May 17, 2022
While we are usually more attentive to general elections, this year, we expect to see a contentious battle for the House of Representatives and Senate seats. This is especially important for those in the business of insurance as insurance is mandated at the state level. With 36 gubernatorial seats on the ballot this year, we could see quite a few leadership changes, and knowing the candidates’ stances will be important.
Which insurance regulations will be discussed? Let’s look at some of the hot topics expected to be brought up during this year’s elections.
“In 2020, nine states enacted COVID-19 workers compensation presumptions (Alaska, California, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming).” (ncci.com) In 2021, more states considered the matter, and the topic was broadened from COVID to all infectious diseases.
This topic will continue and take center stage during the elections. The discussion now includes employer-mandated (or coerced) vaccinations and whether they can claim adverse reactions, injuries, or even death due to the vaccine.
Employee status, i.e., whether an employee can be considered a full-time employee or contractor, has been debated in California due to ride-sharing companies that believe their drivers to be independent contractors. This legislation is also being considered in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.
Obviously, this affects employees’ ability to make workers’ comp claims and could have an effect on our industry and the business of many of our clients.
Mental health is not an easy topic when it comes to workers’ compensation. Proving that a health issue was directly caused by work can be very difficult. Statutes covering the workers’ comp mental health topic are managed at the state level and are expected to come up for debate during the 2022 elections, especially as mental health awareness has become a topic discussed more publicly in recent years.
“Additional federal legislation, including comprehensive marijuana reform, is expected to be introduced in Congress in 2022.” (ncci.com)
“As of June 2021, 18 states and Washington, D.C., had legalized marijuana for recreational purposes; 12 through citizen initiatives, one through a legislatively referred constitutional amendment, and six through bills approved by state legislatures and signed by governors. An additional 13 states had decriminalized recreational marijuana usage.” (ballotpedia.org)
It’s not clear whether further action at the state level will lead to a decision in Congress; the use of marijuana is a hot topic for those of us in workers’ comp insurance. This topic is expected to come up and may change at the state level for some this year, but it is less likely that a blanket change will happen.
There are, inevitably, many other topics that will be discussed, and debated and could cause changes within our industry this year. Staying informed on your own states’ hot topics can be a game changes for your business, and will help you to become a credible source for your clients.
At Normandy Insurance, we want to help independent agents get ahead. Check back weekly for our marketing tips and advice on growing your insurance business. If you’re writing workers’ comp or general liability, make sure you add Normandy Insurance Company to your portfolio of options. Get appointed with us or send us a submission to firstname.lastname@example.org.