Long-term care facilities care for some of the population’s most vulnerable individuals. As such, proper insurance coverage is critical to ensuring a facility, as well as its staff and residents are protected.
Due to the current hard market, securing adequate, cost-effective insurance coverage has become a challenge for many high-risk insurance candidates, including long-term care facilities. A cocktail of increased risk exposures, the nuanced impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable long-term care residents and staff retention issues brought on by the great resignation have resulted in tightened carrier capacity and increased insurance costs for long-term care operators.
In planning for 2023, agents and brokers should identify strategies that will give long-term care operators an advantage in the marketplace. Consider the following strategies when assisting operators in navigating the current insurance market:
- Employee retention: According to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, as of January 2022 the turnover rate in nursing homes was approximately 52%. For long-term care facilities, having a well-trained, long-term personnel who can build trusting relationships with residents is essential to providing exceptional care and avoiding accidents. From day one, employees should be introduced to a mentor they can shadow and assist as they complete training courses that introduce them to the facility’s culture and outline job expectations and benefits. All employees should undergo regular training courses on changes to systems and procedures, refreshers on common tasks and more. Properly trained employees are a strong defense against common long-term facility insurance claims.
- Maintenance: Proper maintenance is a critical risk management tool. Operators should have a regular maintenance schedule and a set of expectations for staff to follow. Regular maintenance done directly after completing a task or implementing small projects into everyday workflow can help distribute duties among the staff. Additionally, investing in technology that might ease administrative and organizational duties can help staff allocate more time toward facility maintenance or resident care.
- Communication: Long-term care operators carry a lot of responsibilities and duties. Agents and brokers should be proactive about their communications well ahead of renewal time. Ensuring long-term care operators have the proper range of coverages they need with limits that reflect the current market environment, identify risk mitigation strategies and address trends impacting their policies will help long-term care clients get ahead in the marketplace.
While the industry eagerly awaits market relief, long-term care operators need to be diligent to mitigate costly premiums. Arming operators with a few easy to implement strategies and supporting them through the process as early as possible will make a world of difference in protecting their businesses.