INSURANCE BRIEFS

INSURANCE BRIEFS

MAINE COMP INSURER

TO REDUCE RATES

AUGUSTA, Maine - The company that provides workers compensation insurance for most Maine employers says its rates will be reduced by 4.3 percent as of Jan. 1.

John T. Leonard, president of the Maine Employers' Mutual Insurance Co., said state insurance regulators approved a reduction in the company's capital surcharge from 15 percent to 10 percent. That translates into an overall rate reduction of 4.3 percent, he said.

Employers' Mutual was created by the Legislature last January as part of a package of far-reaching reforms to compete with commercial insurers and to provide insurance to the many employers they refused to cover.

Portland-based Employers' Mutual will insure about 24,000 employers - more than 70 percent of the total, with about 200,000 employees - by the end of this year, Mr. Leonard said.

IDAHO BUSINESSES GET

WORKERS COMP REFUND

BOISE, Idaho - The Idaho State Insurance Fund will pay its workers compensation policyholders a $26.3 million dividend this year.

Gov. Cecil Andrus said on Monday the millions in unspent workers compensation premiums will be returned to nearly 16,000 Idaho businesses.

"This dividend reflects efforts to prevent accidents and work-related injuries, which is the most effective way to contain the costs of workers compensation insurance," Mr. Andrus said.

In the past seven years, the fund has returned $134 million in premiums to its policyholders, who represent three-quarters of the state's employers and over half its workers, he said.

The 1993 dividend, which reflects fund performance from mid-1991 to mid- 1992 and will be paid during the first half of January, amounts to 27 percent of the premiums collected.

DIRECTORS, OFFICERS COVER

DEBATED AT CONFERENCE

CHICAGO - The merits of directors and officers coverage were recently debated at the 1993 International Conference of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society in Chicago.

Joseph J. Johnston Jr., a partner with Drinker Biddle & Reath in Washington, said outside directors are being paid more and are expected to do more; therefore, they are exposed to lawsuits and should have coverage. A Louis Harris poll found that half of the outside directors of Fortune 500 companies had been sued, Mr. Johnston said.

Taking the opposite view, Lowell Sachnoff, senior partner with Sachnoff & Weaver Ltd. in Chicago said D&O coverage is "a waste of money in many cases for well-run companies. We advised our clients to take that money they would spend for D&O insurance and use it for risk prevention and education," Mr. Sachnoff said.

CARPENTER'S WORK

DOESN'T PAY OFF

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A Warwick man who pleaded no contest to perjury and obtaining money under false pretenses was sentenced to serve three years for workers compensation fraud.

Alan DeRouin, 44, will serve the first year at the Adult Correctional Institutions minimum security unit and the remaining two years in community confinement, the attorney general's office said.

Mr. DeRouin also must pay $11,714 back to the state. Twelve years of his 15-year sentence were suspended with probation Monday.

He worked as a carpenter at Aetna Bridge Co. in Pawtucket when he claimed he injured his ankle at work Nov. 8, 1989, and began collecting workers compensation.

Mr. DeRouin worked on various projects during the time he was collecting workers compensation, until July 1990, prosecutors said.

ZURICH UNIT TARGETS

MACHINERY PRODUCERS

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. - Zurich International-U.S., a division of the Zurich- American Insurance Group, has introduced risk management programs specifically for international machinery and equipment manufacturers.

In addition, these customers' needs will be serviced by a special team consisting of underwriters, claims and risk engineering professionals.

The new Machinery & Equipment Manufacturers team, based at the company's office here, offers expertise in loss sensitive and guaranteed cost programs to cover workers compensation, liability, excess and property exposures, said John Dawson, who heads the team.

''We're introducing a new element to our service package," he said.