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§23-2C-15. Mandatory coverage; changing of coverage.

(a) Effective upon termination of the commission, all subscriber policies with the commission shall novate to the company and all employers shall purchase workers' compensation insurance from the company unless permitted to self-insure their obligations. The company shall assume responsibility for all new fund obligations of the subscriber policies which novate to the company or which are issued thereafter. Each subscriber whose policy novates to the company shall also have its advanced deposit credited to its account with the company. Each employer purchasing workers' compensation insurance from the company has the right to designate a representative or agent to act on its behalf in any and all matters relevant to coverage and claims administered by the company.

(b) Effective July 1, 2008, an employer may elect to: (1) Continue to purchase workers' compensation insurance from the company; (2) purchase workers' compensation insurance from another private carrier licensed and otherwise authorized to transact workers' compensation insurance in this state; or (3) self-insure its obligations if it satisfies all requirements of this code to so self-insure and is permitted to do so: Provided, That all state and local governmental bodies, including, but not limited to, all counties and municipalities and their subdivisions and including all boards, colleges, universities and schools, shall continue to purchase workers' compensation insurance from the company through June 30, 2010: Provided, however, That the company may not cancel or refuse to renew a policy of a state or local governmental body prior to July 1, 2011, except for failure of consideration to be paid by the policyholder or for refusal to comply with a premium audit. The company and other private carriers are permitted to sell workers' compensation insurance through licensed agents in the state. To the extent that a private carrier markets workers' compensation insurance through a licensed agent, it is subject to all applicable provisions of chapter thirty-three of this code.

(c) Every employer shall post a notice upon its premises in a conspicuous place identifying its workers' compensation insurer. The notice must include the name, business address and telephone number of the insurer and of the person to contact with questions about a claim. The employer shall at all times maintain the notice provided for the information of his or her employees. Release of employer policy information and status by the Industrial Council and the Insurance Commissioner shall be governed by section four, article one of this chapter.

(d) Any rule promulgated by the Industrial Council empowering agencies of this state to revoke or refuse to grant, issue or renew any contract, license, permit, certificate or other authority to conduct a trade, profession or business to or with any employer whose account is in default with regard to any liability under this chapter shall be fully enforceable by the Insurance Commissioner against the employer.

(e) Effective January 1, 2009, the company may decline to offer coverage to any applicant. Private carriers and, effective January 1, 2009, the company, may cancel a policy upon the issuance of thirty days' written advance notice to the policyholder and may refuse to renew a policy upon the issuance of sixty days' written advance notice to the policyholder: Provided, That cancellation of the policy by the carrier for failure of consideration to be paid by the policyholder or for refusal to comply with a premium audit is effective after ten days' advance written notice of cancellation to the policyholder.

(f) Every private carrier shall notify the Insurance Commissioner as follows: (1) Of the issuance or renewal of insurance coverage, within thirty days of: (A) The effective date of coverage; or (B) the private carrier's receipt of notice of the employer's operations in this state, whichever is later; (2) of a termination of coverage by the private carrier due to refusal to renew or cancellation, at least ten days prior to the effective date of the termination; and (3) of a termination of coverage by an employer, within ten days of the private carrier's receipt of the employer's request for such termination; the notifications shall be on forms developed or in a manner prescribed by the Insurance Commissioner.

(g) For the purposes of subsections (e) and (f) of this section, the transfer of a policyholder between insurance companies within the same group is not considered a cancellation or refusal to renew a workers' compensation insurance policy.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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