As an employer, you must ensure that your workplace is safe. This includes having workers compensation cover to protect your employees in the event of a work-related illness or injury.
ACT workers compensation is a legislative requirement for companies and other businesses that employ staff. It covers the employees’ wages if they are unable to work due to work-related illness or injury, as well as the cost of associated treatment, medical and rehabilitation expenses.
What does an workers compensation insurance broker do?
An experienced and qualified insurance broker or adviser eases the pain of obtaining and managing an ACT workers compensation policy. They will:
- Complete a risk assessment of your business, including your WHS, induction and training procedures.
- Provide advice on who is required to maintain a policy and whether an ACT or NSW policy is required.
- Present the best possible case to insurers to ensure your business is correctly classified and rated, particularly if there are multiple business activities involved.
- Negotiate competitive rates on your behalf and flexible rating structures if needed (e.g. split rates for multiple occupations or claims experience discounts for good performers paying high premiums).
- Manage the claims process with you and your claims manager to help get your insured employees back to work as soon as possible.
Why go through an insurance broker?
ACT workers compensation can be complicated, especially if your business has multiple activities, you engage contractors, or you have a less than desirable claims history. A broker can help with issues including:
- Not all businesses are the same. You may conduct certain activities that are a higher risk or don’t fit the standard description for your occupation. A broker will ensure your insurer has a clear understanding of your business, your workplace health and safety processes and other risk mitigation strategies to achieve the best outcome and a competitive premium.
- Which state or territory you should be insured in. Do you perform your work in the ACT but have a Queanbeyan office? Do your employees start their day at a central location or go straight to site? Workers compensation legislation differ greatly between each state and territory. For those working and living in the Canberra region, it can sometimes be difficult to determine if you need an ACT or NSW policy, or sometimes both. An experienced adviser can help you determine which policy would be most like to respond in the event of a claim.
- Who is an employee of the business. Under the Workers Compensation Act, an employer is someone who employs workers under a ‘contract of service’, or in some cases, a ‘contract for service’. You may be legally responsible for workers that may not have an employment contract, such as contractors who work for you on a regular and systematic basis.
- What is classified as wages and deemed earnings. At the end of each policy period, you are required to declare the actual wages paid by your business to adjust the premium. Wages and earnings for workers compensation purposes differ from tax laws and advice provided by accountants. It is important to understand what needs to be reported for insurance purposes.
- Claims. The end goal is to rehabilitate your employee and get them back to work. If not managed effectively, injured workers can become disgruntled and claim costs can escalate, especially if the worker appoints legal counsel to represent them. An adverse claims history may increase your future premiums. An experienced claims team will be proactive, manage the claim effectively and assist you and your employee in getting back to business.
What should you consider when choosing workers compensation cover?
In the ACT, workers compensation insurance can only be issued by an approved workers compensation insurance provider. But that doesn’t mean that all approved providers offer identical service and policies for an identical premium.
Working with an insurance broker can help take the stress out of finding the right cover for your business. In the event that an employee does need to make a workers compensation claim, an insurance broker can also handle the more complicated and time-consuming elements, such as interacting with the insurance agency on your behalf.
Here are a few things we recommend keeping in mind when choosing a workers compensation insurance broker:
- Qualifications and experience. Don’t be afraid to ask about your broker’s educational background and qualifications. They should have an Australian Financial Services Licence and be either a Practicing Insurance Broker (QPIB) or Certified Insurance Professional (CIP).
- Knowledge. Your broker should have a deep understanding of the insurance industry, the industry you operate in and the coverage you require. They should also offer both ACT and NSW workers compensation policies, and have the expertise to recommend the correct policy to ensure you are covered.
- Accurate risk profile of your business. Your business’ risk profile will affect your policy and premiums. Every business is different, so look for a broker that conducts a thorough and accurate risk profile.
- Buying power. A larger insurance broker may have more buying power, leading to better premiums and enhanced coverage. Do your research, however, to make sure that they only work with reputable insurers.
- Value for money. The best workers compensation insurance isn’t necessarily through the cheapest provider. Do your research to ensure that you’re getting comprehensive cover for a competitive price.
The top workers compensation insurance brokers in Canberra
RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 19 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
It’s no secret that business insurance, especially workers compensation, can be confusing. That’s why allinsure makes insurance clear and easy to understand. Its Fyshwick-based team offers custom-designed insurance programs to suit your business, with a focus on delivering superior client service and fostering strong, long-term relationships. This unique client first and advice-based culture has seen them move to the forefront of the industry, gaining recognition on a national scale.
Since opening their doors in 2007, allinsure’s team have been committed to working with and for their clients, by tailoring insurance programs to achieve outstanding outcomes. Owned and operated by Canberrans, allinsure’s advisers and dedicated admin team have extensive experience with ACT workers compensation and consistently achieve fantastic results for their clients in this area. Most importantly, the local team are there when you need it most, providing a hands-on claims service.
allinsure is a corporate authorised representative of Insurance Advisernet, one of Australia’s largest networks of independent insurance advisers. This relationship allows them to maintain their local ownership and presence here in the Canberra region, whilst having the buying power to access to a wide range of insurer products and services needed by their customers in today’s increasingly complex business world.
The team also have a strong focus and history of giving back to the local community. With the establishment of their community engagement program, the allinsure team are dedicated to supporting local charities, community organisations and sporting teams.
If you need workers compensation insurance for a small or medium business, PSC Insurance Brokers could be the broker for you. It’s a national insurance brokerage with a strong Canberra presence, and it provides cost-effective insurance advice and solutions.
PSC Insurance Brokers recognises that there’s more to complying with workplace health and safety regulations than just taking out a workers compensation policy. Its holistic approach involves working collaboratively and acting as an extension of your HR, OH&S and industrial relations teams.
Hamilton Brokers has provided general insurance brokerage services in the ACT since 1974. Based in Fyshwick and billed as “Canberra’s business insurance specialist,” Hamilton Brokers recognises that most people aren’t insurance experts.
Its team takes the mystique and red tape from the fine print to tell you want you really need to know.
Your experience buying workers compensation insurance in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the workers compensation insurance providers listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.