US Appeals Court Sides With Employer On Premium Audit Dispute
An employer disputed the premium audit properly was the US appeals court ruling from last week. I was reading an article earlier this week in The Workers Comp Forum concerning an employer in South Carolina that disputed their Workers Comp insurance premiums. The insurance carrier, Companion Insurance, canceled a second policy as the employer did not pay the insurance premium demanded on an audit billing for the first policy.
The employer sued Companion Insurance for breach of contract as they had paid all undisputed premiums. The employer lost the case on summary judgment, but the Court of Appeals overturned the lower court. The reason the employer brought suit was that one of their employees was seriously injured in an accident and was denied benefits/coverage.
The employer disputed the premium audit increase and forwarded its payroll information to dispute the audit’s accuracy. The court found that a dispute existed because the employer disputed the premium by refusing to pay, submitted its payroll data, and informed an insurance agent that it believed it had paid the amount owed on the first policy. The court stated it was “at a loss as to what more [the carrier] could reasonably expect of [the employer] when attempting to dispute the premium charge.”
Check out my last post as this is all somewhat related. How is it all related? The employer prevailed as they disputed the audit timely. That is why I have posted very often to not let a premium audit statement or billing just sit in the inbox. The employer prevailed as they disputed the audit timely and forwarded the proper information to the carrier and agent. We will have to see how this all turns out as the case now goes back to the lower-level court. The case is Triple H Debris Removal, Inc. v. Companion Property and Casualty Insurance Co. No. 08-1137 (8 Cir. 03/30/09)
Next Up – Question From A Blog Reader – How Can I Tell If The Workers Compensation Reserves On A File Are Correct?
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