For almost exactly two years now, COVID induced uncertainty has created uncertainty in people’s lives, the economy at large, the insurance industry, and the workers’ compensation line. Throw in an unprecedented set of factors such as “The Great Resignation” and work from home and the crystal ball has been even more cloudy than usual. Initial theories about the real impact of COVID on workers’ compensation were varied and tentative.
What has actually happened in the workers’ compensation world is that according to NCCI, overall claims frequency and severity are down. When you look at COVID claims specifically it doesn’t appear on the surface that there has been any significant impact at all.
But do we really know what is below the surface? There is a statistic that 87% of an iceberg is hidden below the surface of the water. There is a growing appreciation for the ‘below the surface’ factors that impact any garden variety (non-COVID) claim—biopsychosocial factors.
Subjective, non-physical factors such as fear, anxiety, depression, motivation (or lack thereof), financial concerns, relationship issues, job satisfaction, and more are MAJOR, if not easily quantifiable, factors in getting workers back to the job. Add to that the pandemic fueled increase in stress and uncertainty and it seems very likely that in recent times, some of these mental conditions are only exacerbated.
To safely navigate today’s treacherous claims waters, more and more leading insurers are not only aware of the importance of these hidden and pandemically enhanced issues but are aggressively looking to understand how to gain better insight and to initiate actions to cope with them.
Given limited visibility and proven experience, this will be a ‘titanic’ effort for some but as better data and analytics such as The Claim Lab’s offerings become more widely used, there is reason for optimism.
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The Claim Lab