6 Group Insurance Trends For 2021

6 Group Insurance Trends For 2021

With the ever changing landscape of insurance, it can be crucial to identify trends before they reach the mainstream – and, at Hubbard Insurance Group (HIG), we regularly bring out the proverbial crystal ball to make some predictions. With that said, here are 6 trends that we think will play a major role in 2021. 

Virtual Care Is Here For Good

Though virtual care was always going to be the future, the pandemic has fast-tracked its introduction into our society – with telehealth services alongside telemedicine allowing healthcare professionals to treat their patients from a safe distance.

With social and physical distancing guidelines likely to remain in place throughout 2021, experts suggest that virtual care may soon overtake traditional healthcare when it comes to regular check-ups. Expect remote health services to continue to boom!

Key Takeaway

Plan members will have easier, more efficient access to medical attention whilst employers will see a reduction in downtime and absenteeism due to the elimination of waiting rooms and reduced waiting times.

COVID-19 Is Not Going Away 

Speaking of the pandemic, COVID-19 is, unfortunately, not going away anytime soon. Even as the populous becomes vaccinated and the country begins to open up, data suggests that COVID-19 is likely going to become a part of our lives until a cure can be found.

For the insurance industry, this means an increasing adoption of virtual care, changes in benefits plans, increases in claims, and a greater emphasis on mental health – amongst other potential changes. Renewals will become trickier as well with experts suggesting that a more “hands-on” approach is what will be required going forward.

Key Takeaway

Though it is unclear currently what the long-term effect will be regarding health and dental claims, pooled rates for life and Long-Term Disability are on the rise.  

The Mental Health Challenges Will Continue

Make no mistake, Canada is in the midst of a mental health crisis. Though trends suggest that this crisis was looming pre-pandemic, there’s no question that COVID-19 has significantly worsened the situation for everyone – with the amount of people experiencing anxiety and depression at an all-time high. So, what does this mean for the rest of 2021?

Benefits by Design (BBD) Inc. predicts that there will be a continued rise in Employee Assistance Programs as well as rising Long-Term Disability incidence rates. Furthermore, they suggest there will be more struggles in managing a work-life balance due to working from home which could then lead to more people using anti-anxiety and depression medication.

Key Takeaway

Anticipate a greater promotion and utilization of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and other mental health tools. 

Claims Cost Will Increase

There is a high potential for increased costs in claims due to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) charges. Experts suggest that dental and paramedical claims will be especially affected by this. Practitioners will have to incur extra costs to ensure that their workplaces are COVID-proof in order to keep their patients safe. Increased sanitization protocols may also lead to an inflation in cost.

Key Takeaway

Expect a domino effect where, because capacity will be reduced due to safety protocols, the cost-per-claim ratio will increase – driving up renewal rates. 

Working From Home & Defined Contribution Plans

When the pandemic first hit Canada, many were unsure if the shift to work-from-home was a viable long-term solution. More than a year into the experiment, the answer is clear: working from home is here to stay.

However, this also means that traditional plan designs are going to be challenged – with both plan members and employers alike desiring greater flexibility. This desire is likely to lead to more “pay-as-you-claim” type of plans – where employers can avoid paying premiums for benefits that aren’t as regularly used. 

Key Takeaway

Employers are going to explore health spending accounts and take a second look at self-insurance (ASO - Administrative Services Only). The changes in work environments will lead to employers looking towards different funding models.

Major Changes In Cybersecurity & Data Storage

The major prediction across the entire insurance industry is that cybersecurity is more important than ever before – and nothing has quite emphasized that like the work-from-home shift brought on by the pandemic. Phishing emails have especially increased a staggering amount and there has been a realisation that most organizations are completely ill-equipped to deal with any kind of cyber threat.

As workers continue to adapt to working from home, employers will need to substantially increase their cybersecurity and data storage protocols if they want to ward off cybercriminals – whether that means moving to encrypted cloud networks or having a team on standby to deal with any threats, precautions must be taken.

Key Takeaway

There will be a continued emphasis on greatly increasing cybersecurity. There have been more cyber claims in 2021 so far than the past 5 years combined – so expect employers to take their cybersecurity much more seriously this year. 

 

Is your organization fully prepared for the challenges that lie ahead? Contact one of our licensed experts today at 905-696-9090 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

 

The Top 5 Directors & Officers Risks - Infographic