Opinion | These Two Towers Are Vital. Why Are We Letting Them Crumble?

By: | May 16, 2022

Dan Reynolds is editor-in-chief of Risk & Insurance. He can be reached at [email protected].

The title of this column is not a reference to the second book of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series, nor does it refer to the terrorist attack that cost so many insurance professionals, and others, their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

Rather, it refers to public education and health are, two vital institutions that face mounting pressures that, if left unchecked, could undermine our ability to function as a civil society.

You might argue that both institutions are already so damaged, and our society already so impaired, that we might not recover. I’d prefer to retain an optimistic view.

But as our reporters and others are noting, incidents of violence against teachers and health care workers continue apace.

Workers’ compensation exposures in both fields are mounting.

Now add to that the widespread tail of COVID, talent shortages, cyberbullying and harassment of students, school board meeting atmospheres that have become more and more heated and unreasonable, and rising health care provider burnout rates.

Professional liability, general liability, E&O and D&O risks abound here.

Risk managers, we know, have the difficult task, hopefully aided by technology, of trying to determine on any given day or week which risk to focus on.

Prioritizing risk mitigation and risk transfer is a very tricky task, made all that much more difficult by the amount of media we are bombarded with, “social” and otherwise, that strives to distract us it seems in almost every waking moment.

Obsess if you like over Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter, but it seems to me that we have much more pressing issues at hand. &

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