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WCSIF is overseen by an elected Board of Trustees, which is chosen by Fund members at the ATA's annual meeting. Click HERE FOR the Current Board Members

Get More For Less
The ATA's Workers' Compensation Self-Insurance Fund has served Alabama trucking firms since 1993. Today, the Fund is as committed as ever in providing affordable coverage for all members.

As rising workers' compensation insurance rates continue to concern many business owners, the Alabama Trucking Assn. (ATA) Workers' Compensation Self-Insurance Fund (WCSIF) has worked hard to successfully hold down our member's rates since 1993.

The Fund is the only workers' compensation provider that bears the name and full endorsement of the ATA, and more than 300 trucking and related businesses are already taking advantage of the Fund's many benefits, including preferred pricing discounts, loss control, risk management, claims management and individualized deductibles.

ATA members who participate in the Fund are eligible for dividends based on the Fund's operating and investment performance. Since distributions began in 1996, Fund participants have received more than $4.76 million in direct payments with more than $3.48 million set aside for future distribution.

According to WCSIF CEO/Administrator Kimble Coaker, the Fund's main objective is providing Alabama trucking firms with a competitive, stable market for workers' compensation insurance.

"When I took over in 1996," he tells, "the average participant was paying about 19 percent of payroll for workers' compensation for their drivers. Today, we've reduced that average to about 11 percent before dividends and 9 percent after. We're one of a few companies that has the ability to provide workers' comp coverage to trucking companies and related businesses in Alabama; the others who do are usually unable to compete with our rates."

Under Coaker's leadership, the Fund has more than doubled its membership and grown revenue four-fold to exceed $21 million annually. However, the Fund is not in business to make a profit only for itself. Coaker notes that when the Fund does well the members do well.

"We set aside 75 cents of every dollar we bring in to pay claims; the remainder is used to pay administrative costs," he adds. "The larger the Fund is, the more the opportunity we have with our administrative dollars to provide more and better services for Fund participants. What we don't use goes back into the pot to be redistributed among Fund participants. Also, any profit we generate (through investing) is paid back to the membership."

 

In 1993, Alabama trucking firms were burdened with one of the sharpest workers' compensation insurance rate increases in decades. Unable to find adequate coverage or saddled with skyrocketing rates, truckers found themselves looking for answers from the ATA. In fact, the market had become so hard that the ATA's Board of Directors had already begun considering ways that it could provide affordable and effective workers' compensation insurance for qualified trucking and allied firms.

Other trade organizations had had success in doing so, and the ATA Board of Directors believed that it was time that it did the same for the state's trucking industry. By this time, however, the Alabama Legislature had placed a moratorium on such groups until laws could be written and passed to effectively regulate them.

In October 1992, the state Legislature finally passed guidelines on self-insurers funds, paving the way for the ATA to set up its own fund by the end of the year. ATA's WCSIF began operation in January 1993.

WCSIF is overseen by an elected Board of Trustees, which is chosen by Fund members at the ATA's annual meeting. Click HERE FOR the Current Board Members:

Meet the Staff

Solid Services

Besides providing the lowest possible rates, the WCSIF helps companies manage losses through aggressive risk management and liability cost control programs geared to help participants tighten their belts. Through its comprehensive safety program, the Fund's goal is to help provide safe and healthy working conditions for its members and their employees. Coaker contends that if a business owner is doing a good job controlling his workers' compensation it will carry over into his liability exposures, too.

For trucking firms, most accidents are in the form of slips, falls and vehicle accidents, Coaker notes. The Fund can help companies tailor their own set of safety rules and handbooks to outline a company's procedures and guidelines towards safety.

Furthermore, loss control engineer Hunter can inspect a company's operation and provide detailed safety programs and advice to bolster safety compliance and accident prevention. During his inspection, Hunter devises ways to ensure that employee attitudes toward fostering a safer work environment are inline with the company's attitudes. Hunter is also available to conduct safety meetings for employees, including truck drivers, office staff, service techs and warehouse personnel.

"Rick can tailor his meetings to fit most any needs," Coaker says. "For instance, if the company has forklift drivers or needs a defensive driving program, he can write safety guidelines for them and help implement it. He's qualified to handle hazardous materials and air-quality programs, with more than 25 years of handling occupational safety and health related issues."

Hunter adds, that his relationship with Fund members is based on trust and understanding. "My job is to help them make their businesses safer," he says. "I make random, unannounced inspections, during which I make notes of workplace hazards that I see, and I share my findings with the owner. I don't have a poison pen, and I'm not out to embarrass anyone. I have a job to protect our Fund members and their employees and to protect the Fund against preventable claims."

Along with onsite visits and inspections, WCSIF also offers a library of safety videos available to all Fund members. "If someone requests materials for an upcoming safety meeting, we can send them out overnight and will include a return overnight package so that they can be returned to us at no charge," Coaker notes.

Another service provided by the WCSIF is claims management. The Fund's qualified claims staff can help members file claims to ensure that they are handled professionally and efficiently. These kinds of services are provided so that business owners can concentrate on managing their businesses not loss control.

Curbing Rates

Coaker offers advice for business owners in curbing insurance costs. "They should constantly evaluate their safety program," he tells. "They should also examine the ways their companies operate, including hiring practices and employee training. They should also fully utilize our safety programs and the Alabama Trucking Assn.'s safety programs."

Members will find that WCSIF's rates are more competitive than others serving the trucking market. Our Fund is for the members. The main objective is to provide affordable coverage for all of our members."

 

Alabama Trucking Association Workers Compensation Fund
PO Box 241605, Montgomery, Alabama 36124-1605
  Telephone: 334.834.7911   Fax: 334.834.7931
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