A story about why ACC is screwed

This is a true story, it is about a mate who sadly was killed just one month ago. Only the names have been changed.

My mate Steve was killed last month in a freak accident. His head was crushed in an accident on an industrial property. Luckily another good friend of mine had counseled Steve when he had children to take out life insurance. The insurance company was a great help to his family and now his house mortgage is paid off and his wife and family receive a payout from the insurance company as well. She is doing well considering the tragic circumstances of his death.

Now this is where it gets real interesting. As the family were coming to grips with Steve’s detah and after having their financial worries taken care of by some sensible advice to take out an insurance policy when Steve had a child, they got an added bonus. They didn’t seek out this added bonus. ACC actually sought them out.

You see ACC is now paying 80% of Steve’s earnings from last year to his daughter until the day she turns 18. She is not even 2 years old now. I don’t know the exact figures but my mate who originally advised Steve to take out his insurance in the first place says that even just sticking the money in the bank and allowing for annual adjustments for inflation Steve’s daughter stands to have an account just short of a million dollars on the day she turns 18. All paid for by you and me via ACC.

Steve wife’s expectation was that she was adequately taken care off by the sensible precautions of her now deceased husband. To now have the added bonus, and there is no other description for it that fits, is almost like winning Lotto when your husband has tragically lost his life.

If this isn’t a story about how screwed ACC is then I don’t know what is?


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  • Adolf Fiinkensein

    itsatrap, you are a fool. Only a fool could write such inane claptrap.

    The contributions from NZ workers are what funds the ACC payout.

    Yes, that’s what it is. Claptrap from itsatrap. Here’s the corrected version.

    The contributions from NZ workers are abjectly failing to fund the ACC payout.

  • itsatrap

    Seriously Whale. Do you have any clue about what the ACC system is, or what it was set up to do?

    Your friend died in an workplace accident. In exchange for giving up the right to sue his employer for his untimely death, he has been paying ACC premiums into an insurance risk pool. The contributions from NZ workers are what funds the ACC payout.

    From what you posted, the system worked exactly as it was supposed to. It isn't "screwed up" at all.

    • He was self employed you twat, he wasn't even working at the time.

      • itsatrap

        Which has precisely what to do with it?

        Are social league rugby players 'working' when they're injured on the rugby field? Are recreational cyclists 'working' when they're injured on the road?

        If he's self-employed, then he will have been paying ACC premiums for Work Place Cover or Cover Plus. These schemes *are* insurance policies.

    • mediatart

      Doesnt add up. This doesnt match what ACC say they give.
      When a parent dies as the result of an injury, ACC can help with the costs of childcare supervision or caring for children. Childcare payments are made to the caregiver of the children, for up to five years or until the child turns 14.

      Nowhere is there an open ended payment till the child reaches 18 let alone at 80% of the income.

      Someone has told Whale porkies

  • Adolf Fiinkensein

    Was this 'entitlement' added to ACC's repertoire between 1999 and 2008?

  • Adolf Fiinkensein

    Well, whaddya know? This entitlement was introduced on August 1st, 2008. Long after Cullen had deliberately hidden ACC's yawning deficit.

  • Anonymous

    And this is precisely what is screwed about ACC itsatrap. Why can't the workers family sue the workplace for the accident? Why does the taxpayer have to fund a payout for something that is a) not required in the circumstance as the family were smart enough to have cover and b) ridiculous anyway as we already have insurance for lost earnings – it is called the dole, DPB and welfare and most of your tax dollars goes into paying it.

    • mediatart

      For a workplace accident the tax payers DONT pay. The employers pay into an insurance fund, and this FUND pays. This fund is ring fenced from the Motor vehicle fund, and the out of work fund( which is partly paid by the government) which is paid for by the wage earners.

      The level of ignorance here is beyond belief

      • Your ignorance is astounding, according to you Employers aren't taxpayers, neither are Motorists, nor wage earners, just who are these mythical taxpayers who have to keep writing out the cheques for the increasing largess of the socialist state?

        Yes the grieving widow just made all this up for the sheer fun of it all. Fuck you Media Slut.

        • mediatart

          Insurers pay out claims all the time, you and I both know that.The only difference is IRD collects the insurance premiums for ACC.

          I dont think she made it up, yes they get some payments.
          So what !
          People have multiple life insurance policies all the time. I could insure my life so my sweetest gets $50,000 on my death, and he could insure my life so he gets $500,000 on my death.

          These people had two insurance policies, one they paid for the premiums and another the employer paid the premiums.

        • Chris C

          She may not have made it up, but just because she's grieving that doesn't mean she can't get stuff wrong. In fact, because she's been through that tragic loss, she may be more likely to be mistaken.

          By the way, my lawyer prefers having ACC because she tells me that in countries where contingency fee solicitors are the norm, like the UK, people more often than not either don't sue and end up claiming welfare for their injuries for a longer period of time, or go through incredible stress when going through the legal process – for less than 5% of claims made in the courts being successful.

          Although I was shocked that ACC existed when I came to live here, I prefer paying my levy than having a free-for-all clogging up the civil courts system with no-win-no-fee ambulance chasing solicitors.

          You'll pay for what people get from ACC, one way or another. Other countries do. What would you prefer?

    • Sinner

      Not being able to sue is the only good thing about ACC

      Tort lawsuits are just a tax on the rich by another name. Look at the US! Noone is going to sue a poor person, only a rich, productive person or a rich company. Why the fuck should my company's assets be seized by the state (whether through ACC or a court) to pay for some dozy fuck who gets himself killed??

      ACC taxes and payouts are bad. Lawsuits and their costs and payouts are bad too.

      Key and Smith could have courage and get rid of the lot!

  • Anonymous

    That's right so even if this poor bloke was killed and the widow could sue, she would be entitled to welfare benefits etc… not to the level of 80% of his income, but why should she be? She can still get a job to support the family. An 18 year old doesn't need a million dollars and if "Steve" had died of a terminal illness instead of a workplace accident – luck of the draw would mean ACC wouldn't be paying out for that.

    A private insurance company re-insures its risk, that is the company "Steve" insured with doesn't have to pay all that money out, it has reinsured somewhere else. ACC doesn't re-insure its risks anywhere than with the ACC Minister who hikes up the fees.

    ACC is not insurance, it is welfare. Pure and simple.

    • mediatart

      You have no idea about reinsurance. Its for catastrophic claims. Like a whole town hit by a bomb and hundreds of people killed all covered by one company.
      ACC covers all the country so the risk is ALLREADY spread.
      The risk of a healthy person being killed by an accident is VERY VERY LOW so wouldnt be reinsured.

  • alex Masterley

    And if as you say it is a workplace accident, OSH will be crawling over the accident area like bugs on a bumper.
    The employer will probably be prosecuted under the ealth'nsafety regime and most likely found guilty. As part of the sentence the employer will be fined and ordered to pay significant reparation to the deceased's family as well as the ACC payment.

    • Which is fair cop in the absence of lump sum payments (there seemed to be none here except for the funeral).

      • Sinner

        Bullshit! The employer risked their money employing this guy who couldn't even fucking keep himself alive.
        Him dying on the job probably delayed the fucking contract too.

        Why should employers have to pay for this?
        Why should people who want to RISK THEIR MONEY to GIVE BLUDGERS JOBS have to put up with all tis red take and shit?

        If you don't want to put yourself at risk of an accident DONT TAKE A JOB

        now fuck off

    • Sinner

      All the more fucking reason to get rid of ACC – and not bring back the right to sue.

      Haven't you heard of personal responsibility??

      Workplace accidents are the fault of the workers. Pure and Simple. The only good thing ACC ever did was remove the "right" to sue – not a right really, created by leftist judges and parliamentarians.

  • Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!

    This plan of Nick Smith’s to hit all those who already pay their way with ACC with increased taxes (euphemistically called ‘premiums’) needs a backlash like the fart tax to defeat it.

  • Adolf Fiinkensein

    Alex, if he was self employed, his family might have to pay back all the ACC money to meet the fine. Now THAT would be bureaucratic heaven, eh?

    • Peter

      This is not a good example because it is exactly the situation that ACC is meant to cover and justifies the scheme. No ACC and you have an ambulance chasing lawyer acting for the family. A jury would give the family $10 mill + and the lawyer would probably take up to 50% in fees. The industrial Company would be paying horrendous premiums, all passed on to consumers. It was the massive overheads (as in the US and OZ) in legal costs etc that made the ACC scheme attractive. This is still the case; where it has gone wrong is the extension of ACC cover to non work accidents. By comparison with other busines liability insurance cover ACC is still cheap (except for the very big employers).

      • Adolf Fiinkensein

        Peter, you are talking crap. ACC is NOT a life insurance company. What should happen did happen. The family took life insurance which took account of his occupational risk.

        This incredible folly is just one of the many uncosted social welfare burdens dumped onto ACC by a shonky government desperate for every vote it could get.

        Nick Smith should get rid of these liabilities at the earliest opportunity. I'd say these do not need to wait for next term. I don't recall any election pledge to maintain Labour's many ACC rorts.

      • Sinner

        This is not a good example because it is exactly the situation that ACC is meant to cover and justifies the scheme

        Utter crap. It's a crap example and shows why ACC should be abolished

        No ACC and you have an ambulance chasing lawyer acting for the family. A jury would give the family $10 mill

        No ACC and retain the no-fault regime and a lawyer and a jury and anyone else get NOTHING.
        ABSO-FUCKING-LUETLY NOTHING. Just as it should be.
        By comparison with other busines liability insurance cover ACC is still cheap (except for the very big employers).

        Even under that motherfucking CUNT hellen, big employers didn't pay levies, they could "self insure". But they still had to meet the claims. That's what;s wrong with ACC – the idea that you get paid for injuries. Take personal responsibility. DOn't come crying to your boss or the govt or anyone else if you fuck up.
        You fuck up, you get injured, you take responsibility. End of story.

  • replayradio

    Keep in mind that if Steve hadn't of died but was left unable to work ACC would have had to cover and contribute towards medical costs… perhaps beyond the point of his daughter turning 18.

    • Adolf Fiinkensein

      "hadn't have died" if you don't mind, you illiterate prick.

      • Simon

        Still poor and too cumbersome Adolf. "..hadn't died" is the correct form, you illiterate prick.

        • Sinner

          had not died.

          Labour voting cunt.

  • Lucy

    In the late 90’s the National Government changed the law to allow employers to have a choice as to the type of provider they wanted. They could stay with ACC or go with a Private Insurance company.

    I was contracting for a large company (5000 employees) and they chose to go private. The costs to the company were 60% of those charged by ACC. We monitored the provider closely and I can honestly say that the service and coverage was superior to that provided by ACC.

    ACC lost 90% of its customers. The scheme worked very well.

    What did Uncle do as soon as they were in power?Changed the system back to a state monopoly within a year.

    Why cant National change it back? It was proven to have worked.

    Is it because no 'sane private insurer' would ever meet the 'entitlements' dished out by the state?

    • SInner

      Is it because no 'sane private insurer' would ever meet the 'entitlements' dished out by the state?

      Fuck YEAH.

  • Spam

    "Still poor and too cumbersome Adolf. "..hadn't died" is the correct form, you illiterate prick."

    Yes, but "hadn't OF died" is presumably what Adolf's complaint was about.

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  • Somebody Else

    This story is bullshit.

    Have a look at the Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Compensation Act 2001, schedule 1, clause 70:
    “Weekly compensation for child
    (1) The Corporation is liable to pay weekly compensation to a child of a deceased claimant.
    (2) Compensation payable under this clause is payable from the date of the claimant’s death at the rate of 20%”
    (In other words, dependent children each get weekly payments of 20% of 80% of the parent’s income, not the full 80%)

    It may be that Steve's family in total is getting 80% of his earnings – as compensation for the income loss his death represents. But as has been pointed out earlier, this is 'cause Steve's family can't sue the employer for the negligence that lead to his death. Which is a good thing, because the only people to win with lawsuits are lawyers.

    • You may say it is bullshit but it is exactly as i have had it related to me by the spouse of the deceased.

      Calling me a liar is by far the fastest way to get permenetly banned from this blog, do it again here or on another blog and you will be.

  • djg

    So if he had six kids he is worth more dead. 6 x 20% = 120% of his income.

  • Somebody Else


    Nah – the 20% of 80% of earnings is the share for all the kids … so if there were 6, they'd 3.67% of 80% each. I'm assuming Cameron's "Steve" only had one kid … so she'll get the 20% all to herself.

  • TheSensationalist

    This post is just nasty and totally ill-informed, I'm glad the commentary has correctly explained what happens in reality.
    Also people who live in glasshouses shouldn't throw stones.

  • The "old" National Party put it out to competition, so surely Johns Nat Pack can do this too right? They have ACT salivating for you guys to use your balls and do it…. so whats the hold up??? Schnell!!

  • BleedingtodeathbyTAX

    Just worked out what I pay for ACC: Employer levy just my bit), Employee levy, Petrol levy, Car and motorbike regos Total $3267. Going up to $5383 per annum with new increases. Wonder how much cover I could buy for myself privately for that. Oh I forgot I am paying for a shit load of other people as well.

  • Dawn

    May I ask if the 20% paid to the child of the deceased would be deducted from the mothers DPB entitlement?