(1) The commission shall adopt rules that allow two or more employers to enter into agreements to pool their liabilities under chapter 440 for the purpose of qualifying as a group self-insurer’s fund, which shall be classified as a self-insurer, and each employer member of such approved group shall be known as a group self-insurer’s fund member and shall be classified as a self-insurer as defined in chapter 440. The agreement entered into under this section may provide that the pool will be liable for 80 percent, and the employer member will be liable for 20 percent, of the medical benefits due any employee for an injury compensable under this chapter up to the amount of $5,000. One hundred percent of the medical benefits above $5,000 due to an employee for one injury shall be paid by the pool. The agreement may also provide that each employer member will be responsible for up to the first $500 of medical benefits due each of its employees for each injury. The claim shall be paid by the pool, regardless of its size, which shall be reimbursed by the employer for any amounts required to be paid by the employer under the agreement.
(2) The commission shall adopt rules:
(a) Requiring monetary reserves to be maintained by such self-insurers to insure their financial solvency; and
(b) Governing their organization and operation to assure compliance with such requirements.
(3) The commission shall adopt rules implementing the reserve requirements in accordance with accepted actuarial techniques.
(4) Any self-insurer established under this section, except for self-insurers that are state or local governmental entities, is required to carry reinsurance in accordance with rules adopted by the commission.
(5) A dividend or premium refund of any self-insurer established under this section, otherwise earned, may not be made contingent upon continued membership in the fund, renewal of any policy, or the payment of renewal premiums for membership in the fund or on any policy issued by such self-insurer. (a) For any self-insurer established under this section before June 1, 2008, the board of trustees of the self-insurer may declare any moneys in excess of the amount necessary to fund all obligations of the self-insurer as refundable to the members or policyholders of the self-insurer. The board of trustees may distribute such dividends or premium refunds at the board’s discretion, in accordance with the agreement establishing the self-insurer and subject to the following limitations:
1. The amount of the distribution may not exceed the total sum of the dividends declared and unpaid to policyholders and unassigned funds as recorded on the most recently completed audited financial statements of the self-insurer.
2. The payment of the dividend or premium refund may not jeopardize the financial condition of the self-insurer or result in the self-insurer having a negative unassigned funds balance.
3. Notice of the dividend shall be submitted to the office no later than 10 days after the date on which payment of a dividend or premium refund is made.
(b) For any self-insurer established under this section after June 1, 2008, such self-insurer must receive prior written approval from the office for any dividend or premium refunds during its first 7 years of operation. The office shall issue a decision within 60 days after receiving a request for a dividend or premium refund.
(c) The notice or request submitted to the office for a dividend must contain the following information:
1. Audited financial statements as of the most recently completed fund year.
2. Annual evaluations of loss reserves by a qualified independent actuary as of the most recently completed fund year.
(d) If a self-insurer does not make or declare a dividend or member distribution payable during a given fund year, the required information listed in paragraph (c) shall be submitted annually, no later than 7 months after the end of the group self-insurer’s fund year.
(e) The notice or request submitted to the office for such dividend or premium refund must include a resolution of the board of trustees of the group self-insurer stating the specific amount that has been paid or that is sought to be paid to the members or policyholders. A dividend, premium refund, or premium discount or credit must not discriminate on the basis of continued coverage or continued membership in the group self-insurer. Any dividend or premium refund that cannot be paid to the applicable member or policyholder or former member or policyholder of the group self-insurer because the former member or policyholder cannot be reasonably located becomes the property of the group self-insurer.
(6) The office may impose civil penalties not to exceed $100 per occurrence for violations of the provisions of this chapter or rules adopted pursuant hereto.
(7) Premiums, contributions, and assessments received by a group self-insurer’s fund are subject to ss. 624.509(1) and (2) and 624.5092, except that the tax rate shall be 1.6 percent of the gross amount of such premiums, contributions, and assessments.
(8) This section does not apply to any program, intergovernmental agreement, cooperative effort, consortium, or agency through which two or more governmental entities, without pooling their liabilities, administer the payment of workers’ compensation to their respective employees.
(9) A group self-insurance fund shall participate in the Florida Self-Insurance Fund Guaranty Association.
(10) Any self-insurance fund which holds a certificate of authority on or after January 1, 1998, shall maintain surplus to policyholders in a positive amount.
(11)(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, each application for workers’ compensation coverage issued by a group self-insurance fund established under this section must contain, in boldface and in not less than 10-point type, the following statement:
“This is a fully assessable policy. If the fund is unable to pay its obligations, policyholders must contribute, on a pro rata earned premium basis, the money necessary to meet any unfilled obligations.”
(b) If the application is signed by the applicant, the applicant is deemed to have made an informed, knowing acceptance of the assessment liability that exists as a result of participation in the fund.