Big insurers lose out in icare’s new scheme

The big insurers have lost out in icare’s new workers compensation vision for NSW, with EML appointed as the sole scheme agent beyond 2018.

“icare have informed us they have selected EML to be their sole agent for all new claims services from 1 January 2018, with GIO and Allianz continuing to provide claims services as transition agents,” says Jason Clarke, Executive General Manager, Intermediary Distribution, QBE Australia and New Zealand.

QBE has not been chosen to be one of the transition partners after 2017, according to icare’s announcement yesterday.

“We are disappointed with icare’s decision, but remain committed to ensuring a seamless transition for affected customers and injured workers when the new arrangement comes into effect,” Clarke continues.

“We are working through how this will affect our people and how we can minimise the ramifications for them.”

Last week, icare revealed that GIO, Allianz and EML had been chosen as its scheme agents beyond 2017. On Tuesday (2 May), icare clarified: “This saw EML selected to manage new claims from 1 January 2018, and GIO and Allianz selected as transition agents.”

Allianz has said it welcomes the opportunity to support the scheme in the future and to manage existing claims, while icare transitions to a single agent for workers comp.

As for GIO, Chris McHugh, Suncorp’s Executive General Manager Personal Injury Portfolio & Products, says: “We are very pleased and committed to continuing our involvement in the scheme and remaining as a strategic partner of icare to assist them realise their vision of building a world class workers compensation scheme.”

EML, meanwhile, appears to be the winner in all this though it refrained from comment beyond its official release.

In its release, CEO Mark Coyne said EML is committed to working with icare. “At EML, we are proud of our singular focus of helping people get their lives back after suffering a workplace injury.”

He acknowledged the work of fellow scheme agents: “We aim to continue this shared focus and responsibility for customer-centric services and outcomes for workers employers which icare has entrusted to us.”

An icare spokesperson says selection of scheme agents was based on factual outcomes and current agent performance in customer service. “Selection was also strongly influenced by our NPS (Net Promoter Score) feedback on each agent,” she said.

icare has a dedicated team to keep customers informed of the changes. The transition of claims from CGU, which has already elected to opt out post December 2017, and QBE will start in July 2017. It now adds that it has asked EML not to take on new customers for the remainder of 2017 to encourage employers to remain with their existing agent until the end of the year.

“As the single provider responsible for new claims for NSW from 1 January 2018, it is critical that EML prepares operationally to provide a truly empathetic and consistent service to our customers,” icare says.

NIBA will consult with members in relation to how they perceive this change impacts on their ability to properly service their clients.

icare will be holding a ‘looped-in’ session for brokers on 19 May at Parramatta with more details to come.