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Employers Holdings Falls on California Costs

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.

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