(a) Any group of municipalities, counties, school boards, or hospital authorities or any trade association or professional association or any other group authorized by this article may enter into an intrastate agreement for the purpose of extending workers’ compensation benefits to employees of its members. Once a fund is established pursuant to the intrastate agreement, an officer or administrator of the fund shall, within ten days of the effective date of such agreement, deliver a copy of the agreement to the Commissioner. The fund shall provide workers’ compensation coverage to the employees of members who deposit moneys for premiums into the fund. On or before the effective date of such coverage, the fund shall file with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation the evidence of coverage form required by the board’s rules issued pursuant to Code Section 34-9-126.
(1) For purposes of this article, municipalities, counties, school boards, hospital authorities, trade associations, and professional associations shall each be deemed to constitute separate classes. Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, no member of any one such class shall join with a member of another class or classes for the purpose of creating a fund pursuant to this article. There shall be only one group self-insurance fund for municipalities and only one group self-insurance fund for counties; provided, however, if the Commissioner determines that there are special or unique circumstances or needs of a group of counties or municipalities which justify the establishment of an additional group self-insurance fund or funds for counties or municipalities, the Commissioner may authorize the establishment of such fund or funds.
(2) A board of education of an independent school system of any municipality is authorized to be a member of a fund comprised of municipalities.
(c) A fund must make application to the Commissioner for a certificate of authority within 90 days of the date of executing an intrastate agreement creating the fund. The application shall state that the fund has met the requirements of this subsection and the requirements of subsections (d) through (f) of this Code section and shall set forth the following:
(1) The name of the fund;
(2) The location of the fund’s principal office, which shall be maintained within this state;
(3) The location of the principal office of the sponsoring trade association, which shall be located in this state, or sponsoring professional association, which shall be located in this state, or group of municipalities, counties, school boards, or hospital authorities;
(4) The names and addresses of the members;
(5) The principal business of each member;
(6) The name and address of a Georgia resident designated and appointed as the fund’s proposed registered agent for service of process in this state;
(7) The names and addresses of the officers and directors of the proposed fund and a statement of whether or not any of such officers and directors has been convicted of any crimes other than minor traffic violations within the last ten years;
(8) The powers of the officers and directors and the term of office of each;
(9) A brief outline of the method by which the administrative obligations of the fund shall be met;
(10) A copy of the bylaws of the fund;
(11) A copy of the intrastate agreement among the members;
(12) The name and address of the administrator and, if the administrator is a corporation, the names and addresses of its officers and directors and a statement concerning whether or not the administrator or any of the officers or directors thereof, if the administrator is a corporation, has been convicted of any crimes other than minor traffic violations within the last ten years;
(13) A statement of the previous experience and background of any administrator of the fund, including reference to any licenses it may hold or have held in this state or any other state within the last ten years;
(14) The most recent audited statement of the financial condition of any administrator of the fund or the most recent annual statement of such administrator if it is an insurer. Any financial statement provided as required by this paragraph shall not be deemed to be a public document and shall be maintained in confidence by the Commissioner;
(15) A copy of any agreements between the fund and any contract administrator of the fund;
(16) A statement of the financial condition of the fund listing all of its assets and liabilities as of the end of the last preceding month prior to the date of the application on such a form as may be prescribed by the Commissioner;
(17) A copy of each contract, endorsement, and application form it proposes to issue or use;
(18) Excluding funds formed by counties, municipalities, or school boards, a current, audited financial statement or other acceptable financial statement of each member of the fund. This statement shall be required of each member at the time of application to the fund, but shall not be required at any other time unless such member shall become 90 days delinquent in payment to the fund. Any financial statement provided pursuant to this article shall not be deemed to be a public document and shall be maintained in confidence by the Commissioner; and
(19) Such other information, documents, or statements as the Commissioner may reasonably require.
(d) Each application for a certificate of authority shall be accompanied by a filing fee in the amount required by subparagraph (CC) of paragraph (1) of Code Section 33-8-1, which fee shall not be refundable.
(e) A fund authorized by this article may be established only with the participation of ten or more members and shall have no fewer than 1,000 employees in the aggregate. The names of the participants and any information submitted by any member shall not be deemed to be public information and shall be maintained in confidence by the Commissioner. Any fund licensed after July 1, 1995, shall have no fewer than 15 members and 1,500 employees in the aggregate. Any fund which attains compliance and subsequently falls below the minimum number of members or aggregate employees may be granted additional time to regain compliance, up to a maximum of 180 days.
(f) A fund authorized by this article may be established only if it has and thereafter maintains gross annual premiums of $300,000.00. Any fund licensed after July 1, 1995, may be established only if it has and thereafter maintains a gross annual premium of $1 million. Any fund which attains compliance and subsequently falls below the minimum required premium may be granted additional time to regain compliance, up to a maximum of 180 days.
(g) All employers who are members of a class which forms a fund pursuant to this article shall be eligible for membership in such fund unless membership is denied such employers by the trustees according to underwriting guidelines established by the trustees of the fund and approved by the Commissioner in accordance with this article.
(h) Any fund formed pursuant to this article may accept as a member of such fund any other employer of the same class, as defined in subsection (b) of this Code section, which makes application for membership and otherwise meets the requirements of this article and the underwriting guidelines established by the trustees of the fund and approved by the Commissioner.