Profit Plunges at West Virginia’s Brickstreet Mutual

Competition and the expiration of federal tax exemption cut BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Co.’s profit by 66 percent in 2009.

The workers’ compensation insurer says it earned $38.9 million last year, compared to $113.6 million in 2008.

BrickStreet President and CEO Greg Burton says 2009 was challenging but the company was still able to post a profit.

BrickStreet was created by the Legislature in 2005 to replace the state-run workers’ compensation system.

Until July 2008, the company had a monopoly in the state. BrickStreet also had a federal exemption tax that expired on Dec. 31, 2008.

The state insurance commissioner’s office says 161 companies were actively writing workers’ comp policies in West Virginia as of the end of 2009.