It has been announced that National are going to support the opening up of the providing of ACC services to privately owned insurance companies if they are re-elected in November.  At the present time there are companies who provide their own insurance regarding injury to their employees.This concept is nothing new and in the past ACC services have been provided by private companies.  There are some who say it worked and others who say it did not.  

From our point of view – that of an advocate to an ACC claimant – there merged some flaws in the “non-government agency providing the service”.  We found that companies who are too focused on profiteering results in claimants needing to do backward flips to get the services the legislation provides for such as rehabilitation, weekly compensation and other entitlements.  The ACC providers have to adhere to the same legislation that ACC does – this means if a decision is made that the claimant is not happy with they are able to take the matter to review or appeal – this is where we help as advocates.  In the past often the case managers would delay making a decision therefore the claimant did not know how to challenge their treatment – or lack of it.  The legislation does cover decisions being made in a timely manner however in the writers experience the case managers in private providers became very elusive.

Another trap for claimants was their adherence to the accident register.  If a person had an accident and did not write it in the accident register (which in some workplaces is either non-existent or hidden away somewhere never to see the light of day) then the ACC provider and employer will not accept there has ever been an accident.

With all the legislation we work with the main philosophy is for all parties to be fair and reasonable. When companies are paying big money for their ACC provider levies it is in their interests to ignore some minor injuries so that their stats look favourable and therefore keep costs down.

However time will tell.

If you are unclear about how the system works, contact us.