Looking Ahead: What to Expect in the Casualty Insurance Market in 2016
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From new business models to new technology, 2016 will undoubtedly be another year of change. And with change comes risk. Following are five trends to add to my previous post about what will drive casualty insurance markets going forward:
- Business on demand. The advent of the “on-demand” or “sharing” economy has created new opportunities for many companies. But the new approach raises an important question: Are individuals compensated by companies operating in the on-demand economy actually employees? In 2016, courts across the country are expected to address this question, and the answer could have significant insurance implications.
- 1-800-R-U-HURT. Auto insurance and labor law claims have long been lucrative for litigants and their attorneys — and costly for businesses. In 2016, litigators will look to expand their activities and broaden their focus to traumatic brain injuries, police brutality, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Get Smart: Technology meets safety. A small group of companies are using wearable devices — including smartwatches and smartglasses — to track employee movements and build safer workplaces. More companies are likely to adopt this technology in 2016 to prevent injuries and reduce costs. New approaches like telemedicine and telehealth can help companies drive better claims outcomes, improve access to medical care, and reduce medical expenses in the event of a workplace injury.
- #PrivateInvestigator. As individuals continue to share information, photos, and videos on the internet, claims adjusters and investigators have access to more data that can help them combat fraud in the workers’ compensation system.
- Rise of the machines. Individuals and businesses are increasingly using drones for any number of purposes — and eventually, drone-related liability will become an issue for insurance buyers. For now, there’s an open question as to whether a drone-related injury should be covered under general liability, aviation, or other insurance policies; that question could be answered in 2016.
Of course, every business will be affected by these trends differently. Risk professionals should talk to their risk advisors about whether these trends will require changes in their loss prevention, claims management, and insurance purchasing decisions.
For more information, read The US Casualty Market in 2016: Our Top 10 List.