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Inaugural At Work Annual Report And Sci Released

MEDIACOM-RELEASE-AT-WORK-INSURANCE

INAUGURAL AT WORK ANNUAL REPORT AND SCI RELEASED

New workplace insurer At Work has released its first Annual Report and Statement of Corporate Intent. The financial result covers only a three-month period from 16 March 1999 when the SOE was incorporated, to the 30 June 1999 balance date.

At Work was set-up by the Government as part of its partial deregulation of the ACC. All employers had to leave ACC for workplace insurance by 30 June this year. At Work was established to help lead competition in the new market and also to provide `residual' insurance for those employers who had not made an active choice by the end of June.

Chairman Mike Cashin said the early results for the company had been positive.

"Under tight time-frames we launched a substantial new business inside 8 months. The company was incorporated as a State-Owned Enterprise on 16 March 1999 and began quoting for business on 3 May 1999.

At Work successfully competed in the May-June voluntary market period and now insures some of New Zealand's most high profile organisations including Fletcher Challenge, Heinz-Wattie's and the Rugby Football Union. In the public and voluntary sector At Work's customers include the New Zealand Defence Force, the New Zealand Fire Service and the IHC.

The Annual Report shows At Work achieved a net deficit of $15.1 million representing the set-up costs involved in establishing the new company, which Chairman Mike Cashin says was in line with expectations.

Mr Cashin says At Work has plans in place to achieve a profitable result inside 3 years.

"As a result of large numbers of employers actively choosing a new workplace insurer, At Work was assigned a smaller than expected share of the residual market.

However he said plans to extend the range of products and services will help build the business. He cites a new product launched today aimed at the self-employed as part of this development strategy. This product will save 3 out of 4 self- employed people up to 50% on their existing ACC premiums.

Chief Executive Sam Knowles says the company's new self-employed workplace cover will save tens of thousands of self-employed people hundreds of dollars a year, compared with what ACC is currently charging them.

Mr Knowles also expects At Work's focus on injury prevention and injury management will help businesses reduce the cost to them of workplace accidents.

"At Work's aim is to insure injured people receive the care they need to return to work as quickly as possible. This is best for the individual in terms of quality of life and also better for business in terms of productivity," he says.

"At Work Insurance has competed strongly in the newly deregulated workplace insurance market and is in a good position to build on this establishment phase," says Mr Knowles.

ENDS....

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