West Virginia Based Workers' Compensation Insurance Company Plans Staffing Reductions


Charleston, WV (CompNewsNetwork) - West Virginia based BrickStreet Insurance announced it will eliminate 50 employees in a move to cut costs following the loss of its monopoly in writing workers' compensation insurance policies to West Virginia businesses. The reduction is expected to save $2 million to $3 million.
The West Virginia Legislature created BrickStreet in 2005 in a move to get the state out of the business of providing health and disability insurance to workers injured on the job. BrickStreet started operation in January 2006 and by law had a monopoly until June 30. It still has the monopoly for state and local government coverage until 2012.

Since July 1, BrickStreet has lost 3,000 to 4,000 policy holders. The company's annual premiums fell from $474 million to $350 million. As of last week, BrickStreet was one of 125 companies writing workers' compensation policies in the state, according to the West Virginia Insurance Commission.

BrickStreet President and CEO Greg Burton said the insurer expects to lose additional business next year when it stops writing $15 million to $20 million worth of policies to companies deemed too risky to insure. They range from mining and timbering operations to small companies that don't have worker safety programs.

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