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Missouri lawmakers have again proposed a bill that would require the Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Co. to transition to a private mutual insurance company by Jan. 1, 2023.
H.B. 761, introduced Monday, would require Missouri Employers Mutual’s board of directors to outline steps they will take to become a private mutual insurance company by the start of 2022, and would mandate that the company operate as any mutual casualty insurer licensed to write insurance in the state.
In 2020, lawmakers introduced a similar bill in the Missouri House of Representatives, but the bill never made it out of committee.
At that time, a spokeswoman for Columbia-based Missouri Employers Mutual, which has a federal tax exemption, said the move to a private mutual insurance company “could negatively impact Missouri’s work compensation environment.”
State workers comp funds in several states in the country have privatized over the past 25 years. Michigan’s state fund evolved to Accident Fund Co., which is now part of AF Group, West Virginia’s state fund is now Charleston-based BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Co. and Maryland’s state fund has morphed into Baltimore-based Chesapeake Employers Insurance Co.
The Missouri Senate and House on Tuesday approved a bill that would limit when punitive damages can be awarded.