Important announcing regarding COVID-19

We are working hard to keep our employees safe, continue our operations, and to do our part to protect and care for our neighbors. We understand that the COVID-19 emergency will have complex and unanticipated impacts on your employees and your businesses. We remain available to provide you with service, and to help you navigate this unprecedented emergency. 
Our offices are open, though they are currently staffed only with essential employees. Most of our employees are now working from home. Our claims field staff remain available to answer questions, to respond to immediate needs, and to conduct virtual meetings. Our safety staff likewise continues to be available to answer questions and make virtual office visits. They will also be available to make limited field visits when proper social distancing protocols can be observed. We do not believe it is prudent for our field staff to continue office visits, but they will be accessible by phone and email.
NYSIF has implemented aspects of their emergency preparedness and business continuity plan. They are continuing business operations. We anticipate that they will need to make adjustments to auditing and other procedures, and we will inform you of these adjustments once they are known to us. 
On Sunday night, The Workers’ Compensation Board announced that they will be conducting ALL workers’ compensation hearings remotely, using the Board’s Virtual Hearings service. This system allows all of the participants at a hearing to use a computer or mobile device to communicate. At the same time, the Board has closed eight downstate locations to the public. Their bulletin said that they will soon be issuing additional guidance related to COVID-19 and the current health emergency. If you or your employees were scheduled to attend a hearing, please contact our claims department for further instructions.
The New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board announced that all of their employees will be working remotely beginning Monday, March 16th. They remain available via email and telephone, and plan to continue to meet their statutory and regulatory obligations. 
Some have raised questions regarding whether a worker can make a claim if they contract the COVID-19 virus. That question will need to be decided by the Workers’ Compensation Board if and when they are presented with the specific facts and circumstances of a claim. Your policy promises to “pay promptly when due the benefits required of you by the Workers’ Compensation Law.”  Thus, if the Workers’ Compensation Board finds that a worker has contracted the virus in and out of the course of employment, then your NYSIF policy would provide coverage. 
It is difficult at this moment to anticipate all of the issues that we will face as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency. We encourage you to contact us with your questions and concerns, so that we can continue to advocate on your behalf. 

Wishing you all safety and good health,
Barry Lovell
Barry Lovell
Lovell Safety Management Co., LLC
110 William Street
New York, NY 10038