The Montana State Fund, a quasi-governmental agency that provides workers compensation insurance to Montana businesses, said Tuesday it will pay out a $40 million dividend to its approximately 19,000 policyholders.
The dividend was decided on at the fall Board of Directors meeting and was issued because of "better-than-expected investment market performance and positive workplace safety results," according to a press release.
The State Fund has paid dividends to policy holders every year since 1999, according to the press release. Including this year's $40 million, the total the state fund has paid out to policyholders is $366 million, including $260 million since 2015. The State Fund is required to cover anyone seeking coverage.
In a statement, Richard Miltenberger, the chair of the state fund's board of directors, said “As a public board, made up of private citizens, we were eager to do what we could to help small business owners, nonprofits and other employers during this difficult time.”
Distribution of the dividends starts Friday and will end by mid-November. The dividend is based on 2019 State Fund operations.
In 2020 the State Fund saw fewer claims with people working from home and fewer people in the workplace, but 2021 marked a return to pre-pandemic claim levels. The State Fund has received 221 COVID-19-related exposure claims and six vaccine reaction claims, all of which are in various stages of investigation. Those claims don't include the self-insured or private companies.