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icare unveils extra claims management agents

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Insurance and Care NSW (icare) will give larger clients the option of working with three additional workers’ compensation claims management agents, to enhance “choice and flexibility”.

In 2017 icare appointed EML as sole agent for new claims, with CGU and QBE ceasing services and GIO and Allianz continuing to provide services as transition agents.

It has now announced that from early next year “eligible businesses” will have the choice to either work with EML or engage Allianz, GIO or QBE for new claims under the “authorised provider” model.

icare MD John Nagle says the move, which follows a successful pilot, responds to customers’ desire for choice.

“icare has undertaken one of the largest transformations of workers’ compensation ever in NSW to provide fairer outcomes for its customers,” he said.

“After considerable development, testing and refinement, we are now phasing in the option for our largest customers to choose from a range of providers to deliver claims management services, which will be delivered consistently with the principles of icare’s claims service model.

“As always, we will continue to listen to customers and deliver fair and sustainable outcomes for employers and workers. We are also currently reviewing an industry-based approach to support small to medium-sized businesses and will provide more detail on this option in the new year.”

Allianz was the sole provider for the pilot of the model carried out last year.

“Allianz Australia’s extensive workers’ compensation expertise, scheme knowledge, and critical learnings as the sole provider of the authorised provider pilot means we are well placed to service employers under the new model,” Workers’ Compensation EGM Julie Mitchell said.

QBE also welcomed its appointment. “We are delighted to have been chosen to be part of the authorised provider model, supporting icare’s initiatives to meet the needs of larger employers in NSW,” Chief Claims Officer Jon Fox said.

Allianz and GIO will offer new claims management services for eligible customers from February 1, with QBE to start by the middle of next year.

EML will continue to provide claims management services for new claims for more than 320,000 employers across NSW.

A State Insurance Regulatory Authority review of the scheme is currently under way and is due to report before the end of the year.

Many submissions to the review have criticised poor claims management and communication through EML.