WASHINGTON, DC, – The American Insurance Association’s (AIA) Colorado counsel, Robert Ferm, a member of the Denver law firm Hall & Evans LLC, has been appointed by Governor John Hickenlooper to a Task Force which will review a restructuring proposal of Pinnacol Assurance. Pinnacol is Colorado’s state-sponsored insurer for workers’ compensation, competing with the private insurance market and also serves as the workers’ compensation market’s insurer of last resort.
“AIA is pleased that Gov. Hickelooper has recognized the significant workers’ compensation expertise that Bob Ferm brings to the table,” said Fred C. Bosse, AIA Southwest region vice president. “Ferm will be an important voice for insurers and Coloradans as the state examines Pinnacol’s operations and future options in the marketplace.”
The task force consists of 19 appointed members representing key stakeholders including competitors (insurers) and agents, business organizations and policyholders, labor and workers, and foundations and public interest. It is tasked with reviewing Pinnacol’s restructuring proposal which it recently submitted to the governor.
“AIA believes that legislatively-created state funds should operate on an equal footing with private insurers,” said Bosse. “A government-sponsored entity such as Pinnacol should not be advantaged by statutory and regulatory preferences that give it an unfair advantage over the private market. The current proposal still affords Pinnacol such advantages despite its so-called claims of privatization,” added Bosse. It preserves Pinnacol’s statutorily-guaranteed market for residual market risks, instead of creating a new residual market, as other states have done in privatizing their state funds.”
In the coming months the Task Force will consider how Pinnacol’s proposal affects its stakeholders, its future business plan, and any potential public compensation given the state’s prior financial support of Pinnacol. The Task Force will subsequently submit a final report to Governor Hickenlooper and provide guidance in regard to any forthcoming legislation.
Mr. Ferm’s practice concentrates on legislative, regulatory, and corporate transactional matters on behalf of the insurance industry, and regulated industries and professions. He heads Hall & Evans’ Regulatory and Public Policy Practice Group, which represents a wide range of entities from national trade associations to individual companies. His accomplishments include participation in the drafting and passage of Colorado tort reform, workers’ compensation reform, regulatory re-engineering of the business of insurance and health care policy reform.