West Virginia workers compensation group wants to drop public employees

BrickStreet Mutual Insurance, a state-created company in West Virginia, has alerted lawmakers that it no longer wants to cover public employees in workers' compensation cases, Forbes magazine reports. BrickStreet, which began as a public company in 2005 and later became a private entity in 2010, claims that rising costs and money lost in settlements is driving them out of the public arena.

According to Forbes, BrickStreet lost up to $30 million over the last three years from cases involving state agencies and volunteer fire departments. The company asserts that during the three-year period, it paid out an average of $1.36 for every $1 collected and that the number spiked to $1.57 in 2010.

"We cannot handle that kind of program any longer," BrickStreet chief executive offer Greg Burton told members of the Senate Finance Commitee.

Burton stated that workers compensation payments for the West Virginia state Senate cost them more than any other recipient. Forbes reports that Brickstreet paid a premium of $147 for every dollar worth of coverage. 

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