KMRD’s COVID-19 Response
To KMRD friends and family,
As events out of control are swirling around us, we are prepared to support you no matter what potential restrictions and limitations are imposed on us or on our community. We are finishing our preparations today in the event we are forced to limit access to our offices.
Those preparations include robust remote computer access, forwarding office phones to mobile devices, the ability to conduct meetings remotely, some with video, most with content in the form of a document sent prior to the meeting so it can be viewed simultaneously. Our goal is to be flexible in our approach to provide you the information, support and communication you have come to expect from KMRD. We remain committed to serving you and your risk management and human capital needs as we all potentially alter our typical work processes.
The risk management issues we have been collectively addressing over the last week or so are important and strongly encourage you interact with your service team at KMRD. Our responsibility to you is to provide you advice and advocate on your behalf to determine the best way to access coverage. Your carrier retains the responsibility to provide a coverage assessment in any claim.
From a human capital and employee benefits perspective, most issues have focused on COVID-19 coverage and employee time off. We recommend you review your leave management and work-from-home policies to make sure everyone – especially management – understands them.
Important Coverage Information for your Property, Health and Workers’ Compensation:
Workers’ Compensation Coverage – Earlier this week we distributed an excerpt of the language regarding the compensability of an employee contracting COVID-19 and an allegation of contracting it while at work sourced from Weber Gallagher, a law firm with knowledge in this area. For obvious reasons this is a fluid situation and there have been no specific rulings to date. Insurance carriers, third party administrators and risk managers must rely upon precedent, similar cases and relevant fact patterns to develop case management strategies, to address the issues as they arise, and to develop reasonable prevention strategies.
In addition to “injuries,” Workers’ Compensation Acts provide compensation for “diseases” that are occupational in nature. Specific diseases that have been associated with workplace exposures include Black Lung, Asbestosis and Hepatitis. Diseases not specifically enumerated by state law may also be covered if the industry’s exposure is substantially higher than the general population. This is why we do not typically see seasonal influenza workplace “injuries.”
Health Insurance – Many carriers have offered to cover COVID-19 testing at no cost to the patients. However, in most cases there will still be a cost to the patient for any COVID-19 related treatment. It’s important to read the bulletins from your specific carrier to understand what accommodations are being made. Your employees should check state health department and CDC websites to get the best information for testing.
Business Interruption (BI) Coverage – Policies are frequently tailored to the needs of individual companies, meaning exclusions and limits vary. Therefore we suggest you speaking with your service team with any questions you may have. There are a few general points worth mentioning …Contagious disease coverage for business interruption (BI) is not commonly available since the SARS outbreak in 2003, which shares many similarities with the Wuhan virus outbreak. Even if coverage is available, there is usually a sublimit or restrictive terms. Most policies trigger coverage for BI only after a direct physical loss.
Other coverage considerations include issues involving an employee and/or student returning from overseas and crisis event/ public relations coverage for the support in re-establishing your brand. These are specialty coverages not always found in every policy.
Finally, we will make an effort to over communicate with you as we go through this uncharted territory together. As a team focusing on coverage, we work hard, even when in calm moments, to negotiate coverage for the unknown. Forecasting the future and what will impact an organization’s operations remains an inexact process. We will continue to reach out to you and seek an even deeper understanding of your operations so our forecasting continues to improve. Please reach out to anyone on your team for support and answers to your questions. We value your business.
As FDR said in a time of great adversity: “We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.” We will meet this moment in the same way.
FOR MORE RESOURCES PLEASE VISIT OUR COVID-19 RESOURCE CENTER