Technology is having a hand in making workers’ compensation insurance more effective for insureds.
Richard Bird, the chief operating officer at managing general agent Midlands Management told Insurance Business, during the recent Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA) Underwriting & Leadership Summit in Phoenix, that while there isn’t going to be one app that solves all of the challenges in workers’ comp, advancements in tech have already made an impact. Bird pointed to a post-injury solution like telehealth companies that get injured workers connected with doctors faster for less serious injuries, but there’s other ways technological advancements can help.
“Technology allows the claims adjuster and the hospitals to share information much more quickly, and helps us identify the best facilities to have the employee treated in,” he explained. “Injuries that not so long ago weren’t as effectively treated can now have more technology built into the solution and can create fixes for things that you couldn’t achieve not that long ago.”
Midlands’ typical clients are sizeable companies and institutions whose employees are exposed to more hazards. Think construction workers, truck drivers, first responders, firefighters and police officers – these are all entities with exposure to catastrophic losses. By focusing on a few larger clients and their employees, the claims process becomes easier to maneuver.
“When something happens, we also have the benefit of rather than focusing on a thousand claims at once, we have those one or two larger claims, so really the attention to handling that claim can be more focused,” said Bird. “It gives us more flexibility and freedom to target the right facility for that injured employee.”
The MGA’s mission is to get employees the best medical care. Bird explains that a more specialized, expensive facility in the short-term will generate a better outcome for an employee in the long-term, leading to lower claims costs.
With only a handful of mainstream writers of excessive works’ comp, the market has been in a stable environment lately, according to the COO.
“The people with good programs in place to stop losses, reaping the benefits of good mitigation of claims once they happen, are seeing that in the pricing that they’re paying for their excess insurance,” said Bird.