ACC – Accident Compensation Corporation – is a no-fault scheme that covers both New Zealand residents and visitors to the country. The scheme provides financial compensation and support to offset costs incurred by anyone who has been injured in an accident, regardless of how it occurred or whose fault it was.
Founded back in 1974, it is a compulsory scheme which aims to improve the quality of life in New Zealanders. It is quite unique with only a handful of countries around the world operating such a system.
Who pays and how?
The money behind the ACC comes from a variety of sources. If you are employed or run your own business, then you pay levies. Levies are also imposed on petrol and vehicle registration. The Government contributes funding as well. These levies go towards insuring and protecting people for injuries that happen at work or play.
The self-employed pay three different levies:
- Earners’ levy – for injuries that occur during everyday activities.
- Work levy – for injuries sustained at work.
- Working Safer levy – for WorkSafe’s injury prevention programmes.
ACC invoices are issued annually after you file a tax return.
What does ACC cover?
The key letter in ACC is A, which stands for ‘accident’. To be able to make a claim, an injury must result from an accident.
Levies are used to pay for up to 80% of your income if you cannot work because of such an injury. Levies also go towards covering the costs of treatment and rehabilitation, and injury prevent programmes.
What does ACC not cover?
It is vital to understand the distinction between an injury and an illness, as well as injuries caused by an accident and injuries that happen over time (unless caused by a work activity).
For example, illnesses, conditions from ageing and emotional issues are not considered injuries. Nor are conditions such as severe sunburn, appendicitis, and unexplained back pain.
If in doubt about the nature of your incapacity, seek advice from your healthcare provider, who can advise if the ACC is likely to cover you.
Many self-employed mistakenly believe that ACC covers them if they are unable to work because they are ill. But that is not the case. If you are sick, you will not receive any money under the ACC. And nearly 70% of absences from work are due to illness. Just like an injury, an illness can mean substantial disruption to your business.
Is there a better way?
Would you like to lower your monthly premium and be covered for more? It is possible for self-employed people to save money with ACC and get better cover. Having the right coverage for your situation gives you peace of mind allowing you to concentrate on running your business.
Here are a couple of videos to view if you would like to know more:
How we can help
Have you reviewed your ACC in the last 12 months? If not, then contact us to set up a time to discuss your situation so we can ensure that you have affordable coverage you can count on. Call us (0800-230-235) or send an email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a mutually convenient time to talk.