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National Will Offer Accident Insurance Choice

27 June 2002

"National believes New Zealanders should have the right to choose what sort of accident insurance cover they want," says National's Accident Insurance spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

Mr Brownlee says while National is in favour of accident insurance competition, it is still committed to maintaining a 24-hour, no fault, accident insurance scheme.

"We believe it is an appropriate role for Government to determine how accident victims are treated and to set the minimum standards about compensation and rehabilitation.

"However, we do not believe that accident insurance needs to be administered exclusively by a government agency. Therefore, National will remove ACC's monopoly and open up all its accounts - over time - to competition from private insurers."

Mr Brownlee says the experience of opening up employers' accounts to competition during the late 1990s has encouraged National to again seek partnerships with the private sector in the provision of accident insurance.

"During the last - all too brief - period of private sector involvement in ACC, we saw premiums fall dramatically and accident statistics fall as employers experienced the direct financial benefit of keeping workplaces safe.

"On becoming Government, National will reintroduce competition to the employers' account, the self-employed account and the medical misadventure account."

Mr Brownlee says National will also work with the insurance industry to open up the motor vehicle account, the earners account and non-earners account to competition.

"This policy represents the biggest shift away from the Government monopoly of accident insurance this country has seen.

"National aims to make New Zealand one of the safest countries in the world to work and play. Our policy of public-private partnerships will achieve this," Mr Brownlee added.

See the policy at www.national.org.nz


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