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Anticipated Workers Compensation Trends For 2021

January 11, 2021

Having workers compensation coverage is required by law in the majority of states throughout the US, but aside from that, having it helps to get injured employees back to work as quickly, and safely as possible; a win-win for both parties. This is why the development of an effective workers compensation program is vital for any company, no matter its size. To achieve this though, it’s important to be aware of the latest trends in this form of insurance, and with the global pandemic hitting many countries hard, after-effects of this are anticipated to have an impact on the insurance industry as a whole, well into 2021.

 

Work with an outsourced payroll provider, and they will keep you up to date with any changes to rules and regulations in workers compensation coverage, and advise you of which plan would best suit your company (along with implementing it for you, too). In the meantime, let’s look at some anticipated workers compensation trends for 2021:

 

Covid-19 and its continuing impact on compensation-related reporting:
With the pandemic now well into its second wave in many countries of the world, the US included, employers are continuing to make adjustments to remain in compliance with government restrictions, and to keep themselves, their employees and their customers, safe. Remote working, adapting employees’ roles, implementing lay-offs or furloughs and even stopping operations completely, are just some of the changes, employers have been forced to make.


Depending upon which state your business operates in, these adjustments could be subject to a variety of workers’ compensation-related reporting changes, and could even have an impact on your organization’s premium costs and experience modification factor, due to workplace risks and safety exposures likely having altered.

 

What else should your business prepare for?
Claims related to Covid-19 exposure may arise, and in general, claims related to the virus are evaluated individually, and compensation coverage may be triggered if the following are both true:

  • The illness in question arises out of the course and scope of employment
  • The illness in question arises out of or is caused by job-specific conditions and not an ordinary disease of life (such as the common cold) to which the general public is exposed.

It’s important to remember that every claim is different though, and when it comes compensability, as an employer, you’ll need to ensure that you thoroughly assess the job or tasks the employee in question was performing when they were exposed to the virus.


Also, some states will have differing thresholds for Covid-19 compensability, ranging from general language regarding workplace illnesses, to very specific guidance on Covid-19 claims. Try to take note of the developments in your state regarding the interaction between the virus and workers’ compensation claims, and if in doubt, talk to an insurance expert.


Whatever state you’re in and wherever your business operates out of, implementing workplace health and safety measures that help to protect your employees from exposure to Covid-19 is always going to be a positive step towards limiting the likelihood of related claims.

To find out more about your coverage requirements for 2021, talk to an insurance professional.

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