According to a report in The Boston Globe, Marlborough-based Eastern Casualty Insurance Co., Massachusetts’ third largest writer of workers’ compensation coverage, has informed its agents in the state that it will no longer accept new business, although it will continue to honor existing policies, and those currently in process.
The move reflects the insurer’s ongoing dispute with the state’s Division of Insurance. Eastern indicated that state regulators had been pushing its premiums down over the last 8 years, even though costs were increasing. It also cited the increasing share of the state-run “last resort” workers’ comp pool that insurers doing business in Massachusetts were being required to assume, and the inadequate amounts it was receiving for the pool coverage it writes.
All carriers were potentially at risk from future pool losses Eastern warned..
Earlier this year the company quit the state’s Workers Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau, an industry group which represents companies at rate hearings. While the WCRB received a one percent rate increase last month (they had proposed a 7.7 percent raise), Eastern is still in negotiations over its request for an 11.6 percent hike.
Last month Travelers, the largest workers’ comp writer in the state announced that it would no longer write new coverage for construction companies.
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