(a) Unless otherwise ordered or permitted by the board, every employer subject to the provisions of this chapter relative to the payment of compensation shall secure and maintain full insurance against such employer’s liability for payment of compensation under this article, such insurance to be secured from some corporation, association, or organization licensed by law to transact the business of workers’ compensation insurance in this state or from some mutual insurance association formed by a group of employers so licensed; or such employer shall furnish the board with satisfactory proof of such employer’s financial ability to pay the compensation directly in the amount and manner and when due, as provided for in this chapter. In the latter case, the board may, in its discretion, require the deposit of acceptable security, indemnity, or bond to secure the payment of compensation liabilities as they are incurred; provided, however, that it shall be satisfactory proof of the employer’s financial ability to pay the compensation directly in the amount and manner when due, as provided for in this chapter, and the equivalent of acceptable security, indemnity, or bond to secure the payment of compensation liabilities as they are incurred, if the employer shall show the board that such employer is a member of a mutual insurance company duly licensed to do business in this state by the Commissioner of Insurance, as provided by the laws of this state, or of an association or group of employers so licensed and as such is exchanging contracts of insurance with the employers of this and other states through a medium specified and located in their agreements with each other, but this proviso shall in no way restrict or qualify the right of self-insurance as authorized in this Code section. Nothing in this Code section shall be construed to require an employer to place such employer’s entire insurance in a single insurance carrier.
(b) The board shall have the authority to promulgate rules and regulations to set forth requirements for third-party administrators and servicing agents, including insurers acting as third-party administrators or servicing agents, with regard to their management or administration of workers’ compensation claims. All Title 33 regulations shall remain in the Insurance Department.
(c) Wherever a self-insurer has been required to post bond, should it cease to be a corporation, obtain other coverage, or no longer desire to be a self-insurer, the board shall be allowed to return the bond in either instance, upon the filing of a certificate certifying to the existence of an insurance contract to take over outstanding liability resulting from any presently pending claim or any future unrepresented claims; and the board shall be relieved of any liability arising out of a case where the injuries were incurred, or liability therefor, prior to the returning of the bonds.