WorkCover insurance

WorkCover insurance

When it comes to car and home insurance it’s often top of mind. Yet nothing is more important than one’s life and the ability to make a living

 

It, therefore, makes good sense to ensure you have the necessary financial protection in place for your body corporate and others who work on your property in case of injury when it comes to repairs and maintenance for common areas. This is why WorkCover insurance has been introduced in Queensland.

If you’re a contractor, a self-employed individual, a director of a company, a partner of a partnership, or a trustee of a trust, getting workplace personal injury insurance through WorkCover Queensland is essential. WorkCover provides protection in the event of an injury and being unable to work as a result.

Many bodies corporate don’t consider this type of insurance as essential though given in most cases WorkCover is covered by the service provider. However, what happens if an owner volunteers to do a repairs job? Or a contractor without adequate insurance cover is appointed directly by the body corporate?

Our team at Body Corporate Services (BCS) has many unhappy stories to tell when bodies corporate has an inadequate cover, so to avoid this happening to you here’s some key information you should know.

Who is WorkCover Queensland?

WorkCover Queensland is a self-funded government statutory body providing workers’ compensation insurance in Queensland since 1997.

Given WorkCover accident insurance is compulsory for employers, they help to maintain the lowest possible average premium rate to support employers and the lives of injured workers.

How is WorkCover relevant for the body corporate?

WorkCover insures the body corporate against all statutory and damages claims in the event of a work-related injury for those who do work on behalf of the body corporate.

Good news, there are no limits or caps to the number of claims that can be lodged against the policy.

This type of policy is regardless of age or health, and responsibilities and obligations vary for different industries and organisations.

 

When should a body corporate obtain WorkCover insurance?

  • If your body corporate employs staff and pays wages to them
  • An owner or tenant does odd jobs around the property and is paid for those odd jobs
  • You have a caretaker or building manager paid as an employee
  • You directly hire a handyman or tradesman

What are the specific inclusions and exclusions I should consider?

In Queensland, the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the Act) applies. The Act lists specific inclusions and exclusions for who should be covered for workers’ compensation.

Under Section 11 of the Act, a worker must be an individual who performs the work. Therefore, if you engage a company they are not considered to be a worker.

 

Three criteria to determine who is “a worker”:

1. If they are paid to achieve a specified result or outcome
2. They provide the equipment and tools of trade to perform the work
3. They are or would be, liable for cost of rectifying any defect of the work performed.

If you need further clarity, WorkCover Queensland will determine whether the results tests are satisfied.

In addition, workplace personal injury insurance is for anyone deemed an “eligible person” under Section 23 of the Act.

An eligible person is an individual who, other than as a worker, receives remuneration or other benefit for performing work, providing services as a contractor, a self-employed individual, a director of a company, a partner of a partnership, or a trustee of a trust.

How does this differ from personal accident or voluntary workers insurance?

Many insurance policies include personal accident or voluntary workers insurance. This is cover for owners or tenants who may take the wheelie bins out for collection, or participate in a working bee to clean up common property, etc. They would be performing the work without any compensation or payment.

Did you know?
WorkCover policies are valid for one year expiring 30 June of each year.

How much is it likely to cost the body corporate?

The policy commences on 1 July each year.

The WorkCover premium is calculated using wages multiplied by a rate formula called “experience-based rating”.

You pay your premium provisionally, that is, you pay for your insurance at the beginning of a period, and adjust it at the end.

Your premium may cost as little as $200.00 depending on the number of workers and your claims history. The premium may vary from year to year. This won’t seem as much as when facing a large legal bill to establish the body corporate’s position in the face of a claim.

How do you apply for a WorkCover policy?

If your committee believes they do not require WorkCover, Body Corporate Services requires a resolution to put this into effect. You can apply at WorkCover Queensland: worksafe.qld.gov.au/insurance/apply-for-workcover-policy-online.

Body corporates should get qualified insurance experts to review their cover and confirm that properties are adequately insured should something go wrong. Making sure you get advice from an insurance expert is critical to safety and protection.

If you’d like to find out more on QLD legislation updates visit here. Or, if this raises a cause to review your common property insurance our CommunitySure insurance team can assist you. Click here to get started.

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Originally published on 25 August 2020


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