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icare pledges to listen after appointing customer advocate

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NSW state insurer icare has appointed an independent customer advocate to engage with customers and stakeholders to understand workers’ compensation scheme concerns.

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) is reviewing the scheme and many submissions have criticised poor claims management and communication through key agent EML.

Understanding customer needs will be “integral” to icare’s response to the review, and it has appointed former Return to Work SA director Darrin Wright as a “dedicated customer advocate”.

“I’ve seen how impactful it can be to really listen and respond to customers through driving reform in SA and I look forward to working with icare,” Mr Wright said.

CEO and MD John Nagle has pledged to listen to “constructive feedback” as icare continues to develop “a fairer system for both employers and their injured workers”.

“We acknowledge that in driving a fundamental change to fairness in the workers’ compensation system we have not always explained the issues and impacts broadly enough, and in a number of cases this has caused unnecessary confusion and uncertainty,” he said.

“We welcome the review of the Nominal Insurer and look forward to understanding the findings as we remain committed to delivering a neutral scheme that works for everyone.”

As reported by insuranceNEWS.com.au, a submission by Port Macquarie-based Oxley Insurance Brokers says the scheme is “failing terribly” and is in its worst state for more than 30 years.

The National Insurance Brokers Association has declined to publicly release its submission, but says the views of Oxley are representative of the NSW broker community.

Mr Nagle says he is disappointed by Oxley’s submission and says icare has “strong engagement and support across the broker community”.

But he says “some organisations have struggled with the level of change”.

Mr Wright will report directly to Mr Nagle and work with icare’s customer experience team. He will begin arranging meetings with customers and stakeholders.

SIRA expects the review’s final report before the end of the year.