After 28 calls with workers' comp execs over the last 8 days it's quite clear many are very concerned about specific issues.
With payrolls plummeting, small businesses closed and many not likely to re-open, and many governmental entities under severe pressure due to lack of income from sales and other taxes, insurers are quite nervous about premium income.
With PPP expiring at the end of next month, more employers may lay off workers they had to keep on payroll.
Impacted most will be carriers focused on smaller businesses, especially hospitality, retail, and tourism-related sectors.
Several insurer execs voiced deep unease about general liability-related issues related to employees contracting COVID at the workplace. If those workers go home and family members become infected, there's concern the employer may have some degree of liability. Especially if they knowingly flaunted or ignored safety guidance.
This unease may well be justified…
Several execs specifically tasked with leading their companies' COVID response noted a lack of clear understanding about the near-term and long-term impacts of COVID on patients. Permanent lung damage, kidney problems, blood clots, cardiac issues, and health problems related to long-term use of ventilators were all cited as potential concerns for patients with severe cases of COVID19.
Relatively few patients are likely to suffer these conditions. However for those that do, the potential impact on the patient's health and well-being, along with future employment implications merit close attention.
Most of all, executives want certainty. Ideally, many want COVID to be classified as a “disease of life”, but in multiple states that ship appears to have sailed.
What does this mean for you?
We don't know much at all about COVID, so we'd better pay very close attention to facts and data, not political pandering and nonsense.