CGU Launches Mental Health Claims Initiatives for Injured Workers and Businesses

CGU introduces mental health claims initiatives to support injured workers and businesses

CGU has introduced a range of mental health claims initiatives to support injured workers and businesses after new data revealed that mental health claims across Australian businesses are on the rise.

CGU provides workers compensation to more than 27,000 Australian businesses. It found that psychological injuries account for 20 per cent of all claims* but can drive significantly higher claims costs than physical injury claims alone.

To enhance support for injured workers and to address the associated challenges, CGU has recently rolled out programs nationally with leading experts in this field. CGU is now working with Navigator Group to streamline and automate the workers compensation claims process, while taking a proactive approach to risk identification and management.

CGU has also partnered with the Medical Assist Program, to ensure the most appropriate return to work options are considered and to promote the mental health benefits from returning to work sooner, with appropriate treatment and consideration.

Psychological claims include primary psychological injuries (5%) where the initial claim relates to direct mental health impacts following incidents such as workplace bullying, and secondary psychological injuries (15%) which develop due to the impacts of a physical injury on other aspects of a person’s life.

CGU found that claims costs can quadruple if there are secondary psychological injuries.

The initiatives come at an important time for businesses as claims costs are increasing due to inflation and the impacts of COVID-19. Through these and other initiatives CGU is already seeing improvements in return-to-work timelines, and in reducing claims periods and costs.

CGU Workers Compensation Executive Manager Dustin Bartley said: “The measures we’ve put in place are designed to help deliver a better outcome for employees and their employers.

“While most workers compensation claims relate to physical injuries, our data shows that these can often result in secondary mental health injuries, some of which can be addressed earlier and proactively, for the benefit of injured workers and employers.

“While workplace accidents happen, there are things that employers can do to help reduce the risk and impacts of both physical and mental health injuries on their employees. This includes the right safety and induction training, and providing support to injured workers through services like employee assistance programs.

“Brokers can also have conversations with their clients to help them navigate the claims process to ensure a better outcome and provide advice on how to reduce future risk.

“Importantly, we know inflation is putting pressure on the cost of insurance, so we’re focused on how we can keep claims costs down to benefit our customers, without compromising our quality service and support.

“We know workers compensation can be complex, which is why last year we reshaped CGU Workers Compensation under one team to provide a simpler experience for our broker partners and their clients. This allows us to consider and make decisions with fewer touch points, and service our customers efficiently.”

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