The Real Impact of COVID-19 on Workers Compensation

Five business people sitting in an office meeting wearing medical masks

There is much discussion right now on the impact that COVID-19 (coronavirus)
will have on workers compensation. Most of this discussion has focused on the
potential for claims activity arising from the virus. The determination of
whether a communicable disease is “work-related” is a case-by-case

A Follow Up: Dressing Professionally

Little boy wearing a big man's business suit

Last year I wrote a commentary, “To
Dress or Not—Is Professional Attire Outdated?
,” on whether or not
students should be expected to dress professionally for interviews and career
fairs. I asked for feedback and encouraged responses. I’m pleased to say I
got a lot of thoughtful responses from a wide range of readers. Executives,
claims adjusters, independent agents, corporate trainers, and many others
chimed in.

COVID-19—When Civil Authorities Take over, Are You Covered?

Three people standing on the sidewalk of a busy street wearing medical masks

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease that can result in
serious illness or death. It is caused by a new strain of coronavirus not
previously identified in humans and easily spreads from person to person. There
is currently no approved vaccine or antiviral treatment for this disease.

What Constitutes a “Prevailing Party” in a Maritime Contract Dispute?

IRMI Claims Caselaw Legal Insurance

Recently, the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decided an issue of first
impression as to what constitutes a “prevailing party” in
the context of a maritime contract dispute. The issue had not been decided by
the US Supreme Court or the Fifth Circuit. The opinion does not mention whether
other circuit courts had considered the issue.

Claims Management and Effective Risk Management

Business People on a Tangle of Winding Roads

The cost of claims has been at the heart of total cost of risk (TCOR) as a
separate function since the inception of risk management and even before. The
sheer magnitude of losses, insurable or not, defines so much of what risk
managers focus on, and it tends to be what they report on most often as well.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Income Losses—Are They Covered?

COVID-19 blood vial with positive result

The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting efforts to minimize the spread of
COVID-19 are wreaking havoc on all of us—individuals and businesses alike.
Businesses that have purchased coverage for business income loss as part of
their commercial property insurance may well be hoping that they will be able
to recover under their policies for income loss due to the coronavirus.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Is It Compensable?

Doctor holding small globe wearing a medical mask

The World Health Organization has now declared the recent coronavirus outbreak
to be a pandemic. Whether infections from the coronavirus will be compensable
under workers compensation depends on the jurisdiction and the facts
surrounding the claim.

Energy Insurance Market Conditions: 2020

Oil Field in Desert

This article provides an update regarding the ongoing challenges facing energy
insurers under current market conditions, including the impact of the
coronavirus (prior article dated
August 2018
). This update outlines the effects of oil and gas prices on
demand for insurance from companies within the industry and evaluates the
anticipated impact of current forecasts.

Cyber Threats and Accounting for Operational Risk

Businesswoman working on a virtual screen with graph key multiple locks and cyber crime

Cyber threats bring about a host of complicated and interlaced risks for which
every organization should account. From the installation of malware via a
complicated spear phishing incident to the insider threat to confidential
client data, threats can be multifaceted and difficult to address.

Second Home Risk Management Strategies

House with a vacation rental sign

Many people mistakenly assume that a homeowners policy will cover them no
matter what the occupancy status of their home is. But secondary homes present
a unique set of challenges for owners, insurance agents/brokers, and insurers
to contend with when trying to protect them from harm.

Cost of Quality in Commercial Construction

Construction Workers Checking Building

An important prerequisite to achieving a sustained competitive advantage in
commercial construction is a robust quality management program. Poor quality
generally leads to rework, and rework is considered a waste by many of the
experts in lean thinking.

Texas Court Adopts Time-on-the-Risk Allocation

Outline Map of Texas With Thumbtack Above Austin

When an insured incurs losses over a period of years in which it was covered by
a series of different insurers and the evidence does not establish the amount
of loss incurred in each policy period, how should the losses be allocated
among those insurers?

Determining a Construction Site’s Character by Listening

Group of Construction Workers

My last column was based on how to walk a project and get a feel for its safety
character. Not safety “culture” but the feel of the site. Many of the
larger construction firms claim effective safety cultures, but when you look
and listen closely, it’s just doing business as usual.

Coverage for Ransomware Losses under Property Policies

Gentleman Repairing a Broken Computer

Ransomware attacks can saddle a policyholder with significant costs and
expenses, including business interruption costs, ransom payments, and computer
hardware and software replacement costs. While a cyber policy is the most
obvious source of coverage, policyholders might also find coverage under a
traditional property policy, as a recent federal court decision finds.

Social Inflation: What Is It and Why Should Reinsurers Care?

Hands Typing on a Laptop in Background With Gavel and a Rising Stack of Coins

Social inflation is the latest buzzword given to the phenomenon of unexpected
rising insurance claim costs because of societal trends and views toward
litigation. While social inflation as a concept is not new, it recently has
become very popular in the insurance press and now appears frequently in the
general press. Nearly every insurance company CEO is talking about social
inflation and how claims costs are increasing in ways that were not

The Coronavirus and Risk Governance

Group of People Wearing Medical Masks

The coronavirus is a timely reminder of the pervasive threat of pandemics and
the need for a robust and resilient response from the world’s governments,
institutions, and businesses. Terrorism, cyber risk, climate change, and
resource nationalism all have global implications and require a sea change in
the manner in which global actors approach problem-solving and an effective
marshaling of resources.

Establishing a Captive Program? Be Sure To Consider Business Purpose.

IRMI Claims Caselaw Legal Insurance (36)

All transactions occur against the backdrop of antiavoidance law—five
common-law doctrines used by the courts and the Treasury Department to
determine if a transaction is legitimate or a tax shelter: substance over form,
the sham transaction doctrine, the business purpose test, the economic
substance doctrine, and the step transaction doctrine. The analysis is, at
best, difficult.

20 Employment Issues To Watch in 2020

2020 Calendar

In 2020, we  kick off our sixth year of Out Front Ideas with Kimberly
and Mark,
and we begin the year by discussing the issues we feel are going
to be critical this year.

Use Employment Assessments To Prevent Interviewer Bias

Businessman Wearing Blindfold Holding Pen and Paper

Most interviewers make up their minds about the candidate within the first 3
minutes of the interview. But that decision is only as reliable as the input
used to make it. Humans naturally have biases that we apply to things and
people. To ensure your interviewers are making accurate hiring decisions, you
need to remove the risk of biases.