Self-Insurance & Alternative Risk
Many of Semmes’ clients have determined that, in today’s world, there are better ways to manage risk than through the purchase of commercial insurance. Semmes’ attorneys have worked with clients to create and maintain self-insurance and alternative risk bearing mechanisms which are more tailored to the clients’ needs than traditional first dollar insurance products.
Workers’ Compensation is an area in which our clients have particularly benefited from the implementation of self-insurance programs. Larger clients can self-insure their Workers’ Compensation exposures in Maryland if granted approval to do so by the Workers’ Compensation Commission. While the administrative approval process is specialized and complex, Semmes attorneys have assisted our clients in obtaining and maintaining self-insured status.
Smaller employers may not have the financial strength to self-insure their Workers Compensation exposures, but Maryland law allows such employers to form Workers’ Compensation self-insurance Groups under the supervision of the Maryland Insurance Administration. Semmes’ attorneys have established several such Groups and continue to guide them through a regulatory process similar to that facing small insurance companies.
Other clients have also benefited from structured self-insurance programs. For instance, we have established several programs where hospitals developed professional liability self-insurance programs tailored to their own specialized exposures. We prepared the required documents to delineate the scope of coverage provided by the programs, and then we worked with the hospitals’ risk managers to negotiate a following form excess and stop loss policy so as to limit exposures to acceptable levels.
Maryland law also allows public and governmental entities to band together to group self-insure risks in both the Workers’ Compensation and liability areas. Semmes’ attorneys have established two liability groups and one workers’ compensation group under these specialized provisions.
Our services to self-insured clients are not limited to the establishment and maintenance of their programs. We provide a full range of litigation and defense services to assure our clients that their claims will be properly and efficiently handled. Of course, we continue to provide any required regulatory and compliance services before the Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Maryland Insurance Administration and other agencies. On occasion, we also represent our self-insured’s clients’ interests before the Maryland Legislature.