State Accident Insurance Fund
The State Accident Insurance Fund Corporation (SAIF) is a not-for-profit, state-chartered workers’ compensation insurance company in the U.S. state of Oregon. It provides workers' compensation insurance and workplace safety services for Oregon employers, and claim management for injured workers. It is based in Salem, Oregon.
SAIF was created in 1914 by the Oregon Legislative Assembly as a state agency, and in 1980 became America's first public corporation specializing in workers' compensation insurance. A Board of Directors, appointed by the governor, oversees the company's operations. Kerry Barnett is the current president and chief executive officer of SAIF.
SAIF celebrated its 100th year in business in 2014.
SAIF does not pay state income tax, which gives it the ability to price its policies competitively. Private competitor Liberty Northwest, a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual, is the state's second-largest provider of workers' compensation insurance; it has been openly critical of the laws regulating SAIF for some time.
In 2004, voters rejected a ballot measure that would have abolished SAIF. The measure was defeated with 61 percent of the vote.
In 2005, SAIF was investigated for allegedly failing to provide documents to a nonprofit group, specifically regarding a lobbying contract with former Governor Neil Goldschmidt. The investigation determined that SAIF had done nothing wrong. SAIF issued a report on its status to Governor Ted Kulongoski in early 2005.
In 2009, the Oregon legislature passed a bill, sponsored by SAIF in collaboration with Liberty Northwest and other peers, to amend the means of accessing SAIF's records.
In July 2014, former President and CEO John Plotkin sued SAIF over his termination by the board earlier that year. The case is still in litigation.
SAIF's Board of Directors has declared a dividend for policyholders every year since 2010, returning a total of $915 million to its Oregon customers.
Approximately 50,000 Oregon employers and just under 600,000 workers (35 percent of Oregon's workforce) are insured by SAIF. The company employs about 900 people in eight offices around the state.
Due in part to workplace safety efforts, Oregon's pure premium rate for workers' compensation insurance either declined or stayed the same for 23 of the past 25 years. Oregon officials estimate that has resulted in cumulative savings to Oregon employers of more than $17 billion.
- Eure, Rob (May 24, 2000). "Insurers Seek Taxes on Firm Owned by State". The Wall Street Journal.
- Redden, Jim (December 23, 2003). "Goldschmidt feels SAIF heat". Portland Tribune.
- Walsh, Edward (June 9, 2006). "Officials clear SAIF of wrongdoing". The Oregonian.
- Walsh, Edward (February 16, 2005). "SAIF president gives report to governor". The Oregonian.
- Company information
- SAIF web site
- Zimmerman, Rachel (Aug 11, 1999). "Workers' Comp in Oregon May Be in for a Shake-Up". The Wall Street Journal.
- Eure, Rob (November 1, 2000). "Workers' Comp Overhaul Has Both Sides Crying Foul". The Wall Street Journal.