• Murray McCully
Accident Insurance

"Employers appear ready and keen to take advantage of the opportunities the Government is creating in opening ACC to competition," the Minister for ACC, Murray McCully said today.
"A UMR Insight survey of 800 employers done in March shows that 94% of employers are aware of the changes occurring on 1 July, when they move to the commercial insurer of their choice to cover any injuries that happen in their workplaces," he said.

UMR Insight surveyed a mix of urban and rural employers and a range of industries. The research was commissioned by the Department of Labour to assess awareness and the development of the accident insurance market.

"84% said they would be ready to switch from the ACC, which will cease providing workplace cover for employees from 1 July, while just 5% said they would do nothing and be allocated to an insurer, which is likely to be the new SOE insurer, At Work," Mr McCully said.

"While the research can only measure intention and we must be cautious about this figure, it shows a pleasing awareness by employers of the benefits that competition will bring.

"And it's not just the large employers who know about the reforms and are preparing for the new market. 83% of small employers, those with up to five full-time equivalent staff, and 89% of medium sized employers, those with between 6 and 49 full-time equivalent staff, intend to choose an insurer rather than be allocated.

"There's a strong measure of support for the reforms across all employers, with 63% in favour, and only 19% opposing. Strongest support comes, perhaps predictably, from the large employers with more than 50 full-time equivalent staff, at 75%, but 61% of small employers and 68% of medium sized employers also support the changes.

"The research also indicates that self-employed people, who can stay with ACC or choose a commercial insurer for their work and out of work accidents from 1 July, are waiting to see how the market develops for them.

"Of the 350 self-employed people asked, 26% said they would switch to a commercial insurer, 19% said they intended to stay with ACC and 39% said they would wait and see. Again, there was a strong awareness of the reforms (85%) and measure of approval, with 63% supporting and 18% opposing the changes.

"As insurers register and begin marketing their products, I expect that both employers and self-employed will take advantage of the opportunity to shop around for the deal that best meets their needs and the needs of their employees," the Minister said.