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The California Department of Industrial Relations has approved a $7.54 billion capital program to help businesses in the state self-insure for workers compensation for the coming year, the department said.
The Alternative Security Program, which launched in 2003, is jointly operated by the California Self Insurers' Security Fund and the industrial relations department, according to a statement from the department. The department approved $7.54 billion in funding for the 2014-15 program, which will be used to replace security deposits paid by employers to collateralize their workers comp liabilities.
Self-insured employers in California that do not participate in the program must post collateral equal to their estimated future liability, according to the California Department of Industrial Relations website. They can use cash, irrevocable letters of credit, surety bonds, or securities.
“With workers compensation representing a significant expense to businesses, this program benefits both the businesses and the larger California economy,” said Christine Baker, director of the California industrial relations department, in a statement earlier this month.
California currently has more than 9,850 employers protecting more than 4 million workers representing a total payroll of $177 billion through self-insurance workers' compensation plans, according to the statement.
Workers compensation claim frequency increased last year in California, although combined ratios for California comp insurers fell in 2013, according to the California Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.