Employers Holdings Falls Most Since 2008 on California Costs

Feb 20, 2014 4:08 pm ET

(Updates share decline starting in first paragraph.)

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Employers Holdings Inc. plunged the most since 2008 as the workers’ compensation insurer’s profit fell on California claims costs.

The insurer dropped 15 percent to $20.56 at 4:02 p.m. in New York. Employers slipped 3.3 percent in the past 12 months, compared with the 27 percent jump of the Russell 2000 Index.

Fourth-quarter net income dropped 84 percent to $14.2 million as claims costs increased, the Reno, Nevada-based company said late yesterday. Chief Executive Officer Doug Dirks has been raising rates and slowing growth in California after being burned by higher-than-expected expenses in the most populous U.S. state.

“Adverse loss trends in the Los Angeles area,” fueled the increase in costs, Dirks said in a statement. “We are continuing to implement a comprehensive review of our operations” to reduce expenses.

--Editor: Dan Kraut