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icare prepares for claims handling overhaul

NSW state insurer icare will launch a “major transformation” of its main workers’ compensation scheme in June, rolling out increased choice of claims service providers (CSPs) and greater transparency on performance.

Currently, only large employers can switch CSP when they renew their workers’ compensation policy with icare.

But from June, thousands of mid-sized employers will also be able to choose the provider that “best fits their business needs”.

“This decision-making will be supported with a new online resource, providing employers a range of performance data and industry insights from the six CSPs who manage claims for icare,” the insurer said.

NSW Minister for Workplace Health and Safety Sophie Cotsis held a meeting last week with icare CEO Richard Harding and leaders from CSPs Allianz, DXC Technology, EML, Gallagher Bassett, GIO and QBE.

“Starting from June, more businesses will enjoy new options for protecting their workforces, including specialised support for psychological injuries,” Ms Costis said. “This means more injured workers returning to work sooner, and better outcomes for the entire community.

“This new model is a first in Australia and is delivering an unprecedented level of transparency around performance.”

Mr Harding says sharing more data “will drive competition to improve outcomes and provide a better claims experience”.

“The quarterly data from our providers will allow businesses to select the most suitable claims service provider for their workplace,” he said.   

In 2017 icare appointed a single insurance agent – EML – for all new claims, but the move was heavily criticised in a review of the scheme two years later.

Since then, it has moved to introduce greater choice, confirming the appointment of six CSPs in October 2022.