ABL State Chamber And Allianz

ABL State Chamber And Allianz Enter An Historic Partnership To Assist Small To Medium Size Businesses With Their Workers Compensation Service And Costs

23 June 2006

Insurance giant Allianz Australia (Allianz) and NSW’s largest business organisation ABL State Chamber, have formed an historic and strategic partnership to develop a unique workers’ compensation solution aimed at lowering workers’ compensation costs and improving service levels through the aggregation of small to medium size businesses into industry groups.

The launch of Business Cover Plus, an integrated and innovative workers’ compensation solution, said ABL State Chamber’s CEO Mr Kevin MacDonald, is an important step to further reducing the costs of operating a business in NSW.

Compliance, including workers’ compensation costs, have been an ongoing concern to ABL State Chamber members and on behalf of them, we have lobbied government long and hard to reduce costs, he said.

The NSW Government’s premiums announcement to further cut workers’ compensation costs by 10% from 30 June 2006 adds some more punch to the 5% cut announced in November 2005. It represents a reduction in business costs of $430 million in NSW.

Through Business Cover Plus ABL State Chamber members will enjoy an integrated workers’ compensation service incorporating superior claims, OH&S and risk management coupled with account management services normally only available from NSW Scheme Agents to the largest corporate accounts and national employers.

Business Cover Plus also offers employers an integrated premium funding facility via Australia’s leading funding organisation, Hunter Premium Funding (Hunter).

ABL State Chamber members can pay their premiums monthly through a seamless premium funding facility at a more competitive program rate. They also automatically qualify for premium funding up to $100,000 per annum without the need for financial statements or credit checks. This provides a quick and cost efficient premium funding arrangement.

The benefits of Business Cover Plus include:

  • A Business Account Manager to deliver an integrated program and provide a single point of contact with the Scheme Agent
  • Superior service with defined service standards
  • Improved cash flow with premium funding allowing monthly premium payments
  • OH&S support to better manage risks and self audit compliance
  • Legal support for compliance issues and management of WorkCover inspections
  • Improved risk management via a quarterly portfolio review and performance reports
  • Industry benchmarking and comparative analysis
  • Dedicated program support line

ABL State Chamber selected Allianz because it is one of the leading scheme agents and has achieved enviable return to work results in its NSW claims operations.

Because Allianz operates nationally (other than SA and Qld which have single agent systems), ABL State Chamber members with interstate operations can consolidate their workers’ compensation arrangements with a single insurer, saving both time and money.

Allianz’s Managing Director, Mr Terry Towell, said Business Cover Plus is an ABL State Chamber initiative that Allianz fully supports and which will deliver improved outcomes to both employers and their injured employees.

In NSW, Allianz has the largest premium market share of twenty two percent. We achieved this by providing employers with what they want streamlined administration, good case management and real solutions to reduce claims in the workplace, Mr Towell said.

Allianz has been successful in maintaining its position as one of the leading workers compensation scheme agents because of our demonstrated capability, capacity and performance in claims and policy management.

SMEs are critical to our business success and the relationship with ABL enables us to expand our services to this important segment of the NSW business community.

Business Cover Plus is modelled on a similar initiative launched earlier this year by Allianz and the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It has proved very successful being the largest program of its type in Victoria.

The ABL State Chamber program is about delivering our expertise in the strategic management of workplace risk, statutory compliance and OH&S to SMEs many of whom, individually, are too small to have their own in-house OH&S, risk management and workers’ compensation resources or unable to get access to the quality of service they want.

Mr MacDonald said Business Cover Plus, the largest program of its type in NSW, has the approval and support of WorkCover Authority. Both ABL State Chamber and Allianz are investigating further initiatives to reduce business costs in NSW.

The partnership with Allianz brings together NSW’s peak business and industry body with NSW’s largest workers’ compensation Scheme Agent and leading premium funding organisation to provide specific solutions for SME employers.

Recent NSW premium reforms now protect employers below $10,000 annual premium from the impact of claims. At the top end, employers above $350,000 annual premium are usually account managed by their Scheme Agent.

It is the SME group in between that is the most vulnerable to substantial and unbudgeted premium increases resulting from as few as one or two claims. Business Cover Plus now provides them the solution they need to maintain a competitive advantage in business.


For more information contact ABL State Chamber’s PR & Communications Manager, Ron Krueger on (02) 9458 7461 or 0418 617 680 or Allianz Australia’s General Manager Corporate Affairs, Nicholas Scofield (02) 9390 6596 or 0416 088 414.


ABL State Chamber

Australian Business Limited Incorporating the NSW Chamber of Commerce (ABL State Chamber) is NSW’ s largest business group affiliated with over 130 Chambers of Commerce throughout NSW. ABL State Chamber champions the cause of business providing information, expert advice and business services to over 28,000 clients to enable them to manage their people and growth more efficiently. Assisting businesses of all sizes, ABL State Chamber’s highly skilled professionals provide hands-on assistance to identify workplace challenges and help sustain and grow a business. From managing OHS and Industrial Relations matters to expanding overseas, ABL State Chamber’s business improvement or compliance products and services drive growth at every stage of the business cycle. Business is also represented at all levels of government as the ‘voice of industry’ and provides information on the regulatory and legislative environment, codes of practices, economic and industry statistics and publications. Additionally, through 130 Chambers of Commerce, support is provided to 15000 rural and regional businesses.

ABL State Chamber has a strong regional presence and together with affiliates in the Hunter and Illawarra Business Chambers, have representation in 13 centres across NSW and the ACT.

Nationally, ABL State Chamber is part of the Australian ChamberNet connecting over 100,000 locations covering 1.5million employees across Australia. Alliance partnerships with major companies offer services in finance, telecommunications, professional services and management training to name a few, facilitate access to wider solutions that address the specific needs of business.

Allianz

Allianz Australia is one of the country's largest general insurers and a leading private workers compensation insurer. In June 2006 it was approved to offer life insurance. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of the worldwide Allianz Group. Allianz Australia provides some form of insurance cover to over 2 million policyholders and a range of Australia’s top 50 companies. In 2005, the company had a combined premium income of $2.4 billion and investment assets of approximately $5.3 billion. It has approximately 3000 staff and operates in Australia and New Zealand.

Allianz Australia offers a wide range of insurance products and services including car insurance, home insurance and Life insurance.

Hunter Premium Funding

Hunter is Australia’s leading premium funding company and a wholly-owned Allianz subsidiary. For more than a decade, Hunter has been at the cutting edge of premium funding products and innovations, with a strong focus on superior service and customer satisfaction.Premium funding provides a cost effective means of spreading premium payments over the year. Hunter pays the employer’s deposit premium and subsequent instalments in advance and the employer is debited 10 equal monthly payments. Because an employer’s premium is paid on their behalf by Hunter, they are no longer at risk of losing premium instalment rights or incurring statutory penalty interest as a result of late premium payments. Premium funding offers real administrative and financial benefits to employers participating in Business Cover Plus.