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Why do NDIS service providers need insurance?

As an accredited service provider, it is your responsibility to uphold the core values of the NDIS and not to bring the Scheme into disrepute.
Protection, in the form of insurance, is a requirement to meet your NDIS obligation and, importantly, to protect you and your business against any work-related risks.
To reduce your level of risk when running a business under the NDIS, you must meet its contractual requirements. Insurance policies cover you for any potential liability.
Also, to uphold the core values of the NDIS, your insurance policies must be designed to underpin those values.

How do service providers meet NDIS insurance requirements?

For service providers to work under the required scope of the NDIS, and to ensure appropriate risk protection, essential insurances are mandatory as follows:

Public Liability

Professional Indemnity

Personal Accident or
Workers Compensation

OPTIONAL for sole traders ONLY under the NDIS

1. Public Liability insurance

Why do service providers need Public Liability insurance?

Public Liability insurance protects your business in the event you are being sued for causing or contributing to an accident while providing your services.

It can include protection from the legal costs associated with defending yourself against any legal claims made against you.

Risk exposure considerations

a) When you enter another person’s premises, your duty is to act responsibly so as not to cause damage while you are carrying out your responsibilities.

b) If you break anything, it needs to be reported, whether or not the cost is higher or less than your excess (excesses typically are in the range of $500). You should always report the matter, but do not make an offer to the person whose property you have damaged. Why?

i. It’s common for the property owner to be insured.
ii. It’s common knowledge that when you enter a property belonging to someone else that they owe you a duty of care.

If the person does not hold insurance, then they may make a claim and your Public Liability insurance will cover you.

c) If a claim is made against you relating to any damage (this is something that would usually be covered by a Public Liability policy), your insurer will require to see a letter of demand from the third party before responding to the claim.

d) A Public Liability insurance policy will not cover you in the event a third party suffers financial loss due to an accident caused as a result of your business failing to provide services professionally and responsibly. At this point, your business may be exposed to risks including being reported under the Scheme, which could result in the delay of further contracts or lead to you requiring the services of a solicitor.

2. Professional Indemnity insurance

Why do service providers need Professional Indemnity insurance?

Professional Indemnity insurance protects your business in the event you are being sued for an act, error, breach of duty or omission, in relation to the provision of your professional advice or services or behaviour in carrying out your responsibilities.

It can respond and protect your business, if a supplier, customer or member of the public is injured, or sustains damage to their property, as a result of your negligent behaviour.

Professional Indemnity insurance is required because Public Liability insurance does not cover any claims caused from a lack of professional service ‘acumen’ and if the way you delivered your services has led to the financial loss of a third party.

Professional Indemnity insurance cover may assist in defending your position as a worthy service provider under the NDIS.

Risk exposure considerations

If you are already running a business, your advice must be supported, or underpinned, with Professional Indemnity insurance.

If you provide a service that is reported later not to be ‘working’ and you are invited back to fix it, you should go back and fix it at your own cost;  insurers do not cover the costs of guaranteeing the outcome of your work.

Consider this: Would you want to deal with a business who is unable to hold this cover? The answer is undoubtedly no. That’s why it’s an insurance requirement for all service providers (not just under the NDIS).

3. Workers Compensation or Accident Cover

Why should service providers consider Workers Compensation or Accident Cover?

Workers Compensation or Accident Cover is sensible, as it provides support in the event of an accident that prevents you from working (including under the NDIS). The types of insurance cover that must be considered include:

• Workers Compensation Insurance : If you own an incorporated business (i.e. Pty Ltd) you must purchase this insurance to cover the loss of wages (in the event of an accident) and certain payouts (in the event of the loss of use of an eye or limb, etc.)

Note: The requirements of this insurance differ depending on the state or territory that your business operates within. If you are the primary earner and don’t qualify for workers compensation, you may require personal accident cover.

• Personal Accident Cover :  If you are a sole trader, you can purchase Personal Accident Cover instead of Workers Compensation Insurance. This cover provides an agreed payment under certain conditions if you are injured and is to cover expenses incurred till you are fit for work.

Dealing with an insurance specialist

Insurance documents are complicated; that’s why MyPROVIDERsearch recommends you use Envirosure, or another insurance specialist, who is familiar with contract law.

An insurance specialist can arrange insurance covers that best meet unexpected risk exposure while you, or your staff, are working under the NDIS. If your business provides services to customers other than NDIS participants, your insurance cover will need to be designed to meet your overall business needs and not just to cover your NDIS service activities.

Often an insurance premium is the key factor that guides your purchase decision. But be careful choosing purely on price, as not all policies are designed the same way. Some policies are sold with exclusions, which may mean you’re the one left trying to work out if the policy was right or not for you.

The expectations you should have when dealing with different types of insurance professionals are:

An agent cannot provide advice concerning the performance of a policy.

Insurance brokers: A broker will provide advice and insurance selection, but products may not always be recommended. If a policy is not ‘recommended’, the responsibility lies with you, not the provider. Sometimes a broker will sell a policy with disclaimers stating they only act as an Agent of the Insurer; this means they will not take responsibility if the insurance cover is inappropriate.

Certified insurance professional (CIP): A CIP recommend insurance products that will provide you with a certainty of outcome. They have the responsibility of ensuring that an insurance cover they recommend protects your business AND meets NDIS requirements.
The insurance provider you work with must be familiar with the products they are recommending to you. Before purchasing any insurance cover, ask yourself:

Does my insurance agent/broker/specialist clearly understand the products, services and types of claims that can occur in my sector?
How experienced is my insurance specialist?
Do they receive support from other organisations or associations in the sector?

If you’re not confident that an insurance provider can meet your needs, then always contact another specialist. It’s essential that the insurance protection you purchase meets the NDIS requirements and provides appropriate protection for your business.

Envirosure can assist with your NDIS insurance requirements

MyPROVIDERsearch has partnered with Envirosure, an accredited and certified wholesale and retail insurance specialist who provides professional NDIS focused insurance advice and cover. The Australian Federal Government recognises that the standardised covers delivered by EnviroSure are ‘prescribed’, so you know you’re in safe and knowledgeable hands. Envirosure can provide you with:

specialist NDIS insurance requirement advice
competitively priced insurance cover (based on comparative insurer/broker studies)
standard and bespoke insurance solutions
quick and comprehensive insurance cover.

For more information on Envirosure go to https://www.envirosure.com.au/Page/Home

To contact Envirosure:

Phone: 1300 799 950
Email: https://www.envirosure.com.au/Page/contact

IMPORTANT NOTE:

MyPROVIDERsearch does not provide insurance advice. This information is to be used as a guide only.

We recommend you contact Envirosure, or your insurance agent, who can advise you on the correct cover needed for your business to meet your legal and NDIS obligations.

Other common insurances you should consider

We’ve included a list of common insurances and some helpful tips that may be handy when considering purchasing them:

• Home Insurance :  This is designed with a high level of consumer protection. Make sure if you’re a homeowners or renters that you place realistic values on the property you’re insuring.

• Comprehensive Motor Vehicle Insurance :  This is designed with a high level of consumer protection. Most covers are the same, and it’s a matter of choice by price.

• Compulsory Third Party Motor Vehicle Insurance :  This is commonly referred to as “prescribed” or “statutory” insurance (meaning it’s mandatory). All insurers adhere to a standard of cover for community protection; you can’t register your car without this cover in place.

• Personal Accident :  Variations can include accident, sickness, work hours or 24-hr cover. Premiums can vary wildly depending on your profession, trade or age. Make sure you understand the cover being purchased. Under certain NDIS contracts, this cover is compulsory.

• Travel Insurance :  Variations can include accident, sickness, work hours or 24-hr cover. Premiums can vary wildly depending on your profession, trade or age. Make sure you understand the cover being purchased. Under certain NDIS contracts, this cover is compulsory.

• Public Liability Insurance :  The critical limitation of this cover is that claims can be denied if the event or accident in question occurred as a result of professional negligence or inexperience, resulting in an accident.

• Professional Indemnity Insurance :  This insurance is commonly sold with a disclaimer which leaves the insured to work out if the cover has been issued correctly or not. However, if a PI policy has been ‘recommended’, the responsibility of performance rests with the insurance supplier.

Envirosure can provide advice or a quote for any of the above insurance types.

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