Senior Living liability insurance and litigation trends are driving up costs for operators in 2023 — and ultimately for residents.
Falls are still by far the most prevalent cause of liability costs for senior living providers, according to a 85-page report published by Marsh. In the report, Marsh evaluated nearly 11,000 closed claims over the past decade from 50 senior living and skilled nursing care providers.
Among all claims paid by a senior living operator, more than 75% were the result of a resident fall, with an average closed claims costs over the last 10 years of $189,129, based on 2023 cost levels.
For operators, the current insurance and litigation environment should create further incentive to make communities as safe as possible, according to John Atkinson, co-leader of senior living and long-term care with commercial insurance carrier Marsh.
“Many of these claims are controllable and preventable,” said Atkinson.
He added that operators ought to invest in “risk management, falls management programs and technologies to help manage and reduce falls.”
In addition to added layers of safety within the communities, senior living operators and investors should start advocating for changes in local and state governments, Atkinson said.
The highest costs for senior living are in California, Florida and Illinois. But, there are significant advocacy efforts underway in Florida with the Florida Assisted Living Association, Argentum, ASHA and Marsh helping to educate legislators to make sure that senior living is included in tort reform legislation making its way through the legislature.
“The advocacy piece is really, really important,” Atkinson said.
“Since about 2017, the general professional liability part of the insurance started to harden,” Atkinson told Senior Housing News. That means there was less capacity and rates were going up. “That was a response to a deteriorating litigation environment,” he said.
Research published last year from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) showed that nearly half of all respondents to its monthly survey reported that their insurance premiums have increased either “slightly” or “significantly.” Atkins points out the the costs incurred from increased premiums could be pushed onto residents.
“The cost of this risk gets passed on,” Atkinson said. “To the extent that we can help drive down these costs, it’s going to make the products more affordable, which is a significant opportunity for the industry.
The post Resident Falls Still Driving Majority of Paid Senior Living Insurance Claims appeared first on Senior Housing News.
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