Texas Mutual Named One of 2013 Best Companies to Work for in Texas

December 13, 2012 - Texas Mutual Insurance Company, the state’s leading provider of workers’ compensation insurance, was recently named as one of the 2013 Best Companies to Work for in Texas. The awards program was created in 2006 and is a project of Texas Monthly, the Texas Association of Business (TAB), the Texas State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management (TSC-SHRM) and Best Companies Group.

This statewide program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places to work in Texas. The 2013 Best Companies to Work for in Texas list is made up of 100 companies. Texas Mutual has been named one of the Best Companies to Work for in Texas for the third consecutive year.

“Texas Mutual makes it a priority to provide our customers with exceptional service, which would not be possible without the commitment of our employees throughout the company,” said Ron Wright, president of Texas Mutual. “While we are extremely proud to receive this designation, especially because a large part of it is based on employee evaluations, we recognize that it is our employees who make us successful and a great a place to work. This distinction highlights our dedication to our valued employees who are critical to Texas Mutual’s mission.”

To be considered for this recognition, companies had to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

  • Have at least 15 employees working in Texas;
  • Be a for-profit or not-for-profit business or government entity;
  • Be a publicly or privately held business;
  • Have a facility in the state of Texas; and
  • Be in business a minimum of one year.

Participating companies from across the state completed a two-part survey process. The first part consisted of the Best Companies Group’s evaluation of each nominated company’s workplace policies, systems, philosophies, practices and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25 percent of the total evaluation.

The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75 percent of the total evaluation. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process in Texas and also analyzed the data and used their expertise to determine the final rankings.

Texas Mutual will be recognized and honored at the Best Companies to Work for in Texas gala on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency in Austin. Texas Monthly will include the final ranking of the distinguished companies in the April 2013 issue of the magazine and will produce a special publication profiling the winning companies to be released in conjunction with the event.

For more information on the Best Companies to Work for in Texas program, visit www.BestCompaniesTX.com.

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Texas Man Indicted for Double-Dipping

November 27, 2012 - Texas Mutual Insurance Company reported today that a Travis County grand jury indicted Corey Lee of Alvarado, Texas, on workers’ compensation fraud-related charges. The indictment alleges that Lee obtained $3,956 in workers’ compensation benefits he was not entitled to.

Lee reported a job-related injury while working as an equipment operator for Gainesville Personnel Solutions. He claimed he was unable to work as a result of the injury, and Texas Mutual began paying income benefits to him.

Meanwhile, Texas Mutual uncovered evidence that Lee worked for three other companies while receiving benefits.

Investigators call this type of scam double-dipping because the claimant collects benefits for being too injured to work when he or she is, in fact, gainfully employed. Texas law requires claimants to contact their workers’ comp carrier when they return to work. Left unchecked, double-dipping and other workers’ comp fraud can lead to higher premiums for all Texas employers.

Note: A grand jury indictment is a formal accusation - not a conviction - of criminal conduct.

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Texas Mutual Wraps up $150M Dividend Distribution

November 15, 2012 - Texas Mutual Insurance Company announced today that it is distributing approximately $1.8 million in workers’ compensation dividends. Approximately 3,000 new policyholders earned dividends based largely on their workplace safety and claim management records.

“As a mutual insurance company, our responsibility is to our policyholders,” said Bob Barnes, chairman of Texas Mutual’s board of directors. “They own the company, and this money belongs to them. We are proud to share Texas Mutual’s success with those who have contributed to that success.”

These dividends represent the final component of Texas Mutual’s $150 million individual policyholder dividend distribution in 2012. Individual dividends are separate from the dividends Texas Mutual pays to qualifying safety groups. Many policyholders qualify for dividends under both programs.

By the end of 2012, Texas Mutual will have paid $1.2 billion in safety group and individual policyholder dividends. The majority of that total – more than $1 billion – will have been paid since 2005.

Texas Mutual President Ron Wright said the company’s dividend track record is a direct reflection of its financial strength, as well as policyholders’ efforts to keep employees safe and return injured workers to their jobs.

“Our status as a mutual company gives us the freedom to focus on what matters most: preventing workplace accidents and their associated costs,” said Wright. “Texas Mutual is fortunate to have owners who share our vision. I hope this return on their investments will keep their businesses strong far into the future.”

Texas Mutual notes that past dividends are not a guarantee of future dividends. All dividend plans require Texas Department of Insurance approval.

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Texas Mutual’s General Counsel Awarded
Magna Stella Award for In-House Counsel Excellence

November 14, 2012 - On Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, Mary Barrow Nichols, senior vice president and general counsel for Texas Mutual Insurance Company, was awarded the 2012 Magna Stella Award for Major Litigation from the Texas General Counsel Forum during an awards dinner for the Forum’s 14th Annual Conference of General Counsel.

The Magna Stella Awards program recognizes in-house excellence in Texas corporations, organizations and government agencies. The finalists were nominated by peers and selected by a panel of independent judges. Several hundred corporate counsel, as well as six Texas Supreme Court Justices, attended the dinner where the Magna Stella winners were announced.

Nichols was awarded a Magna Stella for Major Litigation based on three significant legal initiatives she has closed for Texas Mutual within the last year. Under her leadership:

  • The Texas Supreme Court closed the book on a “bad faith” suit that was seriously disruptive to the workers’ compensation industry, as well as the jurisprudence of the state. Nichols recognized that a victory was not only important for Texas Mutual, but also for the entire workers’ compensation industry.
  • Texas Mutual also enjoyed great success in its legal battles with a hospital that has filed hundreds of medical fee disputes, with the amounts of individual cases totaling more than $6.5 million. Nichols developed a cost-effective method of handling these disputes, and Texas Mutual obtained maximum results without maximum expenses.
  • Texas Mutual was also victorious in a case involving one of its policyholders, Port Elevator. The plaintiffs filed a wrongful death suit on the theory that Port Elevator did not have workers’ compensation insurance and originally obtained a $2.8 million judgment that was affirmed by the court of appeals. The Supreme Court of Texas reversed and rendered judgment for Port Elevator, holding that the workers’ compensation policy it purchased covered its temporary employees and barred the negligence suit.

“I am honored to have received a Magna Stella Award from such a distinguished group of my peers and sincerely thank the Forum for this recognition,” Nichols said. “I have represented Texas Mutual as its general counsel for nearly 20 years, and it continues to be a rewarding experience. These accomplishments were a team effort that required the support and encouragement of our board of directors and senior management, which was always generously supplied.”

“We nominated Mary based on her long-term, strategic thinking related to a series of cases that required appellate review to clarify the law for all participants in workers’ compensation cases,” said Pete Schenkkan, a senior attorney at Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody, who has worked with Texas Mutual for many years. “Mary adopted a strategy, knowing that it would take many years to achieve the company’s goals, and then led multiple teams of lawyers through multiple cases to the Texas Supreme Court. It was truly a marvel to watch her execute on this effort.”

For more information about the 2012 Magna Stella Awards, please visit
The General Counsel Forum.

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Texas Mutual, ASSIST Partnership Pays $104K Dividend

October 29, 2012 - Texas Mutual Insurance Company announced today that the Associated Security Services and Investigators safety group earned a $104,735 dividend. The workers’ compensation dividend was based largely on the group’s loss ratio.

Access to the safety group is a benefit of membership in the Associated Security Services and Investigators of the State of Texas (ASSIST). Alan Trevino, the association’s president, said dividends have helped members build their businesses.

“Workers’ compensation premiums are one of many costs our members have to consider,” said Trevino. “Some have used dividends to offset their premiums. Others have used the money to hire skilled security personnel or upgrade their equipment.”

Since 2002, Texas Mutual has paid $2.2 million in group dividends to ASSIST safety group members. That total is in addition to individual policyholder dividends group members have earned. Individual dividends are based largely on each policyholder’s safety record.

“We are a policyholder-owned mutual company,” said Steve Math, senior vice president of underwriting at Texas Mutual. “By controlling workplace accidents and managing claims effectively, our owners contribute to the company’s success. We are proud to share that success with them through our dividend programs.”

Unlike publicly traded insurance companies, mutual insurance companies are owned by their policyholders, and they do not answer to stockholders. Dividends allow Texas Mutual to share its financial success with its policyholder owners.

By the end of the year, Texas Mutual will have paid $1.2 billion in dividends. The majority of that total – more than $1 billion – will have been paid since 2005.

Texas Mutual notes that past dividends are not a guarantee of future dividends. The Texas Department of Insurance must approve all dividends.

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Texas Mutual Delivers $281K Boost to Social Service Agencies

October 22, 2012 - Texas Mutual Insurance Company, working in partnership with Care Providers Insurance Services, announced today that the Social Service Agencies of Texas (SSA) safety group has earned a $280,638 dividend.

The workers’ compensation dividend was based largely on the group’s overall safety record.

“Social service agencies operate on lean budgets, and every dollar counts,” said Randall Hedlund, director of Care Providers Insurance Services, the SSA safety group administrator. “We’re very proud of our group’s safety record, and dividends help our members continue to deliver much-needed services to the people of Texas.”

Since 2005, Texas Mutual has paid nearly $2 million in group dividends to SSA members. That total is in addition to individual policyholder dividends group members have earned. Individual dividends are based largely on each policyholder’s safety record.

Unlike publicly traded insurance companies, mutual insurance companies are owned by their policyholders. Dividends allow Texas Mutual to share its financial success with its policyholder owners.

By the end of the year, Texas Mutual will have paid $1.2 billion in dividends. The majority of that total – more than $1 billion – will have been paid since 2005.

Texas Mutual notes that past dividends are not a guarantee of future dividends. The Texas Department of Insurance must approve all dividends.

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Texas Mutual Pays $824K Dividend to Machinery and Equipment Dealers Group

October 16, 2012 - Texas Mutual Insurance Company announced today that the Texas Machinery and Equipment Dealers (TMED) safety group has earned an $823,333 dividend.

The workers’ compensation dividend was based largely on the group’s overall safety record.

Since 2008, Texas Mutual has paid $2.3 million in group dividends to TMED safety group members. That total is in addition to individual policyholder dividends group members have earned. Individual dividends are based largely on each policyholder’s safety record.

“Texas Mutual has a shared interest in helping Texas-based business succeed,” said Steve Math, senior vice president of underwriting at Texas Mutual. “These TMED safety group members have remained loyal to Texas Mutual and invested in their employees’ well-being. Dividends are Texas Mutual’s way of rewarding them for their loyalty, their safety efforts and their ownership stakes in the company.”

Unlike publicly traded insurance companies, mutual insurance companies are owned by their policyholders. Dividends allow Texas Mutual to share its financial success with its policyholder owners.

By the end of the year, Texas Mutual will have paid $1.2 billion in dividends. The majority of that total – more than $1 billion – will have been paid since 2005.

Texas Mutual notes that past dividends are not a guarantee of future dividends. The Texas Department of Insurance must approve all dividends.

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Texas Mutual Receives A.M. Best’s Top Ratings
For Financial Strength and Issuer Credit

October 9, 2012 - On Friday, Oct. 5, 2012, Texas Mutual Insurance Company received a financial strength rating of “A” (excellent) and an issuer credit rating of “a” from A.M. Best Co. in recognition of Texas Mutual’s current financial strength. A.M. Best, the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source, also assigned the outlook of stable to both ratings.

“The ratings are a reflection of the commitment to the company’s mission from every business area,” said Ron Wright, president of Texas Mutual. “Not only do these ratings recognize our financial strength, but they also recognize all Texas Mutual does to ensure that our company remains the state’s carrier of choice. It is a great benefit to our policyholders for an accredited institution such as A.M. Best to provide such a comprehensive, positive assessment of our company and its future.”

A.M. Best noted, “The ratings reflect Texas Mutual’s superior risk-adjusted capitalization, strong underwriting and overall operating performance, and leading position in the Texas workers’ compensation market. The ratings also acknowledge the company’s experienced management team, knowledge of the Texas market, comprehensive enterprise risk management, reputation among policyholders for a high level of service and profit sharing, effective claims management, medical network and loss control services, commitment to reserve adequacy, and prudent investment management.”

Texas Mutual sought these ratings from A.M. Best to provide policyholders with a third-party review and assurance of the company’s financial strength, current stability and perceived stability for the future.

For more information about the ratings and methodology, visit Best’s Credit Rating Methodology.

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