What is workers’ compensation insurance and why you need it? 

As we move forward into 2022 and we learn to ‘live with COVID,’ businesses need to prepare for potential increases in workers compensation claims. In November 2021, an ABC News article reported, in Victoria the ‘total cost of claims based on getting COVID-19 at work so far was (at that time) $7.2 million, and the future estimated cost of these claims is $25.2 million.’ In New South Wales the total cost of claims based on getting COVID-19 was (at that time) $7.8 million.  

With workers compensation claims set to increase it’s important for business owners to understand what workers’ compensation insurance is, why it’s important and what it can cover. 

What is workers’ compensation? 

Workers’ compensation provides an insurance payment to your employees in an event where a worker suffers a work-related injury or illness. The insurance can cover ‘weekly benefits, medical and hospital expenses, rehabilitation services, certain personal items and a lump sum payment for permanent impairment on the basis set by the particular state or territory scheme.’ (Steadfast Group) 

Why do I need workers’ compensation insurance? 

All business, by law, must provide their employees a safe workplace. Therefore, it is compulsory and a legal requirement for businesses to have workers’ compensation insurance for both themselves and their employees in each state and territory in Australia. 

In each state and territory workers’ compensation schemes are run differently and by independent regulators. In Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia insurers operate as scheme agents for the Government authority. In Queensland, WorkCover Queensland is the only provider of workers’ compensation insurance. In Tasmania, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory (ACT), you need to obtain workers’ compensation insurance using a list of approved insurers. 

Many of the workers’ compensation regulators in each state or territory provide useful information, tools and resources on workers’ compensation and the impacts of COVID-19. To learn more, visit each state and territory website below: 

 ACT – https://www.worksafe.act.gov.au/ 

NSW – https://www.sira.nsw.gov.au/insurance-coverage/workers-compensation-insurance or https://www.icare.nsw.gov.au/ 

NT – https://worksafe.nt.gov.au/ 

QLD – https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/ 

SA – https://www.rtwsa.com/ 

TAS – https://www.worksafe.tas.gov.au/ 

VIC – https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/ 

WA – https://www.workcover.wa.gov.au/ 

How we can help 

It’s important for businesses understand how the workers’ compensation schemes work in their relevant state or territory for both obtaining insurance and in the event of a claim. Carollo Horton can support you with a workers’ compensation insurance policy for your business in the ACT, Tasmania and WA. Workers’ compensation can be complicated, and your business situation needs to be thoroughly assessed to ensure that you have the right level of cover. There have been many changes to businesses due to the pandemic with people working from home and extra safety measures having to be put in place to protect workers.

Don’t presume ‘accidents won’t happen here’ and take the time to have an insurance broker, like Carollo Horton, review your current policy and work through the adequate level of insurance cover you need.

For more information on workers’ compensation insurance, to review an existing policy or a quote, contact us on 1300 227 655.