How Workpartners stands out in the workers’ comp arena

How Workpartners stands out in the workers’ comp arena | Insurance Business America

It’s focusing on technology and customer service

Workers Comp

Gia Snape

This article was produced with Workpartners.

Gia Snape, of Insurance Business, sat down with Gregory Greiff, senior director of underwriting at Workpartners, to discuss his approach to the soft market in workers’ compensation insurance and how Workpartners applies technology and enhanced customer service to fuel growth.

The landscape of workers’ compensation insurance has undergone significant transformations in recent years, driven by shifts in labor practices and employment dynamics and the unprecedented disruptions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These developments have reshaped how insurers assess risk, handle claims, address emerging challenges, and adapt to the evolving needs of businesses and workers.

Gregory Greiff (pictured), senior director of underwriting at Workpartners, noted that rate compression in workers’ compensation insurance over the past decade has created a highly competitive market.

“Year after year, the loss costs continue to decline, which means that to grow, you have to more than offset that rate decrease plus your normal loss of business through account churn,” he said.

Amid these challenges, Workpartners stands out in the workers’ compensation space by balancing technology and high-caliber customer service.

The company, which provides health and productivity solutions to companies in 48 states, is investing in its digital capabilities to serve brokers and clients better while delivering personalized customer service.    

Navigating shifts in the labor landscape

One of the primary drivers of change in the workers’ compensation insurance market has been the evolution of labor practices.

The rise of the gig economy, characterized by short-term contracts and freelance work, has challenged traditional notions of employment relationships. This shift has blurred the lines between employees and independent contractors, raising questions about coverage and liability within the workers’ compensation framework.

The landscape has also shifted with the expanding scope of compensable claims and rising medical costs, making underwriting a delicate balancing act.

“Many jurisdictions are bringing claims or injuries that, in the past, had not been covered by workers’ compensation. That makes it challenging to predict when those claims will occur and how expensive they will be,” noted Greiff.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also been a significant catalyst, accelerating existing trends and drastically changing how we work.

With employees working from home, the lines between work-related and personal activities blurred, raising questions about the extent of insurance coverage for injuries sustained outside traditional workplace settings.

Adapting to the ‘new normal’ in workers’ comp

To continue driving growth amid shifts in the workers’ comp landscape, Workpartners is investing in its technological capabilities, exploring predictive analytics and artificial intelligence solutions, and expanding its straight-through processing capabilities to streamline quoting for brokers.

“One of our big drivers is improving operational efficiencies and leveraging technology: trying to do more with less but not at the expense of our customer service,” said Greiff.

“You can certainly automate perfunctory tasks, but they shouldn’t be at the expense of our customers. This is still a people business, and, at the end of the day, if you don’t serve your customers well, somebody else will.”

At the same time, Workpartners is doubling down on its commitment to clients by offering a personalized service and enhancing its value through its “total workers’ health” approach.

“Our caseloads for adjusters are well below industry standards, which allows Workpartners to close cases faster,” Greiff said. “Our underwriters are very responsive and can get back to our agents within 24 hours, which helps build trust.”

As part of a more extensive network under the UPMC global health enterprise, Workpartners offers a holistic breadth of services, including employee assistance programs, long-term and short-term disability management, and wellness programs.

“We’re both a payer and a provider, which is unique in the industry,” said Greiff. “It’s not just that someone gets hurt; we send you a check. It’s an overall approach to workers’ physical, mental, and emotional health.”

“It’s been a remarkable journey” in workers’ comp

The pandemic has highlighted the need for agility and resilience within workers’ compensation insurance, prompting insurers to develop innovative solutions for emerging challenges.

“Those who can leverage their technology and maintain a high level of customer engagement will be the ones who succeed in this market,” Greiff predicted.

Greiff began his insurance career in 1987 as a claims adjuster at Liberty Mutual. More than 30 years later, he still embraces the sense of purpose that drives his passion for workers’ comp.

“At the end of the day, you’re helping people and businesses by providing security and protecting against losses, ensuring their long-term viability,” he said. “You’re helping injured workers get back on their feet while maintaining financial security.”

The move to Workpartners in 2010 marked a pivotal shift in Greg’s career. The second person hired at the startup, Greiff was pivotal to the launch of the company’s workers’ compensation product.

“I wrote the first policy in 2010, and it’s been a remarkable journey,” he said.

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