Working for an employer that necessitates performing job functions out of the home was once considered an outlier, not the norm. If this past year-plus has taught us anything, it’s that things can change suddenly and drastically. Companies of all sizes were forced to adapt to protect their workers from exposure.
COVID-19 also impacted the dynamic between workers’ compensation insurers and policyholders. The common practice of loss control where carriers visited physical locations to assess staff safety as it required more cutting-edge methods to communicate in the area of risk mitigation. In-person loss control inspections that required a “new normal” were replaced by contactless methods where videos provided by employers told the story instead of live, first-hand inspections.
Employee claims have experienced a similar evolution of sorts. Those specific types of virtual inspections are becoming more popular in helping to complete the picture of incidents of injuries when it comes to more basic claims. However, more complicated workers’ comp matters will likely require onsite visits, albeit with the requisite safety measures.
While not always the case, the relationship between insurance providers and their customers must be based on a certain level of trust. The dynamic between the two sides is admittedly fragile, particularly upon discovering one side withholding information or committing outright fraud. However, being denied personal contact due to a worldwide health crisis mandates that all involved parties are confident in the other’s willingness to be forthright in their claims.
Combining technology, virtual contact, and other innovative methods will hopefully become a more regular practice that outlives the pandemic that changed everything for employers, employees, and workers’ compensation providers.