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Workers’ Compensation Insurance Issues to Watch Out for in 2017

David Malloy David Malloy , 6/7/2017
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Workers’ compensation insurance is about to go through many changes this year, what do your small business clients have to watch out for in 2017?

Here are a few things that small business owners need to watch out for in 2017 when it comes to workers’ compensation insurance and their employees.   

1. Workplace Illness and Disease
Exposure to certain substances that can be found at workplaces can lead to diseases like cancer. It can take years for the symptoms to manifest, and many statutes have limitations for reporting the claims that are less than the time it takes for these symptoms to arise. As medical science advances, statutes will need updating to avoid the increase in lawsuits.

2. Insurance Talent Gap
Thanks to the boom in U.S. population after World War II, the gap that will be left in about ten years–when a significant portion of the workforce is expected to retire–will be hard to fill. It is important to develop a policy that includes working with colleagues in developing risk management education and focuses on recruitment and talent attraction.

3. Worker Transparency
Injured workers often retain lawyers because they feel like the lawyers are the only ones that are there to help them and they see their employer as the bad guy. In 2017, look for ways in which the advocacy discussion turns into a transparency discussion as employers look to take care of their employees rather than just rely only on workers’ compensation to do everything.

4. External Disruptors
The biggest issue for the industry to watch in 2017 is the way in which external disrupters significantly affect workers’ compensation. One external disrupter is the buying habits of the American people. With more people doing online shopping, many retailers are closing their stores. Automation could be the ultimate disruptor in workers’ compensation; think of all the jobs that could be lost in the trucking, shipping, and transportation industry because of self-driving vehicles.

5. Innovation
While the insurance industry is the last industry you’d expect to innovate, they are being forced as the world changes around them at a significant pace. Digital health, artificial intelligence, med tech, all impact the workforce. In order for claims to keep up with demands, the insurance industry must change, so expect to see some changes in 2017.

To learn more about getting competitive coverage for your small business and construction clients,  contact us today. We at PMC Insurance Group are experts on workers’ compensation and will help you get the right policy for your small business clients.