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Texas Mutual Insurance seeks to sever ties with state government

Texas Mutual Insurance seeks to sever ties with state government

Texas Mutual Insurance Co. will seek to sever ties with the state government during the 2013 legislative session, the workers compensation insurer said in a statement.

Austin, Texas-based Texas Mutual was established in 1991 by the Texas legislature to serve as the state's workers comp insurer of last resort. The mutual insurer is led by a nine-member board of directors, five of whom are appointed by the Texas governor. However, the company does not accept state funding, according to its website.

In a statement this week, Texas Mutual said a complete separation from the state would allow its 54,000 policyholders to have complete control of board elections, and insulate the company from the "ever-changing dynamics of the political system."

The separation also would allow other insurers to participate in the state's residual comp market, the statement said.

"This would make the residual market more stable and sustainable over the coming years because it would not rely on just one insurer," the statement reads. "It would also provide the Texas workers' compensation system with a much-needed safety net in case the current business climate should begin to deteriorate."

The insurer has cut some ties with the state in the past. In 2001, the Texas legislature reduced Texas Mutual's number of gubernatorial board appointees and repealed the state attorney general's oversight of the insurer, according to the company's statement. The legislature exempted Texas Mutual from open meetings and open records law requirements in 2007.

Texas Mutual wrote $749 million in premiums for 2011, or about 34% of the Texas workers comp market.