20 CFR § 726.101 - Who may be authorized to self-insure.
(a) Pursuant to section 423 of part C of title IV of the Act, authorization to self-insure against liability incurred by coal mine operators on account of the total disability or death of miners due to pneumoconiosis may be granted or denied in the discretion of the Secretary. The provisions of this subpart describe the minimum requirements established by the Secretary for determining whether any particular coal mine operator shall be authorized as a self-insurer.
(b) The minimum requirements which must be met by any operator seeking authorization to self-insure are as follows:
(1) The operator must, at the time of application, have been in the business of mining coal for at least the 3 consecutive years prior to such application; and,
(2) The operator must demonstrate the administrative capacity to fully service such claims as may be filed against him; and,
(3) The operator's average current assets over the preceding 3 years (in computing average current assets such operator shall not include the amount of any negotiable securities which he may be required to deposit to secure his obligations under the Act) must exceed current liabilities by the sum of -
(i) The estimated aggregate amount of black lung benefits (including medical benefits) which such operator may expect to be required to pay during the ensuing year; and,
(ii) The annual premium cost for any indemnity bond purchased; and
(5) No operator with fewer than 5 full-time employee-miners shall be permitted to self-insure.
(c) No operator who is unable to meet the requirements of this section should apply for authorization to self-insure and no application for self-insurance shall be approved by the Office until such time as the amount prescribed by the Office has been secured in accordance with this subpart.