The senior living sector is in the midst of a perfect storm in the insurance marketplace, according to an article published Thursday by the Ziegler specialty investment bank. Claims already were increasing as capacity was shrinking, according to CNA Insurance, the largest writer of senior living liability insurance. Then a global pandemic hit.
In response, Ziegler and insurance brokerage firm Johnson, Kendall & Johnson recommend that operators:
- Document infection-control programs. Insurance carriers want to know when the local community’s first COVID-19 case occurred, regardless of whether a facility now is COVID-19 free. They also want to know about the preventive measures that have been implemented.
- Build a rapport with the insurance carrier. Operators can accomplish this by creating a collaborative strategy to address and mitigate exposures. Carriers welcome the opportunity to assist with implementing safety and risk management practices, the article said. The more invested they feel, the more positive they will feel about your renewal, Ziegler noted.
- Partner with an insurance broker who has expertise in senior living. Doing so will help the process move more smoothly for everyone, the firms noted.
- Stay on top of loss data. This will help operators become aware of where claims are arising and how they can mitigate future risk. The experts then recommended sharing this information with the carrier at the next renewal.
- Stay informed about COVID-19 litigation verdicts. If insurance companies are able to refute negligence on the part of front-line workers and communities, then the fear of runaway liability will dissipate and a return to stable pricing will return, Ziegler said.
- Review all sprinkler pipes for insulation and potential exposure to freezing temperatures. Water damage via sprinkler pipe bursts is a significant cause of property loss.