In 2010, BrickStreet reported $263.8 million in premiums, $171.1 million in losses and $52.8 million in net income.
In the 2011 annual report, Burton said the A.M. Best Co., a credit-rating group that helps the financial services industry, gave BrickStreet an A-minus rating. He said that "places our company among the most financially secure insurance providers in the nation."
"Most of the lawyers who were representing injured workers seeking workers' comp have gotten out of it today. They don't do it anymore," Humphreys said.
But Ross Johnson, who owns Mountain State Insurance in Charleston, praises the company.
"The primary thing BrickStreet has done is to reduce the cost of workers' compensation. It has done that in three ways. They reduced premiums, improved workplace safety and improved claims outcomes."
Johnson, whose company has been in business since 1917, said BrickStreet's "adjusters are focused on minimizing the cost of claims and expediting medical care. They also work to create safe workplace environments.
"If there is a person gone from work, it slows production down. If employers can avoid claims to begin with, and have the claims that do happen have a shorter duration, it makes the business run more seamlessly.
As other companies make inroads into the West Virginia workers' comp market, BrickStreet has expanded its business to other states.
In April, the company acquired a small workers' comp insurer headquartered near Pittsburgh. BrickStreet has an office in Chicago and is opening up another regional office in Charlotte, N.C.
"A West Virginia business may have a plant or a mine in Kentucky or Virginia," Obrokta said. "We have to be licensed in those states to sell them workers' comp coverage."
He said BrickStreet is licensed, or has applied to be licensed, in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.
"But we are domiciled in West Virginia. This is our core business," Burton said. "We are writing $250 million in insurance in West Virginia. Between $60 million and $65 million is out of state."
Obrokta believes BrickStreet has done better than many people thought it would after it started back in 2006.
"The state gave us a $200 million loan and 10 years to pay it back. We paid it off in 3 1/2 years," he said.
Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.