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You can’t manage what you don’t understand


We are in a time unlike any other in our industry. The pace and the reach of emerging risks make our heads spin. Each day the news brings new reports on topics that we know will impact the businesses we are all looking to protect. This year at RIMS 2015, I am co-presenting on the topic of emerging risks. The goal of the session and this blog is to help you understand how some of these emerging risk areas could affect your business.


The Affordable Care Act continues to challenge the market. How will you achieve the perfect balance between cost and quality care? Rising medical costs are fueled by the role inflation may play. The aging workforce will certainly impact medical costs now and into the future. The same injuries today will cost more to treat older employees. Physician access may become an even greater concern in the future as companies try to work with the doctors who provide the best care.

Medical marijuana

Last year, Sedgwick published a couple of very widely read blogs about medical marijuana. The legal landscape may be changing, but the medical facts still show that there are many risks associated with marijuana use including doubling risk of drivers, impairing coordination and inhibiting problem-solving, just to name a few.

The impact of opioids

We know the danger and risks, but do you know the costs associated with opioids? Claims with long-acting opioids prescribed are 3.94 times more likely to be a $100,000 claim per Accident Fund Holdings report.

Diversity in the workforce

If you compare today’s labor force to past decades, you’ll find it is older, more racially and ethnically diverse and composed more of women. The most telling number is that by 2050 there will be no racial or ethnic majority among the general population of the United States according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Predictive modeling

How do we make sense of all this? The most talked about solution for understanding complex risk issues is the use of predictive modeling. Predictive modeling is not taking the magic eight ball and asking it for answers. It requires a great deal of expertise and knowledge to begin to harness the power of the data in your hands. You must have a plan and realistic expectations and, most importantly, know that there is no quick fix. Predictive modeling takes work and is an ongoing process. It is an exciting new frontier and one that continues to expand in potential solutions.

These are just some of the topics we are talking about at RIMS 2015. If you feel overwhelmed reading this list, the good news is Sedgwick has experienced colleagues in all these areas to assist you and help you deal with emerging risks. What emerging risks most concern you? Please leave your thoughts here on the blog or find one of our team at RIMS 2015 and we will answer your questions.

Read more: 5 factors for fifteen – Sedgwick predicts key trends we believe will most significantly affect our clients and the industry throughout 2015

Jim Ryan, EVP, Casualty Operations

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