Des Moines-based property/casualty insurer EMC Insurance Group Inc. announced it has declared a quarterly cash dividend of 23 cents per share, payable Dec. 3 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 25. The 9.5 percent increase from the previous quarterly dividend of 21 cents "reflects the strength of our financial position and confidence in our long-term outlook," EMC President and CEO Bruce Kelley said in a release. The boards of EMC and its parent company, Employers Mutual Casualty Co., also approved a change in the cost of the excess of loss reinsurance protection provided to EMC's reinsurance subsidiary. Effective Jan. 1, pending regulatory approval, the cost of the excess of loss coverage will decrease from the current 9 percent of total assumed reinsurance premiums to 8 percent. The change is a "result of efforts to ensure that the terms of the agreement are fair and equitable to both parties," the company said.