ITL FOCUS is a monthly initiative featuring topics related to innovation in risk management and insurance.

This month, we're focusing on Workers Comp

a navy blue graphic reading ITL FOCUS Workers Comp August 2022. There is also a photo of a women in a construction hat working in a warehouse


From the Editor: The Biggest Issue Facing Workers' Comp

As tough as staffing is throughout the insurance industry, the world of workers' comp has things doubly bad -- it has to deal not only with its own staffing issues but those of its clients. 
As Mark Walls, vice president of client engagement at Safety National, explains in this month's interview, many companies are having to ask employees to do more to cover for gaps in staffing. Companies are also being less rigorous about pre-employment physicals and may rush people into action. The risk of injury is rising as a result.
At the same time, workers' comp carriers and third-party administrators are having to deal with their own shortages of adjusters, nurse care managers and so on, while dealing with caregivers that are struggling to line up enough doctors and nurses.
The result? Not pretty.

There's no easy answer, but carriers and TPAs are finding that they are more likely to attract and retain talent if they provide flexibility by letting people do more work at home. 

Work-from-home creates its own set of problems, though, for all employers. I'll leave it to Mark in his interview to explain the subtleties, but suffice it to say here that it's important to designate an area for work in the home. Otherwise, any activity at any time in any spot in the house could be interpreted as being related to work, meaning that any injury could produce a claim. 

The good news is that the long-term trends in workers' comp remain positive, as carriers and employers keep making work environments safer. Automation will also reduce risk. 

But combined ratios have climbed from perhaps 85% to 100% or more, and any uptick in claims and expenses would send them even higher. So, the path ahead may be bumpy for a while.


Read the Full Interview



Threats, Openings for
Workers' Comp

What if external factors overwhelm
the workers' comp system's
century-old ability to balance the
rights of employees and employers?

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'Scalable Compassion' in
Workers’ Comp

As much as claims representatives
want to help individuals, there has
been no feasible way to provide compassion at scale.

Read More

Smartest Idea for
High-Hazard Businesses

When an employee says they’re too
tired to finish a physically
demanding task and need to rest,
that needs to be okay.

Read More

Case Study on Using AI in Workers' Comp

Taking in extra data points and
thinking in a different way has let us
make better decisions about how to
route claims, and more.

Read More

Identifying Fraud in Workers’ Comp

One of the best tools for fraud
prevention is to let employees know
that false claims will not be tolerated
and that penalties are stiff.

Read More

Should Workers’ Comp Be
So Litigious?

It’s time to dedicate resources on
several fronts to get back to the
original intent of the workers' compensation system.

Read More



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Insurance Thought Leadership

Insurance Thought Leadership (ITL) delivers engaging, informative articles from our global network of thought leaders and decision makers. Their insights are transforming the insurance and risk management marketplace through knowledge sharing, big ideas on a wide variety of topics, and lessons learned through real-life applications of innovative technology.

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