History of Group Self-Insurance Associations in Virginia

Highly regulated by the Bureau of Insurance through routine audits and annual reporting, Group Self-Insurance was created to provide a strong and stable option for workers’ compensation coverage.

In 1978, the Virginia General Assembly formed a legislative committee to study the problem of high Workers' Compensation premiums for employers and to determine what other states may be doing to combat this problem. The result of the study was legislation enacted in 1979 by the Virginia General Assembly to allow the formation of Workers' Compensation Self-Insurance Funds referred to as Group Self-Insurance Associations (GSIAs).

Member Premiums are Protected by the Group

Each member pays its premium contribution to the Group. Premiums are invested until needed to pay claims and administrative costs. 

Lower overhead costs provide savings; however, the largest savings results from comprehensive underwriting, aggressive claims handling, managed care, and effective occupational safety and health services. These combined efforts reduce the overall risk of the Group and provide the greatest opportunity for dividend return.

Why do I need an audit?

Audits determine if the payroll and class codes quoted at the beginning of a plan year correctly reflect the payroll and scope of work conducted during the plan year. A work comp audit examines the books to determine the accuracy of the estimated policy premium. A year-end audit is really a verification of the exposure of a member to determine the final premium to be charged since the original quote is based on estimated payroll only. Depending on the outcome, you may receive a refund or owe additional premium. To assist with keeping your payroll as accurate as possible with Commonwealth Contractors, don't forget that you can call and adjust your payrolls throughout the year and the change will be reflected in your next regularly scheduled invoice.

To expedite your audit and ensure a smooth process, please be sure the audit contact is someone who is familiar with the roles and responsibilities of each employee and can produce the following documents:

  • Payroll records
  • Employee records
  • Certificates of Insurance
  • Detailed description of your nature of operations
  • To schedule your audit, please contact Central Virginia Audit Services

Benefits of Joining a Group Self-Insurance Association

Being a member of a Group Self-Insurance Association offers many unique benefits. However, the primary reason is the ability to save considerable amounts of money. With reduced expenses, occupational safety programs, and locally managed and administered claims handling, savings can be substantial.

Self-Insured Groups are successful for these reasons:

  1. Only employers with excellent loss records are selected for membership.
  2. Administration costs are kept to a minimum.
  3. Investment income accrues and is returned to the member employers.
  4. Claims are investigated diligently before payments are made.
  5. Required Occupational Safety and Health programs prevent many accidents.

About Commonwealth Contractors

Who is eligible to join Commonwealth Contractors?

In general, potential Group members must, at a minimum, meet these requirements:

  • Domiciled in Virginia
  • Minimum manual premium of $5,000
  • Positive net worth
  • In business for 3+ years