To provide employers, risk management and human resource professionals with insight to prepare them for 2020, Sedgwick has published a list of projected global industry trends.
The list was created by Sedgwick’s experts and thought leaders, who believe the trends will considerably affect the industry this year. The company also noted that it will continue to monitor these trends as they unfold.
“With our extensive experience, Sedgwick is prepared for the challenges the new decade may bring. Our expert colleagues are dedicated to taking care of our clients and their employees and customers, and providing solutions to make the claims process easier,” said Sedgwick president and CEO David North.
The following are some of the upcoming trends Sedgwick has identified as things to watch out for.
Digital-first technologies, together with human-centered solutions, will continue to improve the claims experience and simplify the process for consumers. These technologies include cloud-based platforms, self-service insurance claims tools, and channels for real-time access to carrier information.
Sedgwick sees the role of adjusters evolving into partners and advocates for the consumer. They will start offering claims expertise and assistance – with a distinct focus on empathy and compassion. They might also introduce advanced programs to address specific needs, such as crisis care for violent workplace events. The physical therapy and financial health of workers are trends employers will be seeing a lot of.
The industry continues to find ways to improve accessibility to services for claimants of injury or property damage. Virtual care is becoming more common, Sedgwick observed, especially in areas where there are less health experts available. Global companies are also looking into ways to set a standard across their various locations for benefits and care for workplace injuries, leave programs, absence management, and more.
Regulatory changes are challenging business owners to stay on top of compliance. For instance, there remains variation in the global and regional patchwork of cyber security and data privacy laws. These differences continue to expand and can further complicate compliance risks and costs for multinational employers.
Major and complex losses continue to be growing sources of concern for all lines of business. Faced with extreme weather events and crisis management situations, businesses are now wondering how they can better prepare for the unexpected. Pre- and post-loss preparedness is becoming more critical especially in light of worsening natural disasters and similar calamities. Product liability exposure is a growing concern thanks to the rise of the online marketplace. Marine exposures are also becoming more complex, particularly as ships become more autonomous.
Technology is helping the industry rethink the claims process. Innovations that could change the way insurers handle claims include artificial intelligence, as well as web services and application programming interface technology. Despite these advances, there is still a prevailing need to update older legacy infrastructure.
Developing the ability to recover quickly is a common theme that will continue into 2020, Sedgwick projects. Employers will need to consider things such as disaster recovery planning and cyber resilience measures. Work/life balance is another exposure employers have to plan around.
Many industries worldwide face talent shortages – whether due to the population aging or a shift in immigration and/or demographics. Companies also have a growing responsibility to serve a more diverse range of customers than ever before; diverse not just in age, but also in gender identity, political and religious ideology, etc. The at-home workforce is also something employers should consider, especially their safety, ergonomics, security, liability, transparency, engagement, reporting, and tracking.
Sedgwick has identified other topics that will increase in relevance in the months to come. These include: climate volatility; the hardening marketing pushing organizations to consider captives; to increases in cyberattacks as technology advances; and real-time payment services opening new options for the claims industry – but at the cost of introducing security and fraud concerns.