At least 2 insurers and 2 reinsurers are interested in the idea of insuring employees against the risk that the employees might take family leave.[@@]

Rothschild-Landry Holding Inc., St. Francisville, La., a company that specializes in inventing and patenting insurance concepts is declining to name the insurers and reinsurers, but it says the direct writers that are studying the company’s Family Leave Insurance proposal are “2 of the nation’s largest insurance providers.”

The direct writers are looking both at the possibility of offering the product as a rider along with existing worksite disability products and at the possibility of selling the product directly to consumers, says Rothschild-Landry President Jesse Rothschild.

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act requires most employers with 50 or employees to offer 12 weeks of unpaid leave to many employees who have babies, adopt children, suffer serious illnesses or need time to tend to close relatives’ serious illnesses. California and some other states have adopted or are considering bills that would require employers to offer some employees paid family leave.

Rothschild-Landry has hired actuaries to study the product concept, and the firm believes that insurers can insure up to 60% of the policyholders’ income at a price of less than $8 per employee per month, Rothschild says.

“The insurer could modify the product,” Rothschild says.

But the design Rothschild-Landry has developed would reduce the carrier’s risk of antiselection by excluding coverage for insureds who were already pregnant, requiring that employees stay off work at least 2 weeks to collect benefits related to births or adoptions, and requiring that employees stay off work at least 1 week to collect benefits related to family leaves taken by insureds affected by situations other than births and adoptions, Rothschild says.

Rothschild-Landry has trademarked the “Family Leave Insurance” product name and is in the process of trying to patent the product concept, the company says.