SIRA announces Workers Compensation Review

SIRA announces Workers Compensation Review

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) has commissioned a thorough review of the current workers compensation scheme in NSW, primarily to review the performance of the nominal Insurer (icare) and its Agents (EML, Allianz & GIO).

As a leading and highly regarded Workers Compensation Broker, WSIB have been requested to participate in this review and provide a written submission to SIRA which shares our views, experiences and insights on the operation and management of the scheme. Our submission will include a review and opinion on matters such as trends in liability valuations, costs and decisions, premium setting and calculations, operational reforms and risk management, return to work rates, data quality, customer service and complaints.

As a valued client, who may have been affected, positively or negatively, by the introduction of the new scheme in 2015, we would like to extend to you the opportunity to participate in our submission by sharing your own views, experiences and insights. Please note that we encourage supporting evidence and specific examples where possible that relate to the matters referred above.

Please further note that SIRA is not seeking current and unresolved individual complaints regarding a policy or claim and as such matters of this nature should be referred directly to your WSIB Account Executive or to Tracy Sutton (National Workers Compensation Manager) at

All submissions should be sent to us at by no later than 7th June 2019.

Premium Updates for 2019-20


icare are currently in the process of implementing the changes that they have made to workers insurance premiums in NSW. These changes were only released this week.

We wanted to communicate this to you as quickly as possible as they will come into effect from 30/06/2019 and will impact on premiums and budgets for the 2019/20 policy year.

You will shortly receive an email from icare which will invite you to renew your policy. Prior to submitting wage declarations, it is vitally important that you contact our premiums team who will further detail the changes, analyse the impact, and accuracy, and will also be able to provide you with live projections and forecasts if required.

We will also continue to work closely with icare to ensure these changes will have as minimal impact on your business as possible.

Please see below an outline and explanation of the changes;

Employer Safety Incentive (ESI)

In considering the premium model for the 2019-20 policy year, icare have maintained an Employer Safety Incentive (ESI) with all employers, however they have reduced the discount to 7.5%. This is a reduction from the previous 10% Employer Safety Incentive that icare had previously offered in past renewals.

Changes to Return to Work Incentive

The claims RTWI is no longer applied to small employers’ claims, however they will still retain their Employer Safety Incentive.

Scheme Performance Measure (SPM)

Over the past 24 months icare has consolidated claims management from five scheme agents to predominantly one. The aligning of these claims has impacted the claims cost used to calculate experience-rated employer premiums. To make allowances the SPM has been increased to 4.3%. Increasing the SPM helps to reduce adverse premium impact resulting from the claims consolidation process.

Increase in Loss Prevention and Recovery (LPR) factors

There has been a change in LPR rates for the 2019-20 policy year. For LPR clients, details of the LPR rates are as follows:

Movement of Workers Compensation Industry Classifications (WICs) between Premium pools

Each year WIC rates are revised in line with an industry’s performance. However, the average premium rate for NSW remains unchanged at 1.4% of wages. WIC changes for 2019-20 are as follows:

234 WICs have had a decrease in WIC rate.

271 WICs have had an increase.

33 WICs remain unchanged.

We are obviously not able to list all changes here and encourage you to contact our premiums team as some clients will be adversely affected. We will not only discuss the changes with you, but work with you to minimise the impact where possible.

Late payment fee

The Late Payment Fee rate for 2019-20 has decreased from 0.808% to 0.794%, per month, compounded monthly.

For further information please contact our premiums team or your Account Executive.

Deadly Weapons Insurance.


Deadly Weapons Insurance.

Worldwide the occurrence of malicious attacks is on the rise. Recently a man yielding a knife threatened pedestrians in Sydney CBD after murdering a lady in a nearby hotel room and prior to this an assailant was arrested after wielding a chainsaw in a Melbourne Street. Have you ever considered if your place of business could be at threat of one of these attacks, or could your business be the location for one of these attacks?

Deadly Weapons insurance has been designed to provide protection to you in the event of a Deadly Weapon incident at your premises, this being, an incident involving an individual or group of people actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people using a deadly weapon at one of your insured locations.

The policy provides three core pillars of coverage;

1.       Physical Damage including Business Interruption (Physical Damage to Insured location including demolition, clearance and memorialisation costs Gross Earnings, Ingress/Egress & Prevention of Access by Civil/Military Authorities, Loss of Attraction Extra Expense to resume operations)

2.       Crisis Management Services (pre and post event Crisis Risk Crisis Management Services including but not limited to: crisis response investigation, crisis management support, public relations, media management and site security. Including counselling Services and Funeral expenses)

3.       Third Party Liability & Defence Costs (Indemnification of monetary judgements awarded following legal liability imposed by a court of law due to the negligence of the Original Insured following a DWP event )

Cover can also extend to a wide variety of weapons, not just firearms i.e. smashed glass, explosive, knife, syringe, medical instrument.

With events of this nature being unfortunately on the rise across the world, this is becoming an increasingly important exposure to consider, as the potential threat to your organisation can be sizeable, i.e. property damage, lengthy forced closures, loss of attraction, resultant legal liability claims etc.

Please contact your Account Manager if you would like to know more about Deadly Weapons Insurance and how it can safeguard your premises against a malicious attack.

Are you Cyber Secure?


Are you Cyber Secure?

When was the last time you thought about the cyber security within your business? Or when did you last review your in-house mitigation policies and procedures? Have you got a cyber disaster response plan in place? What would you do if your entire IT infrastructure was compromised?

With the changes to Mandatory Data Breach Notification legislation in early 2018, and with more legislation and law amendments anticipated – there is no better time than now to assess the cyber security and mitigation procedures within your business.

WSIB’s Top Tips on Cyber Security;

1.       Regularly Back up Data

Back up data frequently and store your backups off site and off your network to mitigate the risk of these being infiltrated should your system suffer a cyber-attack.

2.       Update your Software and Install Anti-Virus Protection

Updates are often designed to strengthen cyber security so ensure these are done in a timely matter. Additionally, Anti-Virus Protection should be in place to guard against the ever-evolving threat from viruses.

3.       Segregation & Verification Procedures

Segregation procedures should be in place to ensure at least two people are involved with fund transfers, deposits, issuance of cheques, stock control, adding new vendors, or adding new employees. It is further recommended that verification procedures are carried out to authenticate requests to change supplier or customer bank account details, or where large payment requests are received via email, regardless of who they seem to have been received from.

4.       Cyber Incident Response plan

Develop a Cyber Incident Response Plan to ensure you can effectively and efficiently deal with an incident. Your Cyber Incident Response Plan should take into consideration the wide range of cyber exposures, from identifying what is a notifiable data breach to an entire system extortion threat.

5.       Cyber Insurance

Speak to your Account Broker about how Cyber Insurance can provide further protection to your business.

Contact your Account Manager should you wish to talk about your Business and Cyber Security further.

Caution with Hire Vehicles


Caution with Hire Vehicles – A precedential decision has been set.

A recent appeal from the NSW Local Magistrates Court to the NSW Supreme Court modifies how claims are assessed for drivers who hire vehicles after a car accident where they may seek recovery.

The Supreme Court ruling, cited as Nguyen v Cassim [2019] NSWSC 1130 considered the assessment of damages (amount recoverable) where a motor vehicle, damaged in a collision for which the owner was not at fault, is unavailable for use while repairs are effected and substitute vehicle is hired.  In essence two key questions arose:

  1. Where the damaged vehicle is a high value or “prestige”, is the expense of obtaining a replacement car of similar value or prestige recoverable, where a cheaper alternative would overcome the inconvenience arising from the temporary unavailability of the damaged vehicle?
  2. The second question only arises once it is accepted that the expense of obtaining a replacement vehicle of similar value or prestige is recoverable: is the whole of the rental charges billed by the accident hire company recoverable?

His Honour, Basten J, found that the magistrate findings were in error and set them aside, in that, with respect to the hire of a prestige vehicle at $17,158.02 plus interest, this sum was excessive!  Among other things, his Honour found that the needs would have been satisfied by the hire of a Toyota Corolla.  In place of the magistrate’s findings His Honour, ordered the appeal to his Court, Allowed and that the vehicle hirer (Cassim) pay the at fault party (Nguyen) the sum of $7,476, together with interest.

Access to the His Honour, Basten J, full judgement may be found by clicking here.

The take away from this lesson is whenever you are involved in a car accident and may need a hire vehicle, please contact your Account Manager or click below for Warren Saunders Accident Assist which is available 24/07 on 9587 3500.