top of page


The Tribal Workers Compensation Corporation (TWCC)
is a South Dakota non-profit corporation by the Tribe,
for the Tribe. Our purpose is to provide workers
compensation insurance exclusively to Tribes and
Tribal entities on a “self-insured” basis. The TWCC is
governed by tribal members, who act as its Board of
Directors; as a non-profit, the TWCC is dedicated to
charitable giving to the Tribes it serves. In 2019 the Tribal Worker's Charitable Foundation (TWCF) was officially formed, and in 2020 we were able to award 27 academic scholarships with the support of our endowment.
The TWCC was incorporated in 1993 to protect tribal workers from the unfair pricing practices of the 
commercial insurance industry. It was founded as a collaborative effort of the United Sioux Tribes and the Kelly Insurance Agency. In the last 25 years the TWCC has evolved from an experimental self-insurance program to become a solid investment for its Tribal members.
The premiums paid for TWCC workers compensation coverage, which are offered at a substantial discount, and the TWCC’s proactive claims management philosophy, have built a reserve that would have otherwise been lost as insurance industry profits.


Financial Stability
The TWCC has a 6 to 1 ratio of surplus to claim reserves which provides the financial strength to handle claims that may not be anticipated through actuarial forecasting. The TWCC’s assets are managed by professional advisors who practice a prudent and risk sensitive investment strategy. Investment income offsets all operating costs of the TWCC. View our policy here:
Tribal Art 1.png
Sovereignty and the Kelly Agency
The insurance offered by the TWCC is only available to Tribes and affiliated Tribal entities. The TWCC does not adopt any state workers compensation law and it issues its own policy of workers compensation insurance. The TWCC expressly does not consent to the jurisdiction of any state workers compensation system. 


The Kelly Insurance Agency was formed in 1989 by Bob Kelly and his son, Rich Kelly. The Kelly Insurance Agency is the program administrator for the TWCC and deals exclusively with federally recognized Indian tribes and their affiliated entities, offering complete lines of insurance for all tribal needs.


The Kelly Insurance Agency specializes in self-funded plans that are designed to take maximum advantage of the laws and regulations that favor native Americans.

How It Works
TWCC coverage provides the same benefits and protections that would be available to a Tribal employer if a commercial insurance company was issuing the policy. Coverage applies to an “on the job” injury, medical and wage loss benefits are provided on a no-fault basis, and these benefits are the exclusive remedy for the injured employee; the employer has immunity from any other claim by that employee. 
The TWCC functions like any other insurance company. Through its self-insurance program, the TWCC pools the premiums paid for the coverage into a fund from which the claims and administrative expenses are paid. If the amount of claims in any one year exceeds the pooled premiums, the excess is covered through surplus funds which have been retained by the TWCC. The TWCC caps it risk for any one claim at $500,000, through the purchase of re-insurance to cover such losses.
TWCC claims are adjusted through a Third Party Administrator (TPA). The TPA’s adjusters work directly with the Tribal employer and employee from the date of injury (first notice of loss) to the finalization of the claim. If there is a dispute concerning coverage, or the amount owed, the matter is first determined by arbitration, from which an appeal to Tribal Court may be taken.
bottom of page