THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA In the Court of Appeals William R. Appeal of the Honourable Carmen T. From Hampton County. Mullen, Circuit Court Judge Allison Molony Carter of Charleston, on behalf of the appellant.
Loadholt took out workers' compensation insurance for crews through the Assigned Risk Fund by submitting an application to the National Compensation Insurance Council (NCCI). The crews obtained funding from a premium finance company to pay for coverage. The premium finance company paid premiums in advance throughout the year and then received installment payments from Crews.
Crews coverage was assigned to Liberty Mutual.
Liberty Mutual issued the policy using the estimated payroll information provided by Crews and Loadholt to calculate premiums. Since neither Crews nor Liberty Mutual would know the exact payroll risk until the end of the policy term, premiums were estimated until an actual audit was completed. To complete the audit, Liberty Mutual needed actual payroll and tax documentation to verify exposure. The focus of this appeal is the alleged failure by Crews to comply with Liberty Mutual's audit requests.
On August 2, 2004, toward the end of the 2013 Policy, Liberty Mutual sent Crews an audit form by mail to determine if Crews owed additional premium payments under this policy or was entitled to a refund of the estimated premiums he had already paid. If the audit showed that the actual premium should have been higher than originally estimated, Crews coverage remained in effect during the policy period; however, Liberty Mutual would be entitled to an additional payment to cover the increase in exposure. Was the circuit court wrong to determine that Crews substantially met Liberty Mutual's auditing requirements? III. Was the circuit court wrong in not confirming the findings of the appeals panel that Liberty Mutual gave Crews good advance notice that the policy was going to be canceled and of the reason for the cancellation of the policy? I.V.
Was the alleged cancellation not effective because Liberty Mutual allegedly failed to return any unearned premiums to Crews? V. Should Liberty Mutual be stopped from denying coverage? YOU SAW. Should ARG be allowed to transfer responsibility to the Fund? In an appeal by the Workers' Compensation Commission, neither this Court nor the circuit court can replace their judgment with that of the Commission as to the weight of evidence in matters of fact, but they can overturn the decision when the decision is affected by an error of law. Hopper v.
Terry Hunt Constr. As for auditing requirements, the Plan requires companies to complete a final audit and to invoice any additional premiums or reimburse any excess premiums paid during the policy year. The wording of this provision indicates that the settlement of any discrepancy between the amount paid by an insured during the policy period and the amount due during the corresponding period will be managed directly between the airline and the insured, without the need to make adjustments to the subsequent policies between them. That's exactly what happened here; once Liberty Mutual completed the final audit of Policy 013, it informed Crews that it would send him an invoice for the surcharge.
As an additional reason to overturn the appeals panel's decision, the circuit court noted that Crews had complied to the best of Liberty Mutual's audit request. In response, Liberty Mutual argues that Crews' compliance efforts were insufficient due to the provisions of the Assigned Risk Plan that supposedly prohibit the reinstatement of coverage if an item that corrects a deficiency is received more than sixty days after the cancellation date. Based on this argument, Liberty Mutual states that receiving tax documentation on the same day that Crews was injured did not justify the reinstatement of its coverage. We disagree with Liberty Mutual's position that Crews' compliance efforts were insufficient.
The Supreme Court of South Carolina has recognized that, while none of the provisions of the Assigned Risk Plan have been enacted as regulations, the Plan has the force of law because it has been approved by the Director of the Department of Insurance. In addition, since the Plan focuses on assigned risk insurance, its provisions take precedence over workers' compensation rules, which address workers' compensation in general. In determining whether Crews substantially complied with the audit request, the critical period is the interval between August 2, 2004, when Liberty Mutual issued its initial audit request in the mailing form for the 2013 Policy, and November 18, 2004, the date on which Policy 024 was expected to be canceled. During that interval, Crews had not yet filed his 2003 tax returns for his company; therefore, he was unable to submit the tax documentation that Liberty Mutual requested.
However, he filled out and returned the audit form several days before the scheduled cancellation. Only after Liberty Mutual canceled Policy 024 did it notify you that additional documents were needed. Since Liberty Mutual had time to notify Crews before the scheduled cancellation that it needed to provide additional information, but did not give such notice until it canceled Policy 024, we agree with the circuit court that Liberty Mutual failed to act reasonably in providing a remedy opportunity, as it was required to do under the terms of the Assigned Risk Plan. In addition, as noted by the circuit court, Liberty Mutual informed Loadholt that the cancellation would continue even if the fax transmission of the tax documents had been successful.
This conclusion is consistent with Liberty Mutual's position that its reason for submitting a request for tax documentation on November 19, 2004 was to conduct a final audit of Policy 024, now canceled, and not to reinstate it. Liberty Mutual then maintains that the file has substantial evidence that supports the appellate panel's conclusion that it notified Crews of the notice required by law. Assuming, without deciding, that this argument is correct, we maintain that it is no reason to overturn the circuit court's decision. Liberty Mutual then argues that the circuit court should have confirmed the conclusion of the sole commissioner and the appeals panel that the failure to return unearned premiums to Crews did not make the cancellation of Crews's workers' compensation policy ineffective.
The question of whether Liberty Mutual should have returned unearned premiums to Crews to effect the cancellation of its insurance policy does not affect our previous determination that Liberty Mutual could not cancel policy 024 because Crews did not provide information for policy 013. Similarly, the issue of unearned premiums would have no impact on our judgment that Crews was entitled to the opportunity to remedy any deficiencies in his response to audit requests before his policy could be canceled. Because these two reasons are sufficient to confirm the circuit court's decision to overturn the appeals panel's order, we refuse to address arguments related to an insurer's obligation, under the Assigned Risk Plan, to return unearned premiums to an insured following the cancellation of a policy. Liberty Mutual further maintains that it should not be prevented from denying coverage.
In the appealed order, the circuit court noted that the impediment was one of the issues raised in Crews' request for judicial review; however, based on the court's decision that Liberty Mutual's cancellation of Policy 024 was invalid for other reasons, it refused to rule on this issue. Likewise, we believe that there is no need to address in this appeal the question of whether the impediment doctrine should prevent Liberty Mutual from denying coverage for Crews' injuries. The McAllister Towing of Georgetown, Inc. rating.
Transfer of liability from ARG to the Fund We affirm that the decision of the Liberty Mutual circuit court is the party responsible for workers' compensation benefits in this case; however, our statement is based solely on our determination that Liberty Mutual could not cancel the current Crews policy due to auditing difficulties with its previous policy and that Liberty Mutual could not cancel any of the policies without giving Crews a reasonable opportunity to remedy any alleged non-compliance. Since neither ARG nor the Fund would be responsible for paying workers' compensation benefits in this case, we refuse to address the Fund's argument that it should not have been required to assume liability in the first instance. For the purposes of this appeal, the interests of W, R. The crews are essentially the same; therefore, the name Crews will refer either way to either party or to both parties together.
An allocated venture fund is a group of service companies that enter into a risk-allocation agreement with respect to the equitable sharing between them of insurance that can be offered to applicants who, in good faith, are entitled to insurance, but who cannot contract it by ordinary methods. S, C. In 2000, the NCCI presented the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Assigned Risk Plan to the South Carolina Department of Insurance, which adopted and followed the Plan. The policies analyzed are identified with the last three digits of the corresponding policy numbers.
A member of the appeals panel stated that she would annul the transfer of responsibility to the Fund, arguing that the ARG airline must pay in the first instance before it could transfer liability. Liberty Mutual allows you to cancel your auto insurance coverage over the phone. You may have to pay an insurance cancellation fee, depending on where you live. With this information, Insurify can provide drivers with information on how companies set the price of their auto insurance premiums.
It's generally easier to change car insurance companies at the time the policy is renewed, but if you choose to switch in the middle of the policy, your current insurer will normally reimburse you for unused premiums, less cancellation fees. Instead, you'll need to call customer service at 1 (800) 658-9857 to complete the process with a Liberty Mutual agent. Liberty Mutual doesn't allow the cancellation of policies online, so there won't be an option to cancel your coverage through your online account. You can cancel your Liberty Mutual car insurance contract by contacting the company's customer service department.
If you have already paid the premium for the policy period in full, Liberty Mutual will reimburse you for the unused portion, less cancellation fees. To cancel your policy with Liberty Mutual, you can call an agent or visit a local Liberty Mutual agent in person. The Loadholt Agency alleged that it faxed the requested documents to Liberty Mutual on December 21, 2004; however, Liberty Mutual denied receiving the documents and the only facsimile verification report from the registry for that time indicated that the transmission had failed. While many auto insurance companies offer multiple termination methods, Liberty Mutual prefers that you call 1 (800) 658-9857 and contact an insurance agent.
Car insurance rates vary dramatically by age, with particularly steep drops when the driver turns 19 and 21. Next, Liberty Mutual argues that the circuit court should have confirmed the conclusion of the sole commissioner and the appeals panel that the failure to return unearned premiums to Crews did not make the cancellation of Crews's workers' compensation policy ineffective. So, if you cancel your Liberty Mutual policy to switch to a cheaper company, be sure to factor in the cost of the cancellation fee. Depending on how you paid for your car insurance plan and where you live, Liberty Mutual may owe you a refund.