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Workers Comp Enforcement Increased By North Carolina Legislature

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Workers Comp Enforcement Increase with HB 237

The Workers Comp enforcement was increased by the NC legislature this week.

The North Carolina Legislature amended House Bill 237 – known as the 2011 Workers Comp reforms.  The amendments were in response to a very inquisitive reporter discovering 30,000 employers in North Carolina were uninsured for Workers Compensation.A quick calculation using available data  140,000 properly insured companies + 30,000 uninsured  totals 170,000 total companies that should have Workers Comp coverage.

Picture of Workers Comp Enforcement Increase Meeting
(c) 123rf.com

30,000 uninsured / 170,000 total companies = approximately 18%.  In very round numbers almost 1 out of 5 companies in North Carolina was uninsured for Workers Comp.  

The applicable part of the House Bill that was changed is italicized in the next three paragraphs.  I did not include the statute numbers as it may all change, especially if the bill is vetoed.  I will come back and enter in that info if the bill is signed into law.  The amendments can be found here

Bureau to share information with the North Carolina Industrial Commission.  The Bureau shall provide to the North Carolina Industrial Commission information contained in the Bureau’s records indicating the status of workers’ compensation insurance coverage on North Carolina employers as reported to the Bureau by the Bureau’s member companies.  

The North Carolina Industrial Commission shall take such steps, including obtaining software or software licenses, as are necessary to be able to receive and process such information from the Bureau. The records provided to the North Carolina Industrial Commission under this section shall be confidential and shall not be public records as that term  is defined in G.S. 132-1. 

Badge of Workers Comp Enforcement North Carolina Industrial Commission
(c) ncci.org

The North Carolina Industrial Commission shall use the information provided pursuant to this section only to carry out its statutory duties and obligations under The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. The Bureau shall be immune from civil liability for releasing information pursuant to this section, even if the information is erroneous, provided the Bureau acted in good faith and without malicious or willful intent to harm in releasing the information.”

A great article from the Raleigh News and Observer had criticized part of the House Bill 237 amendments.  The article pointed out that some of the new legislation would limit public access to the same information that a reporter used to uncover the 30,000 uninsured employers.  The part of the bill that applies to this concern is in bold type.

A caveat to everyone thinking the bill is now law.  Governor Perdue has not signed the bill yet and is reviewing it as of the time of this blog post.  I will cover the other part of the amendments next time.

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications

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