Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has asked the state’s largest workers’ compensation insurer to consider returning some of its $147 million surplus as a premium reduction or dividend to the small businesses that it insures.
In a letter sent to Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance (KEMI), Gov. Beshear applauded the group’s success, and suggested that the surplus should be shared among employer policyholders.
KEMI was created by the General Assembly as part of an overhaul of workers’ compensation in 1994. It provides workers’ compensation insurance to more than 20,000 policyholders across the state.
“While most businesses in our state have struggled over these last few years, it appears that KEMI is faring very well financially,” Beshear wrote. “I think it’s appropriate and prudent for your organization to consider providing some relief to our struggling Kentucky businesses in these unprecedented fiscal times.”
Beshear said it appears that the current surplus is “clearly in significant excess of what is necessary.”
KEMI has reduced its rates the past four years. In October last year, it cut rates an overall average of six percent; some businesses in KEMI’s preferred tier enjoyed savings up to 30 percent.
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