The Bureau is granted authority from three sources to exercise its enforcement responsibility: the Indiana workers compensation law, Bureau By-laws, and the Basic Manual. The following summarizes that authority.
Indiana Code 27-7-2-25 establishes that “The bureau shall procure annually from the department a license to carry on its business for which license a fee of one hundred dollars ($100) shall be paid to the state of Indiana through the insurance department of this state. The license year shall terminate on the thirtieth day of April of each year.”
Indiana Code 27-7-2-3 provides that "...every insurance company authorized to effect worker's compensation insurance in this state shall be a member of the worker's compensation rating bureau of Indiana. The bureau shall be composed of all insurance companies lawfully engaged on July 1, 1935, wholly or in part in making worker's compensation insurance in Indiana or who shall after July 1, 1935, be issued a certificate of authority to make worker's compensation insurance in this state."
Adherence to law
Indiana Code 27-7-2-20(a) provides that "Every company shall adhere to manual rules, policy forms, a statistical plan, a classification system, and experience rating plan filed by the bureau and approved by the commissioner."
Failure to comply
Failure to comply with the workers compensation law is a class C infraction per Indiana Code 27-7-2-38. Consequences can be the suspension or revocation of a license, fine up to $1,000 per violation, or a fine up to $10,000 for each willful violation.
The Basic Manual, Introduction-Application of Manual Rules, item 6, and the Indiana State Rule Exceptions, page 1, conveys the right for the Bureau to conduct inspections, assign classifications, and determine the propriety of carrier classification assignments.
If the Bureau finds that a policy needs correction, it notifies the carrier. The carrier must make the correction within 30 days.
Also see the document titled "Dispute Resolution" for an overview on the formal dispute process.
Sometimes people think the ICRB is part of state government. We interact with state agencies quite a bit as we strive to produce the best workers compensation insurance market in the country. However, the ICRB is a private, member/customer-supported not-for-profit organization.
Experience Rating Mandatory
Below are several references in the Indiana Code and Experience Rating Plan Manual that indicate the experience modification produced by the ICRB must be used by insurance companies. In other words, insurance companies may not file their own experience rating plans nor deviate from the published modification factor that the ICRB issues for each qualifying employer in Indiana.
IC 27-7-2-3.1 (10)
27-7-2-3.1. Powers of bureau.
The bureau, in addition to other activities not prohibited, is authorized to do the following:
(10) Prepare and distribute rules and rating values for the experience rating plan. Calculate and disseminate individual risk premium modification.
27-7-2-20. Reporting of statistical information.
(a) Every company shall adhere to manual rules, policy forms, a statistical plan, a classification system, and experience rating plan filed by the bureau and approved by the commissioner.
Experience Rating Plan Manual Rule 1-B-1 and 1-B-2
The Experience Rating Plan Manual for Workers Compensation and Employers Liability Insurance (the Plan) applies on a mandatory basis for risks that meet the premium eligibility requirements in Rule 2-A. Refer to the state rules for exceptions to this Plan's national rules.
A policy cannot be cancelled, rewritten or extended for purposes of enabling a risk to qualify for, or avoid application of, this Plan.
Any action taken in any form to evade the application of an experience rating modification determined in accordance with this Plan is prohibited.
Experience Rating Plan Manual Rule 1-D-2 and 1-D-5
The experience rating modification is calculated, issued and, if necessary, revised by the appropriate rating organization listed in the Preface.
The calculated experience rating modification factor is applied by the carrier(s) in accordance with this Plan, other applicable rules, statutes, and regulations.
Indiana Code 27-7-2-20.3(c)(2) states that the Bureau shall provide a reasonable means so that "...any person aggrieved by...Bureau filings may be heard..." The Bureau By-laws, Article X establishes the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) for this purpose. Appeals to DRC decisions are made to the commissioner.
For assigned risk business, the WCIP, Section IX - Dispute Resolution Procedure, explains the process for disputes relating to the general operation of the Plan and disputes arising under the Articles of Agreement.
Indiana Code 27-7-2-27 states that an order or decision by the commissioner is subject to review by the circuit or superior court of Marion County, with appeal possible to the supreme court.
The Indiana Code is available on the State of Indiana website at this address: http://www.state.in.us/legislative/ic/code/