By Brian M. Johnson, MBA, CLTC
The COVID-19 crisis is an event like no other in our lifetime. It is forcing us to live life in a new way. In some cases we feel we have lost control of our future and lives.
Fear of the unknown and perceived loss of control are just two of the issues all of us are dealing with in our personal lives and in business. It’s now safe to say there will be no going “back to normal.” Instead, what we are currently experiencing IS the new normal and it will be this way for a while. So, how do you protect your business, operate during this unprecedented crisis, and emerge stronger on the other side?
There are myriad of insurance policies that address this concern such as business interruption coverage, disability insurance and business overhead expense insurance to name a few. However, I’m talking about an insurance that protects your most valuable asset, your people. Everyone in an organization plays integral role in the survival of a company.
Hopefully most employees have basic benefits such as health insurance and group disability to protect themselves and their families if they are physically injured or sick. But what about their mental health and emotional well being? Many traditional insurances fail to address mental health, which can be even more debilitating to a person, their family and ultimately the employer they work for.
A coverage every employer should think about is trauma coverage. It’s one of the most cost effective benefits to offer and has probably the highest utilization of any insurance, next to health insurance. The world is ever changing and in every day life and work, people face trauma. Trauma coverage was created to empower the recovery of individuals and families with financial security, physical recuperation, and emotional well being after trauma.
Trauma coverage provides employees with trauma counseling, 100 percent of their regular income (up to a cap), 100 percent of a family member’s regular income (up to a cap) providing at-home support and reimbursement for out-of-pocket recovery care expenses, like co-pays, child care and/or travel.
COVID-19 is fresh in our minds and has heightened the importance of this coverage. However, trauma coverage also addresses other incidents we face in life such as aggravated and sexual assaults, domestic violence, bullying, natural disasters, acts of terror, mass shootings, witnessing violence and contraction of an infectious disease. For many of our clients, we also had a grief Counseling session built into the policy to specifically address COVID-19.
If an employee has a family member pass due to the disease, they receive two therapy sessions over the phone from a masters level or higher mental health professional and action steps at the end of the counseling. The counseling benefit of trauma coverage is what many employers are drawn to.
Too often mental health goes untreated because of either the stigma associated with counseling, confusion where to turn and/or the cost involved. Counseling through trauma coverage is conducted confidentially either over the phone, for up to three months or via an artificial intelligence web application that was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Counseling has been proven to assist employees with a successful recovery after a traumatic incident or experiencing PTSD. Trauma coverage gives employees an easier path to receive the assistance they need. With this coverage, there is no underwriting and virtually every profession is eligible. Employees even have the option to voluntarily cover family members under their policy, making this is insurance one of the most comprehensive protections an employee can own.
Our country and people are resilient and we will recover from the current pandemic. It may take some time and life may look a little different going forward, but we will carry on. Trauma coverage only makes recovery from any traumatic incident easier on a person, their family and employer.
Johnson is Director, Business Development at Advisors Insurance Brokers.