An Introduction to iCare, the “social insurer”

Read­ing time: 2 mins

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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About the author

Jamie Reid

Jamie works for Finity and is the appointed actuary of a number of health insurers. Jamie keeps busy outside work as Dad to three small children and a part-time sheep farmer.

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