Pacific Coast Business Times has an interesting story about State Fund today in their Monday Briefing.
According to Business Reporter Stephen Nellis, the State Compensation Insurance Fund, a government sponsored fund which offers workers compensation coverage to firms that can't find insurance elsewhere, is hurting for cash - and looking to local business owners to fill the gaps in their funding. State Fund has filed seven lawsuits against contractors and small business, each seeking unpaid workers compensation premiums. Nellis' article also reports that one local employer has accused State Fund of refusing to investigate fraud claims, championing a "pay benefits now, ask questions later" approach to handling workers compensation claims.
State Fund is the largest provider of workers’ compensation insurance in California: because of this, what we are seeing will likely trickle down to other carriers as insurers try to grapple with mounting costs, more complex claims and tighter purse strings. As an employer you must carry workers compensation insurance in almost all situations (domestic employees are a rare exception, and even they can require coverage). I recommend that all of us watch the State Fund situation carefully - and of course, try to keep claims to a minimum with safe workplaces and good employee policies.