Boca Raton, FL – The still-evolving impacts of COVID-19 on US workers, the workers compensation industry, and the economy dominate the 2021 edition of the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) Focus on 5. For more than a decade, NCCI has conducted an annual survey probing the perspectives, needs, and challenges of insurer executives. Nearly two-thirds of the 102 leaders surveyed cited pandemic-related issues as their top concerns, prompting NCCI to dedicate its 2021 Focus on 5 to COVID-19.
“As the pandemic continues to cause uncertainty, NCCI provides workers compensation stakeholders with timely, critical insights they need to navigate the crisis,” said Bill Donnell, president and CEO of NCCI. “The 2021 Focus on 5, devoted primarily to COVID-19, is the next in a long list of insights we provide to stakeholders through our online COVID-19 Resource Center.”
The survey found that the five biggest COVID-19 concerns of industry leaders heading into 2021 include:
- The impact on the industry: Leaders are concerned about uncertainty related to the duration of the pandemic, the size and number of COVID-19 claims, and how long it will take workers and the economy to recover.
- Statutory and regulatory activity: With compensability presumptions developing across states, leaders are monitoring whether they will become permanent or evolve to include other common diseases.
- The pandemic economy: Insurers are closely watching COVID-19’s overall impact on the health of the US economy and the timing for a recovery.
- Maintaining rate adequacy: They are also keeping a pulse on how best to evaluate risk in the current environment and how the pandemic overlays several years of declining loss costs.
- Working from home: The rapid acceleration of at-home work related to the pandemic and how it might impact issues such as compensable injuries at home, ergonomics considerations, and at-home safety, are also on leaders’ minds.
Industry leaders say they are responding to the challenges of COVID-19 with policyholder-focused efforts, such as allowing deferred payments and providing safety education, along with closely monitoring market changes and legislative and regulatory developments in states. Leaders are also looking at their own operations and closely scrutinizing underwriting patterns, growth strategies, and risk management plans, while analyzing trends in the COVID-specific claims they see.
Read the report: NCCI Focus on 5: Special COVID-19 Edition