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Employers wary about competition for ACC

Media statement Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Employers wary about competition for ACC

Employers are wary about the reintroduction of an open competitive market for ACC workplace accounts, says Paul Jarvie, Occupational Health and Safety Manager for the Northern Employers and Manufacturers Association.

"The single year when we had a private market for ACC turned into a bun fight between insurers trying to capture business and employers trying get accident insurance within prescribed time frames," Mr Jarvie said.

"Insurers at the time cut premiums to capture market share early on.

"Most commentators agreed at the time that the ensuing years would have seen large premium increases to offset the low entry price points.

"Having a full private insurance market won't provide stability in the premium setting market, and it would make more forecasting and budgeting work for employers.

"What employers want is an ACC market with stable premiums and competition around workplace accident treatment and rehabilitation.

"These are the areas where the costs are.

"Ensuring a tight focus on outcomes with dedicated treatment rehabilitation providers would significantly reduce costs.

"ACC should set the level of levies, and work at reducing them, while employers choose from amongst treatment and rehabilitation providers competing to deliver cost effective services.

"Employers also want experience rating brought back to ACC with urgency to ensure there are strong incentives to retain safe workplaces.

"Just as important is for the scheme to become cohesive on the injury prevention side. To do this ACC, the Department of Labour and OH&S professional consultants should be better aligned.

"OH&S professionals number over 1000 providers while ACC and DoL have around 200 between them. Getting these 1200 people all doing similar things would be far more cost effective than them doing different things."


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