Motor vehicle accident claims top $2.1 million
The Accident Compensation Corporation (A.C.C.) paid out a total of $2.1 million in 2019, which it says is the highest amount disbursed from successful claims in the last five years.
The figure was confirmed by A.C.C. Operations Manager, Fauono Gladys Fuimaono, who said the highest number of accident claims are from motor vehicles.
The service sector accounts for the highest number of claims with the lowest number of claims lodged coming from the construction sector.
Since 2015, the number of new claims received by the A.C.C. – excluding on-going claims carried forward from previous years – continued to increase steadily.
In 2019 for instance, the number of new claims reached 323, which was a 20 per cent increase from the previous year of 265 new claims.
And as many more new cases increased, so did the compensation paid out.
During the last five years, 2019 saw the highest amount paid out for claims topping $1.6 million from the previous year 2018.
In the last five years, compensation paid out dropped in 2017amounting to $1.3 million, despite an increase in the number of new claims received. Registered employers paying amounts to the A.C.C. have also increased over the past five years. As of 2019, a total of 1268 employers are registered with the A.C.C.
Fauono stated that A.C.C. achieves an average of 9 per cent return on investment from its property investment, term deposits and Government investment yearly.
According to the A.C.C. 2017 Annual Report, the accident compensation scheme is financed by a levy paid by employers at 1 per cent of gross wages and salaries paid to workers, and a levy of 1 per cent of workers' gross salaries and wages deducted and paid by employers as well as the fuel levy of 5 sene per gallon of fuel imported and used in propelling specified conveyances.
Other sources of income for the A.C.C., included investments in its five storey building [A.C.C. House] and the two storey building [Goldstar], operation of the market and food court at Fugalei, and the interest on fixed deposits in local financial institutions.
Although they are not statutory functions, they are crucial in providing additional revenue for the corporation.
However, Fauono added that the A.C.C. also offers other services apart from its typical service of compensating for accidents and within the scope of the accident compensation legislation.
"These are our rehabilitation activities and community obligations. Community obligations include the CT Scan for the Ministry of Health and vehicles to assist the Fire and Emergency services with their multi-emergency response services," she said.
In 2017, the rehabilitation service delivery which is an ongoing program was implemented successfully, as revealed in a 33 per cent reduction in case referrals for long term rehabilitation in the year. The four out of 12 victims recovered from injuries and were able to return to work.