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ACORD to Prepare California-Only Workers’ Compensation Application

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Dec. 6, 2018 -- ACORD is working to release a new application for workers’ compensation insurance coverage (ACORD 130CA), to be used in California in lieu of the country-wide ACORD 130 form. This is to align with a recent California Department of Insurance (CDI) Notice, officials at ACORD confirmed this week. 

The CDI Notice, released Nov. 14, 2018 concluded that two questions on the ACORD form--#10 (“ANY EMPLOYEES UNDER 16 OR OVER 60 YEARS OF AGE?”) and #13 (“ANY EMPLOYEES WITH PHYSICAL HANDICAPS?”)– if used for rating purposes, would violate various provisions of California law. The CDI also noted that “…continued use of Form 130 in California is generally not objectionable, because the information requested by questions 10 and 13 on the Form 130 is not used by the NCCI, the WCIRB or SCIF…” 

However, it encouraged insurers not to collect answers to questions 10 and 13 on form 130, noting potential risk to California employers, if they ask their employees to supply the information sought by those questions.

Some insurers, notably including the State Compensation Insurance Fund, had previously disabled those questions on its electronic applications, but some software applications utilized by other insurers still require a response to those questions—even if the information isn’t used in underwriting or rating—in order for the applications to be electronically accepted.

Debra Sahler, ACORD’s national director of compliance, said that, although approval by the California Department of Insurance is not required, ACORD will submit the revised form to CDI for courtesy review, and hopes to be able to release the revision before year end.

At the same time, ACORD has revised the instructions for completing the Form 130.

IIABCal General Counsel Steve Young suggested that until ACORD releases a modified application form, producers should contact their workers’ compensation insurers to determine how best to comply with the Commissioner’s Notice.    Young said members have asked whether they should simply answer “No” to questions 10 and 13 until such time as the form is modified, even if that answer was not accurate.  He urged producers not to make—or let applicants make—any untruthful statements on applications, even in cases where the information being provided could not be used for underwriting or rating purposes.

Readers may View The CDI Notice Here.

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