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At Work Rejects Alliance Claims

Media Release

Wednesday 25 August 1999

At Work Rejects Alliance Claims

Workplace insurer At Work Insurance has rejected claims made by the Alliance that the Palmerston North Women's Health Collective received unfair treatment from the SOE. Responding to a statement issued by the Alliance's Laila Harre, Marketing General Manager Murray Nickel said the company had worked right up 'to the wire" to quote as a competitively as possible.

"Our company' s systems worked better than expected and have delivered millions of dollars of savings to a large number of our employer customers.

"Employers had until June 25 to confirm workplace insurance arrangements with a new insurer, not 1 July as Ms Harre indicates.

"At Work accepted new quotes right up to Friday June 25, and provided employers had sent their acceptance back to us by this time, we would have confirmed them as At Work customers.

"However to ensure that no employees were left without workplace accident cover, the Government had previously decided that all employers who had not accepted workplace insurance with a new insurer by June 25 were automatically covered by At Work.

"We were pleased to be able to provide this important role.

"We treated customers passed to us automatically with the same care and attention as those who actively choose At Work. The premium prices we have charged all our customers are as competitive as possible.

"However many employers found quotes for their insurance varied considerably, as the insurers took different views about the likely accident rate within different companies.

"Employers had 8 weeks to shop around for the best deal. Those who did this earlier were often able to get the most competitive price.

"Employers who were passed to us automatically received both 3 and 12 month insurance payment options - to give them greater choice. Those who want the option to select a new insurer again, could take the 3-month option and choose again from 1 October.

Mr Nickel said At Work had already contacted Ms Harre's office about the claims she had made, and he regretted that she had not contacted the SOE prior to making her statement.

ENDS

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