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Statutory Insurance

HWL Ebsworth’s statutory insurance expertise encompasses both workers compensation and compulsory third party (CTP) insurance.

The workers compensation insurance landscape in Australia is characterised by various schemes that are often administered in distinct ways. Insurers and regulators have varying roles and there are a significant jurisdictional differences in core scheme areas such as access and coverage, benefit structures, dispute resolution and self-insurance obligations. This multiplicity results in a compliance burden, particularly for multi-State employers, and uncertainty for employers and employees about their rights and obligations.

The law as it relates to workers compensation benefits continues to evolve as regulators aim to strike a balance between interests of employers and employees, while at the same time maintaining fair, affordable and financially viable workers’ compensation schemes. Such changes add to the complex nature of the statutory regimes and create added challenges for insurers, employers and other industry stakeholders.

The CTP landscape is similarly complex, with different schemes in each jurisdiction – subject to a wide range of regulatory control and political pressures.

Significant (and continuing) changes to the schemes in NSW, ACT and SA have given rise to major challenges for insurers and other stakeholders.

HWL Ebsworth has a workers compensation team of more than 40 lawyers spread across all of its offices, and is one of the largest national providers of workers compensation legal services in Australia.

HWL Ebsworth’s national capability differentiates us from our competitors. It enables us to service clients across a variety of complex jurisdictions with a tailored yet seamless approach.

We act for a variety of industry stakeholders in State, Territory and Commonwealth schemes, including regulators, scheme agents/insurers, specialised insurers, employers, brokers and corporate self-insurers.

Our involvement in workers compensation at various levels, from adviser on policy and compliance issues through to our work as experienced litigation practitioners, places us in the unique position of being able to assist our clients to manage each stage of workers compensation risk.

HWL Ebsworth’s full service offering also allows us to advise our clients on a plethora of collateral issues which arise in workers compensation and injury law claims, including statutory indemnity claims, protected disclosure, allegations of misconduct and the application of information and privacy laws.

We have extensive experience in the ACT, SA and WA acting for CTP Insurers, Government entities and other stakeholders in claims arising out of motor vehicle accidents

Our CTP team is well versed in the management of both litigated and un-litigated claims, from the routine to the catastrophic.

We pride ourselves on thorough investigation of matters with a view to confirming liability (or otherwise) as soon as possible, joining potential contributors early and focusing on quick settlements where liability is certain. We keep costs to a minimum by streamlining claims’ management to ensure, where liability is clear, only those enquiries necessary to resolve a claim are carried out.

We are frequently called upon to advise on policy and indemnity issues, or whether a claim falls within a particular statutory scheme.

EXPERIENCE
  • Employers:
    • Advising and acting in workers compensation premium and policy or contract of coverage disputes;
    • Assisting employers with advice regarding injury management, return to work and rehabilitation obligations;
    • Providing regulatory advice on the due diligence and management of workers compensation claims and liabilities associated with the sale or restructure of a business;
    • Advising on regulatory issues arising from legislative change and amendments to Codes of Conduct and Practice;
    • Assisting self insured employers with licensing issues;
    • Advising on the development and review of claims management protocols and recovery/return to work policies and manuals; and
    • Assisting with fraud investigations.
  • Comcare: Acting for Comcare and state based insurers/claims managers in both statutory compensation and common law claims involving catastrophic or fatal injuries;
  • Claims managers: Preparing reports for claims managers on the procedures and strategies necessary to reduce the overall cost of a specific cohort of claims;
  • Specialised insurers: Advising insurers on legislative reform; premium impacting claims and providing claim cohort risk management.
  • icare Self Insurance: Acting for icare Self Insurance in a seminal decision on dual insurance in the context of an indemnity scheme covering the insurable risks of government agencies;
  • CTP insurers: Preparing precedents and processes to assist in streamlining high volume CTP claims;
  • Insurers: Representing our insurer clients in industry and Law Society committees;
  • Industry forums: Presenting to industry forums hosted by Law Societies, Universities and Government Agencies;
  • Regulatory authorities: Seconding lawyers to regulatory authorities to assist with the implementation and interpretation of statutory amendments, including the development of Operational Guidelines; and
  • Insurers: Seconding lawyers to insurers to assist with claims management and finalisations. Preparing precedents and processes to assist in streamlining high volume claims. Providing strategies and risk management advice necessary to reduce the overall cost of a specific cohort of claims.