Broker Check

In 2021,Insurance Issues Center on Pandemic

January 29, 2021

Mark Walls, vice president of Safety National Insurance and a frequent commenter on workers compensation, publishes a "top 20" list of issues at the start of each year. For 2021 his list focuses heavily on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is the list:

  1. Healthcare: revision of the Affordable Care Act, continued use of telehealth.
  2. Political polarization: need to restore public trust.
  3. Vaccine considerations: employers can require them, with limitations.
  4. Need for supply chain diversification: too much dependence on China.
  5. Public health policy needs focus on building trust, communication.
  6. COVID-19 claims development: most workers compensation claims are small, but death or extended hospitalization claims exceed $1 million.
  7. More employee benefits addressing mental health,  telehealth, financial health, flexible work.
  8. COVID-19 presumptions blur the line between workers compensation and group health.
  9. Long-term effects of COVID-19 make it a co-morbidity problem.
  10. COVID-19 disrupted traditional analytics and benchmarking.
  11. Employers need to support employee caregiving.
  12. New regulations increase administrative costs.
  13. Workforce evolution: remote work will continue to expand.
  14. Economic recovery: some industries may not fully return.
  15. Insurance innovations will continue.
  16. Insurance price increases and coverage gaps.
  17. Increasing cyber risks.
  18. Public sector challenges: less revenue, decreased law enforcement staff.
  19. Insurance industry operations online; value of conferences questioned.
  20. Delays in litigation increase costs.                                                              

While the majority of these issues are connected to the pandemic, many also  point to changes in the workforce and public policy.