December 1, 2010
To: MEMBERS OF THE GEORGIA SELF-INSURERS GUARANTY TRUST FUND
Re: Annual Report for 2010
As of September 30, 2010, the Georgia Self-Insurers Guaranty Trust Fund (“Fund”) has paid workers’ compensation benefits, medical expenses, and rehabilitation services to over 450 injured workers and their dependents. Approximately $31,843,246 in benefits have been paid to these workers or to their dependents on their behalf. The Fund has recovered over $10,683,702 in reimbursement from the Subsequent Injury Trust Fund, bankruptcy courts, and excess insurance carriers. These funds have been recovered through efforts of the Trustees and Fund management to seek all remedies and relief available in mitigation of the cost of servicing the claims of insolvent members. Fortunately, there have been no new bankruptcies since General Motors and Fleetwood Homes in 2009.
The Fund presently has 211 active members. This membership figure has remained relatively constant for the last several years.
To date, sixty-eight (68) members of the Fund have become insolvent since 1991. In 37 of these insolvencies, the Fund has been called upon to take over the obligation of the employer. Over 400 claims have been resolved. We are currently servicing 115 lost-time cases, forty-nine (49) of which are for General Motors Corporation which filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2009. More than 20 General Motors lost time claims were resolved during 2010. Of the 37 bankruptcies in which claims have been administered by the Fund, security was adequate to respond to liabilities in all but twelve (12) employer bankruptcies.
As noted in last year’s annual report, the workers’ compensation rate was $175.00 per week for temporary total disability when the GSIGTF was established in 1990. The current weekly compensation rate is $500.00 per week for TTD. In light of the increase in benefits and the cost of medical treatment, the Legislature evaluated the adequacy of the annual assessment, which is required by statute. Effective July 1, 2010, the Georgia code was modified so that annual assessments range from a minimum of $2,000 to a maximum of $8,000 per year depending on disbursements made for both indemnity and medical paid during the previous year. The new rate of assessment will be applied to data reported on the 2011 Membership Information Update Form. It is important to note that this is the first increase in assessment since the Fund was established in 1991, despite the tripling of benefits.
Members should be reminded that the Trustees have determined that all security and excess policies should be issued in the name of the member and also add the term “and self-insured subsidiaries and affiliates, if any.” This change will eliminate the risk that a subsidiary or affiliate might be omitted on the security or excess policy. Also please be reminded that the Fund should be named as a loss payee and named insured on all excess policies and the required bankruptcy endorsement must be part of the policy. Please call if you have questions on this issue.
Currently, we are happy to report that the Self-Insurers Guaranty Trust Fund’s total net worth has increased to approximately $5.1 million net of all liabilities and we have one of the few solvent guaranty funds in the country. During this year, the Trustees evaluated other alternative security models. After much analysis, the Trustees and the State Board of Workers’ Compensation determined that these alternatives were inadequate to meet the needs of the Fund and the injured workers of this state. The Trustees remain confident we have one of the most efficient and employer-friendly Funds in the country.
For more information about the Georgia Self-Insurers Guaranty Trust Fund, please visit our newly re-designed website at www.gaguaranty.com.
As in the past, the members of the Board of Trustees appreciate your cooperation and participation in the continued operation and funding of this necessary endeavor.
Sheldon Fram, Chairman
C. W. Matthews Contracting, Inc.
Tim Holt, Secretary
Brown Industries, Inc.
Dr. Frank McElroy, Jr.
Presbyterian Homes of Georgia
Chris H. Hunt
Georgia Power Company
Wellstar Health System
Shaw Industries Group, Inc.