Workers' comp reform
Maine Employers' Mutual Insurance Company (MEMIC) is a private mutual insurance company that opened for business in January 1993. MEMIC was, and remains, the keystone to the landmark 1992 reforms of Maine workers' compensation law passed by the Maine Legislature and signed by then Gov. John R. McKernan.
Among other reforms, this legislation called for the creation of MEMIC as a private company that would serve as the guarantor of workers' compensation insurance for Maine companies. With its private structure, MEMIC serves as a competitive force within the workers' compensation insurance market.
At its formation, the company's board of incorporators set out to form a different kind of insurance company. Their philosophy of injury prevention engendered the creation of a company dedicated to workplace safety as well as compassionate care for injured workers. In that vein, MEMIC's founders stressed the creation of an environment where employers and employees would work together to help reduce injuries, control costs and improve treatment.
When MEMIC opened its doors in 1993, it was one of fewer than 10 companies who were licensed to sell workers' compensation insurance in Maine. Injury rates were high and the workers' compensation costs were the nation's highest.
Safety and compassion cornerstone
By creating a safety department, which stressed safety training, as well as launching an ongoing "Partnership for Workplace Safety" public awareness campaign, MEMIC helped lead the way to cultural change in Maine's workplaces.
The company's treatment of injured workers is another company hallmark. By working to resolve disputes between employers and employees and by assuring appropriate medical care for injured workers, the company has become a leader in the area of injury management.
Since MEMIC's formation in 1993, lost-time injuries in its home state have been reduced by 30 percent. The overall cost of insurance in Maine has been reduced by more than 40 percent. And, despite the fact that more than 200 insurance companies are now licensed in the competitive Maine market, MEMIC has remained the leader, insuring more than 60 percent of the state’s insured businesses.
The company is a financial success as well. At its inception, it was allowed to collect a unique capitalization fee from its policyholders. It was given 10 years to accumulate adequate capital but ended the fee after just five years, collecting $47 million. And, while the company was under no obligation to return this capital, in 1998 it began returning this capital to its policyholders. By 2001, MEMIC had approved the return the entire amount to all eligible policyholders and began issuing annual dividends. By 2013, the company had issued dividends and capital return of more than $160 million.
MEMIC's success has earned it accolades and recognition from a host of organizations. In 2010, the company earned attention as the best commercial insurer in the nation for its customer service. In addition, the company’s senior management is well-known in the industry, earning frequent attention in insurance trade publications nationwide. In 2005, MEMIC President and CEO John Leonard was featured on the cover of A.M. Best magazine in an article about the company’s outstanding performance.
Far beyond Maine...down the Eastern Seaboard
The company continues to grow today. In 2000, MEMIC formed MEMIC Indemnity Company, a subsidiary based in Manchester, N.H. Today, MEMIC Indemnity Company is licensed to serve employers across the US with a focus on territories from Maine to Pennsylvania as well as Florida. In 2012, MEMIC acquired a Vermont-based insurer and created MEMIC Casualty Company. Together the companies form The MEMIC Group, with assets approaching $1 billion.
The MEMIC Group and its individual components, including Maine Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company (MEMIC), MEMIC and MEMIC Indemnity and MEMIC Casualty Company are rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best. In addition to its corporate office in Portland, Maine, the group maintains offices in Manchester, NH; Glastonbury, CT; Albany, NY; Weehawken, NJ; West Conshohocken, PA; Tysons Corner, Virginia; and Tampa, Florida.
In 2013, the company enjoyed group-wide premium growth of nearly 15 percent, with nearly 30 percent growth in its targeted marketing territories. MEMIC remains the largest and leading workers’ compensation insurer in Maine and is among the top five carriers in New England. It also holds the distinction as the fastest growing writer of workers’ compensation in New York. In 2013, it more than doubled its writings in Florida from the previous year.
MEMIC’s reputation as an innovator in workers’ compensation continues to grow. In 2008, MEMIC became the first company to integrate Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) with workers’ compensation with its MEMIC Edge with EPLI policy endorsement. Thousands of MEMIC policyholders have adopted MEMIC Edge with EPLI.
In 2009, MEMIC introduced a partnership with MMG Insurance as a workers’ compensation partner. The company has since added a similar partnership to offer its product through Preferred Mutual Insurance Company and its agents. The company’s adoption in 2011 of Comp-As-You-Go, an payroll-based payment method, as well as online billing, have proven popular with its customers.