H. B. 2748

(By Delegates Michael, J. Martin and Mezzatesta)

[Passed March 8, 1996; in effect ninety days from passage.]

AN ACT to amend and reenact section five, article twelve, chapter twenty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to allowing premiums collected by the state board of risk and insurance management to be invested with the West Virginia state board of investments, which will allow the funds to accumulate the necessary interest to meet its payment obligation.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section five, article twelve, chapter twenty-nine of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

§29-12-5. Powers and duties of board.

(a) The board shall have general supervision and control over the insurance of all state property, activities and responsibilities, including the acquisition and cancellation thereof; determination of amount and kind of coverage, including, but not limited to, deductible forms of insurance coverage, inspections or examinations relating thereto, reinsurance, and any and all matters, factors and considerations entering into negotiations for advantageous rates on and coverage of all such state property, activities and responsibilities. Any policy of insurance purchased or contracted for by the board shall provide that the insurer shall be barred and estopped from relying upon the constitutional immunity of the state of West Virginia against claims or suits: Provided, That nothing herein shall bar the insurer of political subdivisions from relying upon any statutory immunity granted such political subdivisions against claims or suits. The board may enter into any contracts necessary to the execution of the powers granted to it by this article. It shall endeavor to secure the maximum of protection against loss, damage or liability to state property and on account of state activities and responsibilities by proper and adequate insurance coverage through the introduction and employment of sound and accepted methods of protection and principles of insurance. It is empowered and directed to make a complete survey of all presently owned and subsequently acquired state property subject to insurance coverage by any form of insurance, which survey shall include and reflect inspections, appraisals, exposures, fire hazards, construction, and any other objectives or factors affecting or which might affect the insurance protection and coverage required. It shall keep itself currently informed on new and continuing state activities and responsibilities within the insurance coverage herein contemplated. The board shall work closely in cooperation with the state fire marshal's office in applying the rules of that office insofar as the appropriations and other factors peculiar to state property will permit. The board is given power and authority to make rules governing its functions and operations and the procurement of state insurance, but shall not make or promulgate any rules in contravention of or inconsistent with the laws or rules governing the office of insurance commissioner of West Virginia.
The board is hereby authorized and empowered to negotiate and effect settlement of any and all insurance claims arising on or incident to losses of and damages to state properties, activities and responsibilities hereunder and shall have authority to execute and deliver proper releases of all such claims when settled. The board may adopt rules and procedures for handling, negotiating and settlement of all such claims. All such settlements and releases shall be effected with the knowledge and consent of the attorney general.
(b) If requested by a political subdivision or by a charitable or public service organization, the board is authorized to provide property and liability insurance to the political subdivisions or such organizations to insure their property, activities and responsibilities. Such board is authorized to enter into any necessary contract of insurance to further the intent of this subsection.
The property insurance provided by the board, pursuant to this subsection, may also include insurance on property leased to or loaned to the political subdivision or such organization which is required to be insured under a written agreement.
The cost of this insurance, as determined by the board, shall be paid by the political subdivision or the organization and may include administrative expenses. All funds received by the board, (including, but not limited to, state agency premiums, mine subsidence premiums, and political subdivision premiums) shall be deposited with the West Virginia state board of investments with the interest income a proper credit to such property insurance trust fund or liability insurance trust fund, as applicable.
Political subdivision as used in this subsection shall have the same meaning as in section three, article twelve-a of this chapter.
Charitable or public service organization as used in this subsection means a bona fide, not for profit, tax-exempt, benevolent, educational, philanthropic, humane, patriotic, civic, religious, eleemosynary, incorporated or unincorporated association or organization or a rescue unit or other similar volunteer community service organization or association, but does not include any nonprofit association or organization, whether incorporated or not, which is organized primarily for the purposes of influencing legislation or supporting or promoting the campaign of any candidate for public office.