2019 Georgia Code
Title 50 - State Government
Chapter 21 - Waiver of Sovereign Immunity as to Actions Ex Contractu; State Tort Claims
Article 2 - State Tort Claims
§ 50-21-33. Liability insurance or self-insurance programs; State Tort Claims Trust Fund; premiums and deductibles; incentive programs authorized; merger of preexisting programs and funds; additional coverages
(a) The Department of Administrative Services shall formulate and initiate a sound program providing for liability insurance, self-insurance, or a combination of both to provide for payment of judgments and claims against the state under this article.
(b) The commissioner of administrative services shall have the authority to purchase policies of liability insurance or contracts of indemnity insuring or indemnifying the state against liabilities arising under this article. In addition or alternatively, the commissioner of administrative services may retain all moneys paid to the Department of Administrative Services by state government entities as premiums for insurance or indemnity against liabilities arising under this article, and all money specifically appropriated to the Department of Administrative Services for the payment of liabilities under this article, all moneys received as interest, and all funds received from other sources to set up and maintain a reserve fund for the payment of judgments and claims against the state under this article and for payment of the expenses necessary to properly administer a self-insurance program. Any amounts held by the State Tort Claims Trust Fund which are available for investment shall be paid over to the Office of the State Treasurer. The state treasurer shall deposit such funds in a trust account for credit only to the State Tort Claims Trust Fund. The state treasurer shall invest such funds subject to the limitations of Code Section 50-5A-7 and Chapter 17 of this title. All income derived from such investments shall accrue to the State Tort Claims Trust Fund. When moneys are paid over to the Office of the State Treasurer, as provided in this subsection, the commissioner shall submit an estimate of the date such funds shall no longer be available for investment. When the commissioner wishes to withdraw funds from the trust account provided for in this Code section, he or she shall submit a request for such withdrawal, in writing, to the state treasurer. State agencies which provide services or incur expenses in connection with any claim covered by this article may receive payment from the fund for such services and expenses.
(c) Any reserve fund created under this Code section shall be designated the State Tort Claims Trust Fund.
(d) The Department of Administrative Services shall establish and charge to state government entities such premiums, deductibles, and other payments, taking into account any direct appropriations as shall be necessary to maintain the soundness of the insurance or self-insurance programs established under this Code section. The premiums and deductibles charged to each state government entity may be established on such basis as the Department of Administrative Services shall deem appropriate and such basis may include the number of employees, the aggregate annual budget of the state government entity, and unique exposures, loss history, or claims pending against such state government entity. The department is further authorized to establish incentive programs including but not limited to differential premium rates based on participation in loss control programs established by the department, increased or decreased deductibles based on participation in loss control programs established by the department, and the imposition of fines and penalties. If any premiums, deductibles, fines, or penalties are unpaid, the department is authorized to deduct any unpaid amounts from the nonpaying agency's or authority's continuation budget subject to the approval of the Office of Planning and Budget and deposit those funds into the State Tort Claims Trust Fund provided for in this Code section.
(e) Each state government entity shall promptly remit from appropriations or other funds available to it the premium thus established.
(f) Where existing programs have previously been established by the Department of Administrative Services for the insurance or self-insurance of the state, state government entities, or state officers or employees, the commissioner of administrative services shall be authorized to merge all or part of those programs, including all or part of any self-insurance funds established thereunder, into the State Tort Claims Trust Fund. This shall include, but not be limited to, any funds established by Code Sections 45-9-4 and 50-5-16. In so doing, the Department of Administrative Services shall be authorized, through the State Tort Claims Trust Fund, to assume or not assume all or part of existing and potential liabilities of the prior established programs and funds.
(g) As to state government entities for which additional particular coverages are necessary, the Department of Administrative Services may provide such additional particular coverages and other terms and conditions of unique exposure particular to one or more state government entities; may provide for endorsements for contract liability; and, where necessary to the public purposes of the state government entity, may also provide for additional insureds.
(h) Nothing in this Code section or in this article shall impose or create any obligation upon other funds of the state.
(i) Funds appropriated to the Department of Administrative Services for the State Tort Claims Trust Fund shall be deemed contractually obligated funds held in trust, subject to future legislative change or revision, for the benefit of persons having claims, known or unknown, or judgments payable from the funds and shall not lapse.
Code 1981, § 50-21-33, enacted by Ga. L. 1992, p. 1883, § 1; Ga. L. 2000, p. 1474, § 12; Ga. L. 2008, p. 245, § 12/SB 425; Ga. L. 2010, p. 863, §§ 2, 3/SB 296.