WorkCover premium pressure

WorkCover NSW has urged businesses concerned by their new workers compensation premiums to contact their scheme agents, saying miscalculation of premiums is creating misinformation.

Last week, Broker Buzz reported that some large NSW businesses were concerned they could be sent to the wall by shock increases to their post-reform workers compensation premiums, even for those employers with benign claims histories.

However, a spokesperson for WorkCover NSW says premium increases have been capped at 30% during the transition for even the worst-performing businesses, and employers with concerns over their 2015-2016 premiums should talk to their scheme agent to confirm their calculations are correct.

“The new and old model are not comparable as they are measuring different performance markers,” he says.

“The new model measures the true injury prevention and return to work outcomes.

“The old premium model was heavily influenced by claims estimates and it is misunderstanding of the base claims cost that has caused some confusion. In addition, manipulation of claims estimates in prior years will have a detrimental impact on the new premium calculation as it has created an incorrect starting point for premium calculation.”

The spokesperson says the new pricing scheme is not expected to lead to an increase in the overall premium pool.

“The scheme actuary has set the pricing components to collect the same premium level as the current year,” he says.

“WorkCover is working directly with its scheme agents to monitor premiums throughout the implementation of the new model.”