The MEMIC Group, which owns Portland-based Maine Employers’ Mutual Insurance Co., plans to pay its policyholders record dividends totaling $18 million in November, the company said.

The boost in dividends is a result of MEMIC’s rapid expansion throughout the United States, particularly along the East Coast, its top executive said. In 2013, the company paid dividends totaling $16 million.

MEMIC’s board of directors voted last week to release the $18 million in dividend checks, which are based on the company’s 2011 performance and represent about 14.4 percent of the premiums paid by policyholders during that year, the company said.

Checks to 17,000 qualified policyholders are expected to go out in early November, it said. The average check will be $1,040, although some will top $250,000 based on an employer’s paid premiums, according to a release from the company.

MEMIC President and CEO John T. Leonard said the company has been growing rapidly as a result of aggressive expansion outside of Maine, which began in 2007. With eight offices located along the East Coast, including a Virginia office that opened earlier this year, MEMIC is growing its out-of-state business by about 30 percent annually, Leonard said.

“That money all comes back to Maine,” he said.

The industries in which MEMIC has been picking up the most new business are manufacturing, hospitality, higher education, health care and retail, Leonard said.

The key to saving money, paid out to MEMIC’s client-owners as dividend checks, is keeping workers’ compensation claims to a minimum, he said. The company places a high emphasis on workplace safety to minimize injuries and reduce the number of claims.

“Once again, Maine employers are earning their reward for keeping workplaces safe and for insuring their workers through MEMIC,” Leonard said. “In all the years we have been returning money to policyholders, never has the amount been more than this. This is what can happen when employers and employees work together to reduce injuries and keep costs low.”

Founded in 1993, MEMIC began a slow expansion outside the state in 2001, he said. The first five years essentially were a test period to see if the company’s model would work well outside of Maine.

A separate license must be obtained to sell workers’ compensation insurance in each state, as each has its own distinct set of regulations. MEMIC now has licenses in 46 states and Washington, D.C.

The company said it wrote more than $230 million in premiums in 2013 and is on track to increase that to more than $250 million this year. About half of that money will come from customers outside of Maine.

“It will be a bigger contributing factor as we go on,” Leonard said.

The MEMIC Group also owns MEMIC Indemnity Co. and MEMIC Casualty Co. MEMIC insures nearly 20,000 employers and their estimated 300,000 employees, and it holds more than $1 billion in assets.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: jcraiganderson

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.