There’s no denying the impact new technologies are having on workplaces in a wide variety of industries every day. That trend will only increase as artificial intelligence (AI) and other robotics-based advancements find their way into the day-to-day operations of all kinds of companies.
The changes this will bring about are the topic of much speculation, and enthusiasts tout the potential for increased safety and efficiency, while skeptics cite shrinking job opportunities and the possibility of new workplace hazards as reasons to be wary of these new technologies. What’s not being debated, however, is that workplaces across the board will face changes, and this will necessarily impact the worker’s compensation industry.
IN THE WORKPLACE
Integrating AI into the workplace allows machines to take over a whole host of tasks previously performed by human workers. Many of these tasks involve repetitive movement, and so there is likely to be a decrease in injuries workers in those positions frequently suffer from such as carpel tunnel syndrome.
Overall, having a reduced workforce will simply leave fewer opportunities for worker’s compensation claims, although there is always the potential for a robot to injure a human worker if it malfunctions or is programmed incorrectly. These injuries are likely to be treated just as an injury caused by any other tool used on-the-job, and so would be covered by conventional worker’s compensation policies.
IN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY
From the perspective of those in the insurance industry, the introduction of AI into the workplace, and the subsequent reduction in the human workforce, will have several implications. One is that previous methods of premium calculation may or may not remain adequate and appropriate to the level of risk.
That’s because premiums are largely based on the number of workers an employer has, along with their specific job duties. Since both of these will be changing, there is a lot of uncertainty about what the actual risks will be. It’s possible that injury rates will go down along with the size of the workforce and the shift away from some of the more hazardous jobs. However, that’s far from a certainty, and so there will likely be a period of premium fluctuation as insurers try to get a handle on the new baselines in the marketplace.
Automating the jobs of insurance adjusters is another way that the advancement of AI may impact the worker’s compensation insurance industry. Already a few companies are investigating this possibility, attracted by the capacity to analyze all of the data related to a claim and make determinations much more quickly and efficiently than humans can. Of course, there will be questions of accuracy and effectiveness, but the elimination of numerous claims adjuster positions has the potential to save insurers a good deal of money over time.
If you’d like to learn more about the worker’s compensation policies, as well as the great range of other business insurance coverage we offer, contact our offices today.