COVID-19 Business Insurance Implications

COVID-19 Business Insurance Implications

As businesses start returning to work, the question lingers, what will happen to business insurance? Business Interruption Insurance has made headlines throughout the shutdown for excluding pandemics from coverage. The reason for this is twofold, Business Interruption Insurance is typically tied to property and casualty, of which the losses from the government shutdowns did not impact. And many policies specifically have a pandemic exclusion. Therefore, the need for a new type of coverage now exists and it will most likely be tied to biosecurity processes that businesses will be required to put into place. Read on to explore the current state of business insurance, how biosecurity can help, and why business will need to implement a suite of new proactive measures to protect their organizations from future disease outbreaks.

Current State of Business Insurance During COVID-19 & the PRIA Bill

Previously, pandemic-related insurance was practically non-existent, except for ‘PathogenRX 2018’, which was not in high demand. And because Business Interruption Insurance is both connected to property and casualty and the major insurers put pandemic exclusions into place thanks to Ebola and Swine Flu, businesses were left out to dry when COVID-19 hit—organizations were not covered for the losses they would incur due to the effects of the both the disease and the consequent government shutdowns.

However, no one is writing policies for the current pandemic, just as it’s nearly impossible to get flood insurance during a hurricane. Also, insurance companies will only take on so much of one type of risk, and the demand is so high for pandemic-related insurance it will likely become ‘sold out’ from the major insurers when it does become available. This is the reasoning behind the PRIA Bill introduced recently in Congress

The PRIA Bill would create a program in which participating insurers would offer pandemic-related business interruption and event cancellation coverage, and they would be reimbursed by a federal backstop for some of their losses. Having a government backed solution will allow more insurers to come into the market to meet the demand.

Need for Biosecurity

ReturnSafe BioSecurity Service

In the long run, what this means for businesses is that they need to implement a suite of new proactive measures to protect their organizations from disease outbreaks as well as put policies in place to maintain business continuity more seamlessly than they had when COVID-19 hit.  

Many businesses found themselves in a position where they could not track exposure to  to the virus, so if someone tested positive, they had to shut down their entire facility. However, with a biosecurity plan in place, management can see where the infected person was in the facility and whom else they may have exposed.  For example, if an infected person worked in the sales department on the 2nd floor, they can just isolate the 2nd floor only and in some cases only the sales department. Being able to see who is exposed to an infected person allows businesses to isolate individual areas as needed, which is the first step in mitigating the losses caused by a virus.

How Biosecurity Will Improve Business Insurance

Biosecurity processes that allow organizations to strategically screen, monitor and trace disease infections throughout their facilities are starting to become mission critical to business operation. Besides making the workplace safer for everyone, they will also make insurance more affordable and less risky.

Just like when you install a fire alarm, insurers are likely to give you a discount because you have taken a proactive step to minimize the risk of losses from an insurable event. Biosecurity is essentially a combination of an alarm system (screening/monitoring) and a sprinkler system (contract tracing). The early detection and fast mitigation that is made possible with BioSecurity is along the same lines as defending against other conventional threats like fire, floods, and earthquakes. Visit our How it Works page to see exactly how our tools can help you protect your business.

Legal Necessity for Biosecurity

The Job Safety Act of 1970 gave rise to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which requires employers to protect their employees from known and common threats. A biosecurity solution like ReturnSafe will likely become mandated as public health hazards that are linked to employee safety. COVID-19 has brought those threats to the forefront. We see this as an opportunity to collaborate with insurance companies to write in disease mitigation and protections to their new health policies.

This is what will drive the price of pandemic-related insurance down and allow major insurers to meet the demand for businesses impacted by not only COVID-19, but also those concerned with the lingering effects of the disease as well as future bio-threats.

The personal threat that COVID-19 puts upon employees, is already covered by OSHA policies because it is what is known as a “lethal moment.” As the situation develops, it is unlikely that companies can be held accountable for employees contracting the virus at work, but  if they haven’t done enough  to prevent an outbreak at  their facility, it is likely they will be held accountable for the oversights. The questions management teams need to be asking themselves right now are:

  1. What processes can we put in place to mitigate and protect against airborne illnesses spreading?
  2. How do we educate our workforce on the best practices to protect themselves and their co-workers?
  3. How do we approach pandemic insurance? And how to put ourselves in a position to receive the best rate from an insurer?

No matter what industry you are in, our screening, monitoring, and tracing tools give our clients the ability to provide a protective mechanism for their employees, customers, and partners. For more information on how we can help your team put a biosecurity process in place and to prepare for the new world of business insurance that we are all entering, request a demo today. Learn how it works.

ReturnSafe Joins ADP Marketplace to help protect businesses from COVID-19 outbreaks.

ReturnSafe Joins ADP Marketplace to help protect businesses from COVID-19 outbreaks.

ReturnSafe is now a Referral Partner on ADP Marketplace to help businesses prevent and rapidly respond to COVID-19 outbreaks to help keep employees safe and maintain business continuity.

ADP-marketplace-badge

ReturnSafe is the leading BioSecurity company offering COVID-19 screening, testing and contact tracing solutions providing HR and Risk Managers with tools to comply with local, state and federal safety guidelines.  

As a Referral Partner, ReturnSafe is now available on ADP Marketplace, a digital HR storefront offering ADP® clients a curated set of partners that complement and extend the value of their ADP products.

With ReturnSafe, ADP clients can leverage their existing investments in ADP Payroll and Workforce Management solutions to seamlessly and securely configure their organizational structure in ReturnSafe and maintain an up-to-date view as employees are hired, leave or change departments. 

“COVID-19 has established the need for every industry to address Return-to-Work safe protocols.  By offering our solution on ADP Marketplace, we made it simple for our mutual clients to setup and configure their org structure within ReturnSafe, eliminating manual employee data maintenance at initial setup and over time.  Our joint solution provides employees and HR with the tools to ensure their workplace stays safe and that they can quickly respond to keep it that way,” says Tarun Nimmagadda, CEO of ReturnSafe. 

ReturnSafe can help businesses comply with local, state and federal mandates and lower the risk of an outbreak in the workplace.

  • Be in compliance with COVID-19 regulatory requirements and CDC Guidelines for each location with customizable digital screening and policies and procedures.  
  • Lower risk of infectious disease spread in the workplace by implementing a proactive and scalable program using digital screening, testing and contact tracing to prevent and rapidly respond to outbreaks.
  • Make daily health screening quick and easy for employees, decreasing the hassle factor and ensuring the organization stays in compliance. 

Hassle-Free Employees screening in seconds:

Daily screening reminders make it easy for employees to check-in before reporting to work.  Employees record their symptoms in a daily survey and receive a recommendation on whether they should go to work or stay home. The process takes about 5 seconds per day.

At work, social distancing alerts notify employees if they come within 6 feet of a coworker for longer than a minute to provide a gentle reminder.  

HR has the tools to reinforce team compliance and rapidly respond.

The ReturnSafe HR Portal allows organizations to set return to work policies and configure the employee daily survey by location to ensure compliance with changing local guidelines and mandates.

HR can monitor which employees are completing the screening, who is coming into the office, who is working from home, and access a log of COVID-19 exposures when contact tracing is necessary.  Managers can also get a view of their department status as needed. 

ReturnSafe can help keep employees safe and maintain business continuity. Book a demo to see how it works.

Check out our other ReturnSafe integrations. Learn how it works.

The Betsy Hotel Addresses COVID-19 Mandates

The Betsy Hotel Addresses COVID-19 Mandates

Employee daily screening and contact tracing technology key to reopening.

We recently spoke with our customer, Malvin Ortiz-Aponte, the Director of Human Resources at The Betsy Hotel to discuss the role of ReturnSafe contact tracing and screening in maintaining workplace safety and business continuity in the face of COVID-19 mandates. 

malvin-ortiz-aponte

 

 

Malvin Ortiz-Aponte
Director of HR
The Betsy Hotel

“I really like the ease of use of the app for our employees, and HR can quickly see across our organization to monitor exposures and hot spots for rapid incident response.  Without the automation for screening and contact tracing, we would have to test everyone if someone became positive and risk having to shut down to abide by the Miami Beach Reopening Orders and Emergency Measures.”

Miami Beach Mandates

Miami Beach has specific Reopening Orders and Emergency Measures for restaurants and hotels to open for business.   You are allowed to open if you implement employee symptom screening, observe social distancing, wear masks, and have every employee and vendor tested monthly.  If someone tests positive, an employee or a vendor, you have to shut down the affected area, or the entire operation, depending upon the location of the exposure and the general vicinity where that person works.  In order to reopen, you would need to do a thorough cleaning and then you have the option to remain closed for 10 days or incur the discomfort and expense of testing everybody again.

We wanted a solution that would help us keep our community safe and maintain continuous operation without having to test everyone all the time.  We evaluated the options and decided that we needed a software solution for employee screening and contact tracing for rapid response and containment.   

Solution Search

Once we decided that we needed daily screening and contact tracing software, I began a Google search to look around at alternatives.  I looked at a solution from the local hotel association, but it was too expensive.  I continued my search via Google and found ReturnSafe. 

Why we chose ReturnSafe screening and contact tracing

The ReturnSafe team was very responsive; I requested a meeting and was able to schedule it immediately.  I really liked the ease of use of the app.  Employees can check-in and perform their daily symptom survey before reporting to work.   Vendors can check in at Security prior to entering the facility. We can set the policies and recommendations to come to work or stay home based upon local, state and federal guidelines.  The entire screening process takes about 5 seconds per day for our employees. 

It has social distancing and the tracking automation that will allow us to comply with the Miami Beach Mandate.  Without it we would have to continue to rely upon employee adherence by good faith.  ReturnSafe allows HR to monitor which employees are completing the screening (and who is not), who is coming in or staying home.   It will allow us to quickly gain insights across our organization and monitor hot spots and exposures for rapid incident response.  And, with ReturnSafe being  ADPmarketplace solution partner,  the decision was an easy one. 

I really like the background of the company, it started from a nonprofit and is now a Public Benefit B Corp.  They started the company not for profit but to help people.  That was very attractive to me.   But, to be honest, I liked that we could get digital screening, contact tracing and testing all from one organization, and the pricing was also a big motivator for buying ReturnSafe. 

Screening Process without ReturnSafe

Without ReturnSafe, employees have to check-in at the security office and get their temperature taken and answer a few health screening questions and are then told to stay at work or return home.   For managers to know who is coming to work and who isn’t, they had to go down to the security office or call them to get the information.  

With the app, employees can do the health screening from home and receive their work status recommendation immediately and managers can see the status of their team from their desks.  With the automation, we don’t have to staff a person at the security desk, we free up managers’ time and employees know their status prior to commuting to work. 

Without these precautionary steps and without the automated contact tracing we would have to test everyone if someone became positive or risk having to shut down to abide by Miami Beach Mandates for Operation.

The ReturnSafe solution is available on the ADP Marketplace. Learn how it works here. See additional customers here.