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Myth-busting: ACC and injuries

Written By: - Date published: 4:00 pm, October 28th, 2009 - 20 comments
Categories: ACC - Tags:

One of the Right’s silly myths, never backed up by any facts, is that not privatising ACC leads to more injuries.

The logic (and it’s a logic only the money-obsessed could come up with) is that private workplace insurers would charge higher premiums for dangerous workplaces and lower premiums for safer workplaces – this would encourage workplaces to become safer and the injury rate would fall.

As a commentator in one of the papers (whom I can’t now find) scoffed, ‘like the thought of saving a few dollars on premiums is the reason I would be careful not to hurt myself’. On the other hand, they claim that the injury rate has risen since ACC privatisation was scuttled by Labour.

injuriesWrong. Work-related injuries have been decreasing over the last decade – down from a high immediately after re-nationalisation of ACC of 143 claims per 1000 workers to 117 in 2008. The drop is thanks, no doubt, to ACC’s investment in injury prevention and the leadership of the unions on health and safety (it’s their members that suffer, after all).

So, another ACC myth busted. The scheme isn’t in financial trouble, claims aren’t out of control, injuries aren’t raising and won’t be brought down by privatisation. Tell me again, what are the benefits of privatisation? Oh yeah, profits – for Aussie insurers, paid for by you and me.

20 comments on “Myth-busting: ACC and injuries ”

  1. chris 1

    seen dpf’s spin on labours position? priceless

    • felix 1.1

      I suspect that there is actually a price attached to Farrar’s work.

      • Herman Poole 1.1.1

        Funny thing is, I don’t think anyone on the left would pay The Standard’s poster’s to embaress the left as they do!

        • gitmo

          I dunno I suspect Crosby Textor would pay them a few bob to ensure they continue posting in the same vein.

          • Mike

            10 demerits.

            [lprent: we don’t use that daft bully system here. If the moderators get annoyed and are feeling kind, we ban. If not we have some fun for a while using the services and exercising our sarcastic skills – then ban anyone too stupid to take our kind hints. Read the policy to figure out what to avoid]

  2. tc 2

    The ACC manufactured no-crisis by NACT to dish out favors to their insurance mates is a classic test of how effective Labor isn’t currently.
    Most with a grasp of elementary funding principles know it’s a sham crises (with a clown minister) but yet again where’s the rebuttal fom the outset months back when the ‘ACC in crisis’ spin emerged……a theme that could be rammed home so the uninterested can become so.
    Smith and his compliant hand picked new ACC chairman should be on the rack over the deception/spin/misuse/misinterpretation of published data that’s been picked clean by experts who agree there’s no real problem.
    Unless you’re financially dim and can’t grasp the concepts that is……which is a message I don’t hear from the opposition.
    Aren’t we kiwis paying for better opposition than what we currently get ? This government of ‘L’ platers is indeed laughing all the way to paying their mates back, gosh a few extra insulated houses is probably all they’ll have to cough up to push this through….not that we’ll ever know.

  3. Pete 3

    Hey Marty – what’s the source of the data please?

  4. burt 4

    I’m looking forward to the day I have a contract with an insurance company that specifies what the thousands and thousands of $$$ I pay every year actually entitle me to when I make a claim.

    The policy will say – x, y & z… not – Best of luck, you will find out on the day you try to claim what the current social policy settings are and how they effect you and therefore what current benefit entitlements are – if any….

    • andy 4.1

      Good luck with that burt, they call the ‘assessors’ and ‘loss adjusters’ those names for a reason.

    • burt 4.2


      Assessors and loss adjusters (in a private system) need to work within the bounds of legal contracts that specify benefits and entitlements – unlike the monopoly state provider where politicians can modify my cover and premiums to meet some totally unrelated economic issue or make changes for popularist reasons associated with perception rather than reality or simply to advance their ideology.

      Meanwhile we are being told here on the standard that there is no ACC crisis yet what I’m entitled to is being chopped and I’m paying more for it with no options. Sure we can shout about it – but what good is that doing compared to being able to cancel a contract and find a new provider?

      One size fits all is good for administrators – not so good for the clients.

      • andy 4.2.1

        fair enough burt.

        BTW, don’t ever get your car pinched cause the replacement value is always ‘up for modification’ within the terms of the contract. Subject to the whims of perceived versus actual value.

      • burt 4.2.2


        Sure, excluding agreed value policies you are right. But unless you are suggesting that the monopoly state provider model should be used for car insurance – what are you on about ?

  5. andy 5


    As the Government moves to address huge ACC deficits, new statistics show work-related injury claims have been declining steadily.


  6. aj 6

    The challenge Labour faces, is getting this message into the media.

    • Rodel 6.1

      Agree wholeheartedly.It’s frustrating that our so called professional journalists don’t pick this up.

  7. tc 7

    AJ sums it up however with the media aligning themsleves to polls and letting them tell them who to give a spotlight to……a very tough assignment indeed for the non NACT parties to get any decent coverage.
    Wait till the TVNZ fatted cow is lined up for a float while it’s still worth something by JK and his backers……maybe then the other side may get a run but don’t hold your breath.
    We don’t have any media in NZ just mediums/methods of delivering press releases masquerading as actual news……when was the last time you saw an experienced head with historical knowledge and a sharp mind covering anything vital.
    MTV goes close as has a go but it’s also a tad scared of the funding stick NACT can shake at them and JK’s already given the Herald the ‘who’s boss here’ scenario.

  8. Herman Poole 8

    The workers account is not the one causing the blowout as I understand it.

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