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 100 insurance companies are now licensed in the competitive Maine market, MEMIC has remained the leader, insuring more than 60 percent of Maine'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 the close of 2012, the company will have issued dividends and capital return of more than $146 million.
MEMIC's success has earned it accolades from a host of organizations. MEMIC has been recognized with the Masterton Award for Economic Development by the Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce and with the Navigator Award as the state's top large business by the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. The company is also a proud winner of the Eagle Feather Award for social responsibility from Maine Businesses for Social Responsibility.
Maine and beyond
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 in 45 states plus the District of Columbia. In 2012, MEMIC acquired a Vermont-based insurer and created MEMIC Casuality Company. Together the companies form The MEMIC Group, with assets approaching $900 million. Both MEMIC and MEMIC Indemnity are rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best. The company has field offices in Glastonbury, CT; Albany, NY; Weehawken, NJ and West Conshohocken, PA. 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.
Our reputation as innovators 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. Adoption of MEMIC Edge continues to grow. In 2009, MEMIC introduced a partnership with MMG Insurance as a workers’ compensation partner.