The Maine Employers’ Mutual Insurance Co. (MEMIC) is the dominant insurer in Maine's workers' compensation system, which is being eyed for an overhaul by legislative Democrats. Credit: Courtesy photo

Portland-based Maine Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company has returned $21 million to some 18,000 Maine employers who purchase their workers compensation insurance from the company.

MEMIC’s president, Michael Bourque, says the lower costs were achieved by getting employers to focus on safety.

“Changing the culture to one of workplace safety, one where people get trained and are following safety rules and reduce injuries,” he said. “It’s common sense that if you have fewer injuries, cost goes down.”

Bourque said since 1998 the insurance company has returned dividends of more than $240 million to thousands of employers in Maine.

As a mutual insurance company, MEMIC policyholders can share in the company’s financial success. MEMIC was created by the Legislature in 1992 to provide workers comp insurance, after most commercial insurers left the state because of high costs.

Today, MEMIC provides 65 percent of all workers compensation insurance in the state.

The report appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.