Insurance News for Real People

Understanding ACC Levies: What Are They & Can I Make Them Lower?

Understanding ACC Levies: What Are They & Can I Make Them Lower?

All businesses pay ACC levies. All employees have ACC levies deducted from their wages. All contractors and those who are self-employed also pay ACC levies. But what exactly are these levies, and can I pay less? Let’s take a look…

What Are ACC Levies?

ACC levies are collected by the Accident Compensation Corporation or ACC. They are a crown entity which is responsible for administering New Zealand’s no-fault accidental-injury scheme. This means that ACC will pay the cost of medical treatment for an accidental injury, including help at home or work and income assistance. It also places a huge focus on injury prevention, funding campaigns to educate and inform individuals and workplaces about risks and how to reduce them.

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ACC and self-employed when it comes to claims

ACC and self-employed when it comes to claims

In the last few years, it has come to my attention that ACC's approach to weekly compensation claims for self-employed people is somewhat challenged.

This has been highlighted directly with a couple of situations with another colleague of mine and an ACC claim I have lodged myself.

There is a combination of lack of intuitive interface design by those involved with making ACC's system and the understanding of the medical people that use it.

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Health and Safety at Work

Health and Safety at Work

Health and Safety at work; why are we involved?

In a word it's risk. Risk for employees, risk for self-employed and risk for businesses.

For many of our retail or domestic clients this only has a bearing with us if the are injured at work and have to progress a claim with an insurer and/or ACC.

For employees

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I don't need advice on ACC! Don't you?

I don't need advice on ACC! Don't you?

Maybe you should have another look. This opinion piece in the New Zealand Herald is a great example of why you need a good risk adviser, who also works with ACC, as well as your insurance. 

No, you employed people aren't exempt from this either. If you plan on taking a break from employment for any reason you too need advice on your ACC coverage for accident disabilities and weekly compensation.

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New to business and new to ACC?

New to business and new to ACC?

You've got a fairly steep learning curve going on and ACC has just thrown a spanner in the works. It's a spanner in the works because ACC isn't intuitive and you're short on time and don't have time to figure this crap out right now.

If this resonates with you, you need to read this, it will short cut this for you.

Let's start with the simple things you need to understand first.

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Why should I restructure my ACC?

Why should I restructure my ACC?

If you are self-employed the answer is you should! We don't joke about this, restructuring your ACC will give you more certainty if you are disabled through an accident and if you have talked to a financial adviser and arranged income protection, you will have more certainty for non-accident disabilities as well.

Let me start at the beginning. You started your own business and you have been doing your thing for a few years, you have no income protection because you have got by this long without it.

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ACC review, is it worth it? Is $8,500 savings worth it?

ACC review, is it worth it? Is $8,500 savings worth it?

This is what we achieved for one of our clients without getting creative on cover levels and types of cover, the creative bit is likely to be another $2-3000 per annum ongoing.

So what have we achieved?

We've managed to achieve a $2,500 per year average saving on what they were previously doing and this applies to what they do going forward. Add to this an additional $2000 per annum after restructuring how they're covered, giving an expected savings of $4,500 per annum ongoing.

Significant in most people's book, so how did we achieve this?

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What can you earn when on ACC?

What can you earn when on ACC?

An interesting question that is often asked. In a nutshell, whatever you like, just that it gets deducted from your ACC weekly compensation claim.

ACC weekly compensation is there to cover loss or replace a loss of income. You earn something that loss is reduced; your ACC payment will be reduced too.

How does this work?

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New motor vehicle levies from ACC

New motor vehicle levies from ACC

ACC have published the new motor vehicle levies and they make interesting reading.

ACC have gone through and assigned a rating system from L1 to L4 for most vehicles, L1 being the most expensive and L4 being the least. If yours is not defined then the levy works on a year of manufacture basis. L1 for older vehicles and graduating though to the cheapest L4 for newer vehicles.

The reason I’m writing this is I disagree with some of the assertions in the NZ Herald article. ACC have done this review based on claims risk from actual injury data not vehicle safety. Injury’s drive ACC’s costs, not vehicle safety. Yes safer vehicles generally means less injuries and less ACC cost, but that doesn’t always translate directly from vehicle safety testing.

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ACC unpacked, what you really need to know

ACC unpacked, what you really need to know

ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) is New Zealand's unique no fault accident rehabilitation and support system

Ok, most of you know about ACC covering you for your medical expenses to treat you and recover from an accident. 

If you have had an accident you probably found this to be partially funded and you had to pay something towards the costs, depending on what you needed to be done. Which is a little disappointing but medical expenses only go so far.

The other aspect people know about is the replacement of income if you are off work in an accident situation, where 80% of your lost income can be replaced after seven days while you recover.

The things people may not fully appreciate are the other benefits and situations ACC cover which you need to be aware of.

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Run your own business and have out of control ACC levy bills?

Run your own business and have out of control ACC levy bills?

You are not alone; most business people comment that ACC levy invoices do not make much sense.

Part of the reason for this is the way ACC levies are calculated, some in advance and some in arrears. Often this is not in a sequential order so you might be paying this year's and paying a wash up on a year before last. This is usually because of the way you have reported your accounts; this is also across two or more levy invoices. Added to this the various components to cover the past and future risks ACC have, credits that happen if you have overpaid a portion calculated on a prior estimate.

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