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Specialised insurer stakeholder consultation: requirements

1. Purpose

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) may approve an application for an insurer licence and endorse the licence with a specialised insurer endorsement in accordance with the Workers Compensation Act 1987 (1987 Act).

When an applicant applies to become a specialised insurer or renew an existing specialised insurer licence, external parties may make comments or raise concerns about that application.

The purpose of these requirements is to provide information about the processes for commenting or raising concerns about new or renewing applications for specialised insurer licences.

2. Making submissions

Any business or person (external parties) with relevant information may make a submission to SIRA.

A list of current specialised insurers and the expiry date of their licence is available on our website.

New applicants for a specialised insurer licence and applications for renewal as a specialised insurer will be posted on our website.

3. Format of submissions

Submissions from external parties must:

  • be in writing in the format shown in Appendix A
  • be supported by relevant evidence.
  • cover any or all of the following areas:
    • the applicant’s excessive pricing of workers compensation policies
    • the applicant’s non-compliance with workers compensation statutory requirements, including licence conditions and policies and statutory guidelines issued by SIRA
    • the applicant’s resources, including employees, to administer policies and claims for workers compensation
    • for applications for a new specialised insurer licence, whether the new applicant:
      • is supported by the relevant professional business and other industry bodies particular to the applicant’s industry
      • possesses the capability and capacity to undertake workers compensation insurance business and comply with all workers compensation statutory requirements.

4. Information sharing

As SIRA runs an open and transparent application process:

  • external parties should forward a copy of their submission to the applicant
  • if external parties do not forward a copy of their submission to the applicant, SIRA will (except in exceptional circumstances) provide the applicant with a copy of the submission
  • licence applicants will be given an opportunity to respond to submissions
  • the responses provided by applicants, together with all supporting evidence, is one source of information SIRA considers in determining approval for a specialised insurer licence
  • external parties should consider contacting specialised insurers to seek information relevant to the preparation of their submission.

5. Timing

5.1 Initial applications

This part applies to new licence applications to SIRA:

  • For external parties contacted by SIRA, the closing date for submissions is two months after the date of SIRA’s letter.
  • All other stakeholders may make a submission to SIRA within two months of the application being posted to our website.

5.2 Applications for licence renewal

This part applies to applications for renewal of specialised insurer licences:

  • Stakeholder submissions must be received by SIRA no later than three months prior to the current specialised insurer’s expiry date – eg for a 31 October expiry date, submissions should reach SIRA by 31 July.

5.3 Late submissions

  • If an external party needs additional time to complete a submission, SIRA should be given notice of the intended submission as soon as possible.
  • If additional relevant information becomes available after the period for making submissions, the external party should contact SIRA to advise the nature of the information, the reason for the late submission and to confirm a submission will follow.
  • The acceptance of late submissions is at SIRA’s discretion.
  • If SIRA accepts a late submission, the submission should be provided to SIRA urgently, so that SIRA can review the matter prior to making a determination on the application.

6. Ongoing input from external parties

  • If external parties identify an issue with a specialised insurer during a period of approval, the issue should be raised directly with the specialised insurer at the time. External parties may also choose to advise SIRA of both the issue and any resolution reached with the specialised insurer.
  • Specific issues relating to breaches of workers compensation statutory requirements including licence conditions and policies, guidelines and manuals issued by SIRA should be reported to SIRA which will ensure issues are investigated by the most appropriate unit. See section 7 for contact details.

Specific issues relating to work health and safety should be reported to our Customer Service Centre on 13 10 50.

7. Further information

Requests for further information relating to these requirements, a submission or response to a submission should be directed to:

Manager – Licensing and Monitoring
Workers Compensation Regulation
State Insurance Regulatory Authority
92–100 Donnison Street, Gosford, NSW 2250
Locked Bag 2906, Lisarow, NSW 2252

Customer Service Centre 13 10 50
Email: self&specialisedinsurers@sira.nsw.gov.au

8. Confidentiality

Where information is provided to SIRA, the information is protected by provisions in the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 and may only be disclosed externally in very limited circumstances. These provisions do not inhibit SIRA’s ability to:

  • create comparative data to conduct research and assess the performance of the workers compensation scheme
  • publish de-identified statistical, performance and research reports
  • provide information to the responsible Minister or as directed by the Minister
  • provide information to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

Apart from these protections, personal information or health information provided to SIRA can only be dealt with in accordance with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002.

Although the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA) creates a presumption in favour of the disclosure of government information when an access application is made, this can be overcome where there is an overriding public interest against disclosure. GIPA provides a specific public interest consideration against disclosure of information held by SIRA if (amongst other things) disclosure of the information could prejudice the business interests of any person or corporation.

GIPA provides a mechanism for consultation with a person or corporation if an access application is made for information that concerns the business, commercial or financial interests of that person or corporation. Any objection to disclosure received in the course of consultation must be taken into account in determining whether there is an overriding public interest against disclosure. Any decision by SIRA to make available that information contrary to an objection made in the course of consultation would be subject to a right of review by the Information and Privacy Commissioner or by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Appendix A

Specialised insurer stakeholder consultation submission form (PDF)

Catalogue No. WC01639 © Copyright State Insurance Regulatory Authority 2015