An Introduction to iCare, the “social insurer”

Despite the rain, the room was full when Dai Liu presented an ‘Introduction to icare’ Insights Session at the Institute on 16 March, 2017. Here, Jamie Reid reports on an informative session about the largest general insurance service provider in Australia.

icare was formed in 2015 following a reorganisation of state insurance in NSW. It is the largest general insurance service provider in Australia, with assets of over $30 billion.

icare touches almost every aspect of life in NSW, insuring workers, motorists and state government assets, including the iconic Opera House and harbour bridge. It also supports people with dust diseases and their families, underwrites home warranty insurance, and provides protection for serious sporting injuries.

Key statistics include:

  • more than 3 million people are covered by icare workers insurance
  • more than 1,000 people are in the Lifetime Care and Support Scheme
  • icare supports 4,000 people affected by work-related dust diseases, and insures over 17,000 builders 

But icare is much more than just a big insurance company. icare is short for “Insurance and Care”, and both insurance and care are considered to be equally important. The organisation prides itself on providing person centric services with a commercial mind and a social heart, and refers to this balance as its DNA.

Dai Liu

Dai described icare as a “social insurer which measures itself by the lives it changes.” He presented a number of case studies, including the Back on Track program, which iCare delivers in partnership with the Australian Paralympic Committee.

Back on Track helps seriously injured people deal with the challenges of their injuries, and assists with overcoming obstacles. icare is also a partner in the John Walsh Centre for Rehabilitation Research, named for actuary John Walsh AM.


Where do actuaries fit in?

Initiatives such as those outlined by Dai are only possible if icare is operating in a financially sustainable way, so actuaries have a key role in the business.

Actuarial advice is required on scheme liabilities, pricing, budgeting, and funding requirements, amongst other important tasks. icare looks to its actuaries for insights to help it meet its goals. Actuaries have also developed visualisation metrics which help all icare staff to balance customer and financial objectives.

Dai also spoke about the actuary as a professional, and how this professionalism and the public interest were central to his work at icare.

icare’s vision statement is “to change the way people think about insurance and care by providing world class services to people, businesses and communities.” icare aims to be regarded as the best of its kind in the world, and looking to understand and leverage global best practice across industries.

What struck me most was Dai’s passion for icare and its important role in NSW. Dai described icare as the “most friendly, collaborative and supportive environment” he has worked in. If everyone at icare has the same drive as Dai, world class may be within reach. 

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