March 14, 2013

Maine workers' comp insurer will not raise rates

MEMIC could raise rates by 3.9 percent, but it decided against it. "This is the right thing for us to do at this time," its president said.

By Jessica Hall jhall@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND – Maine Employers' Mutual Insurance Co., a workers' compensation insurer, said it decided against raising workers' compensation rates for its 18,000 policyholders in Maine despite the state's approval to do so.

MEMIC, which insures about 60 percent of the commercial market in Maine, said it would not adopt the rate increase recently approved by the Maine Bureau of Insurance. The higher rates would have started April 1.

"This is the right thing for us to do at this time," said MEMIC President and CEO John Leonard. "While we clearly understand that there is justification to raise rates, based upon increasing medical costs, MEMIC will hold the line on this increase at this time. We know that many Maine businesses are continuing to struggle in this economy and we don't want workers' compensation costs to impede economic growth here in Maine."

The rate increase approved by the state resulted from an update to the medical fee schedule for workers' compensation injuries.

"We know it's unconventional for an insurance company to turn down a rate increase, but this is part of what makes MEMIC a special company," Leonard said. "We're an independent mutual company, based in Maine, and we've built an organization that is strong and able to make this choice on behalf of our policyholders."

In November, MEMIC has returned $13 million in the form of dividends to its policyholders. Since 1998, its dividends and excess capital returned to policyholders in the state totals nearly $150 million.

Nationally, the company holds licenses to provide workers' compensation in 46 states, and the District of Columbia. The company insures nearly 20,000 employers and about 250,000 employees.

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)