Vice President, Risk Management, Amerisure Insurance
Within the last five years, there has been a significant shift in the recognized value of risk management services. While companies always want to protect their workers, financial concerns are accelerating the need for risk management with policyholders and agencies.
There are a number of related factors that industries face, such as labor shortages, inflation, and supply chain issues, and these are leading to a desire to decrease costs through risk reduction. More than ever, executives and leaders are expressing interest in implementing risk management technologies to improve operations, processes, and safety programs.
As agents and carriers look to the future, emerging safety technologies can help accelerate a company’s risk management efforts and prepare policyholders for future success.
Vetting Today’s Technology
According to the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA), utilizing today’s technological advancements is a proven way to help improve workplace safety. This can be especially effective in more hazardous work environments, such as healthcare, manufacturing, and construction, where there is a growing lack of experienced workers due largely to attrition.
It’s important to consider and vet today’s technologies to stay ahead of the competition and provide added value. While safety is always key, there are operational gains to the tools and resources available. Through partnerships with cutting-edge technology companies, these solutions are accessible to insurance carriers and agencies and can serve as an added benefit.
Advancements that can help improve worker safety and may have the biggest impact in loss prevention in the next 3-5 years include products newer to the commercial market such as:
- Wearable Applications
There are many wearable applications available today, and adoption rates with employees using these wearables are increasing. To leverage wearable applications, sensors are placed within personal protective equipment, on the worker’s belt, on their arm, in shoes, watches, etc. The sensors collect critical movement and ergonomic data in real time. The information is analyzed and presented on web-based dashboards as well as alerts for wearers and management. Younger employees who are accustomed to a digital environment are typically more open to implementing these technologies. Gamification can also inspire reinforcement and drive engagement among employees.
Telematics technology gathers behavioral data to identify hazardous actions taken by drivers, such as speeding, braking too hard, or turning too quickly. Telematics programs can be invaluable on both the operational and risk management side and drive long-term behavior changes and positive reinforcement for commercial drivers. The tracking of telematics scores is anticipated to soon be widely adopted by commercial users.
- Usage Based Insurance – UBI
While usage-based insurance has been available through personal auto for years, it is fairly new to the middle market. Select insurance carriers throughout the country are now offering UBI for commercial use, and with growing concerns about accidents, UBI should have a significant impact moving forward. UBI gives policyholders an advantage in the marketplace by controlling their overall costs through a focus on driver safety.
- Virtual Reality
Meta™ changed the game with the recent introduction of its immersive, high-resolution mixed reality headsets. As a result, virtual reality feels very “real” today, and safety-related trainings are being developed and implemented for onboarding and refresher classes. Virtual reality training enables employees to learn in the virtual world without risk of injury. Employees can onboard or re-train on how to perform tasks and operate equipment within the virtual world, allowing for mistakes without the risk of damages.
- AI Cameras in Manufacturing
The usage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) cameras has doubled in the last three years. This technology can be implemented by leveraging existing cameras at onsite facilities and monitoring workers and their day-to-day processes through AI. The AI cameras do not replace an on-site supervisor; they augment their observations. If a worker does not have their hard hat on, for example, the camera will pick up this information and send a text message alert to the supervisor letting them know the employee is unprotected.
Next Steps for Agencies and Policyholders
Insurance agencies who are interested in gaining knowledge and pursuing the latest loss prevention technologies can learn more through emerging risk management demonstrations and experiencing the opportunities first-hand. Once vetted and implemented, these tools can provide new leverage and differentiators to bring to customers on behalf of their agency.
By being equipped with knowledge on the resources available, agencies can effectively offer these unique services and provide added value to policyholders. These programs can help extend the growth and value of the agency in their marketplace of choice, and provide consistency in service. Investigating the latest risk management technologies can also help agencies and carriers focus on policyholder safety and find mutually beneficial success.
To learn more about risk management technologies, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, March 15, 2023