Wisconsin Insurer Plans Expansion

West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. says it plans to more than double the size of its corporate headquarters here in a $57 million expansion and to add about 200 employees within two years.

The company said that those hired will work in engineering and loss control, underwriting, claims and information technologies.

West Bend Mutual uses independent insurance agents to sell property and casualty insurance to businesses and individuals in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and Ohio.

The firm employs about 650 people at its corporate headquarters, although the facility was built for 500, said Tony Warren, the company’s president and chief executive officer.

“We are simply out of space,” he said.

The 150,000-square-foot corporate headquarters is to be expanded by 214,000 square feet with completion scheduled by April 2008.

The company had $141 million in written premiums when the building opened in 1991, Warren said, but that increase to $651 million last year.