its workers’ compensation coverage. Membership is open to private schools throughout California that meet the group’s underwriting guidelines, instituted to ensure the pool remains financially sound.

“Rising workers’ compensation costs are seriously impacting the budgets of private and parochial schools,” said Dave Tollner of the Pacific Autism Center for Education of Sunnyvale. “The formation of a self-insurance group takes even greater advantage of the recent state workers’ compensation reforms.”

The major benefit of the pool is the ability to immediately experience the benefits of state reforms. The schools should see a reduction of 20-30 percent on their workers’ compensation costs. The schools are Achievekids, The King’s Academy, Moreau Catholic High School, Notre Dame High School, the Pacific Autism Center for Education, Valley Christian Schools and Vista Hill Foundation.

“Public entities have successfully utilized insurance pools for workers’ compensation and other insurance areas for years and have not only saved money, but just as important, they have controlled losses,” said Dr. Michael Beever, Senior Vice President of Valley Christian Schools of San Jose, chairman of the CAPS-SIG Organizing Board.

Kevin Gordon, Executive Director of California Association of School Business Officials, praised the group. “These are the pioneers of the private school industry and we look forward to the impact this group will have on their community.”

Interested schools should contact Matt Gowan with Driver Alliant Insurance Services, the group’s broker, at (800) 454-6787 or Rick Brush with Bickmore Risk Services, the administrator, at (916) 244-1154 or RBrush@BRSrisk.com.

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