icare reveals workers comp scheme agents

EML, GIO and Allianz have been selected as scheme agents following a selection process by NSW icare; with CGU and QBE no longer part of the scheme beyond 2017.

Group Executive Workers Insurance John Nagle says: “Both injured workers and NSW employers can expect to have a simplified, empathetic and consistent experience with our main claims partners moving forward.

“Our new claims model is about moving from an adversarial model to empowerment and choice for employers and injured workers. It is focused on supporting the needs of our customers in their journey to recover and return to work, regardless of the simplicity or complexity of their claim.”

Allianz has welcomed the opportunity to support the scheme in the future. “While we are not the chosen agent for the new claims model, we will continue to do everything possible to support injured workers, as well as our own employees,” Helen Silver, Allianz Chief General Manager, Workers Compensation said, following the icare announcement.

Allianz notes it is a “transition partner” from January 2018 to manage existing claims, as icare transitions to a single agent for workers comp.

Nagle says EML, GIO and Allianz have strong experience, expertise and qualifications to deliver customer-centric workers insurance services and outcomes for injured workers and employers. They are “best placed”, Nagle points out, to manage the transition give their “alignment to icare’s values and goals”.

CGU had already stated its intention to withdraw from the NSW workers comp scheme at the start of March, with IAG Chief Executive Australian Business Division Ben Bessell saying it was “no longer viable for the business to act as an agent in the future model of the scheme”.

Early this year, icare announced that it will take responsibility for the processing of workers compensation policies, premiums and renewals, including setting up a self-service portal for business owners.

Nagle says that both QBE and CGU will conclude their role as scheme agents on 31 December 2017. He acknowledged that there will be some change for customers as they transition to the new scheme agents. Customers will be kept fully informed every step of the way, Nagle notes, with a dedicated team in icare working to ensure a smooth transition.

Allianz’s Silver says current claims and injury management remain unchanged. “We currently provide claims management services for more than 80,000 employers in NSW (27 per cent of the NSW scheme) and have been supporting injured workers in the State for over 100 years. Allianz is a proven performer in the scheme.

“We welcome the opportunity to support the scheme in the future given our extensive knowledge of workers compensation in NSW.”

NIBA will consult with members in relation to how they perceive this change impacts on their ability to properly service their clients.