About ACC Cover Plus Extra

accAs a self-employed business owner or individual in New Zealand, you have numerous options for insurance coverage if you are unable to work. The government offers two levels of loss of earnings compensation: ACC Cover Plus and Cover Plus Extra. Both covers require you to pay ACC levies and both are limited to personal injury coverage only. However, many self-employed people prefer ACC Cover Plus Extra because it provides them flexibility in managing their insurance cover to meet their needs and budget. ACC coverage options are explained in detail at the ACC website www.acc.co.nz

What You Need to Know about ACC Cover Plus Extra

ACC Cover Plus Extra comes into effect when you have a personal injury and are unable to work. It helps pay for diagnostic tests, treatment, surgery, rehabilitation and prescription costs associated with your injury. However, unlike ACC Cover Plus, the optional Extra plan allows you to choose your level of compensation, subject to ACC underwriting approval. This personal injury cover, you give you a set amount of compensation for when you are out of work due to an injury. This means you do not have to prove your earnings when making a claim, which is required with ACC Cover Plus.

With ACC Cover Plus Extra, you have the option to select lower levels of weekly compensation. If you select this option, you can lower your ACC levy by reducing the amount premium you pay each year. Keep in mind that even though your work hours may have increased prior to your injury, with the lower levels of weekly compensation option, you will only receive loss of earnings compensation at the lower level of weekly compensation you selected.

What ACC Cover Plus Extra Doesn’t Cover

All ACC cover plans, including Plus Extra, only provide loss of earnings compensation for when you have a work or non-work injury that prevents you from doing your job. It does not cover you when you are not able to work due to an illness, a health condition, a disability, or an old injury that reoccurred due to wear and tear.

In addition, ACC cover is only available to people who are self- employed full time, which is defined by the government as 30 hours or more per week. Part-time self-employed individuals who earn more than the ACC Cover Plus Extra minimum can qualify for coverage. The minimum changes each year, but for the 2013/2014 levy year, the minimum amount of loss of earnings compensation before tax is $432 a week or $22,464 a year. The maximum amount of lost earnings compensation allowed is $1,785.98 per week before tax or $92,871 per year.

Since ACC is designed to pay out for personal injury only, there is limited compensation available in the event that death results from the injury. ACC makes available grants that help supplement the cost of burial, childcare, spousal support and weekly compensation.

Because of the limitations of ACC cover, most self- employed New Zealanders supplement ACC with private insurance, such as income protection insurance, mortgage protection insurance with mortgage repayment and/or life insurance.

How You Can Save Money with ACC and Private Insurance

When you supplement ACC Cover Plus Extra with private insurance, you can save significantly on your ACC levy. ACC levies are based on many factors, among them: the structure of your business, the number of years in business, the type of work you do, your earnings over the last three years, whether replacement labour is required and your risk of future injuries.

But you can lower these levies considerably by having private insurance cover. In most cases, you will end up paying less for private insurance than what you would have to pay in ACC levies. In addition, with private insurance, you will be covered for more than just personal injury.

Here’s how private insurance works with ACC Plus Extra:

1.You take out private insurance, whether it’s life insurance, income protection insurance, or mortgage protection insurance. We can help you decide which type of insurance is right for you based on your needs. We’ll also get rates for you from up to 7 different insurance companies so you can quickly and easily compare the different covers and premiums.

2.Once your private insurance is in force, you opt for ACC Plus Extra and select a lower level of compensation.

3.Your ACC levy is greatly reduced so you can use these savings to help pay for your private insurance policy.

To get started, simply contact us for your quick and easy private insurance rates comparison specifically designed for self- employed New Zealanders. You’ll receive up to seven different rates from insurance providers and we’ll help you compare them to determine the best insurance coverage for your needs. Our rate comparison is free and available 24/7.