What Happens if You’re Injured and Self Employed?

You’re covered by ACC, right? Well, not necessarily, or at least, not at the level you might imagine.  We have recently seen a case where a self employed person in their first year of trading has been put on the minimum amount of $218 per week, despite earning good money as a self employed person – because she did not have any prior year accounts (being new to business).  We could prove her current income level but that was not sufficient for ACC and she is being severely financially stressed, trying to survive both her injury and on $300 per week.

Thanks ACC, what champions!

Having spent the last 25 years in New Zealand in business myself and working with business owners, I’ve seen more cases of injustice than justice so it pays to really take a moment to think about this topic.  25% of business owners will require a six-month break from work between the ages of 45 to 65 due to illness or injury. That’s a lot of people so make sure you’re covered. Illness obviously is not covered by ACC so talk to your insurer about this – but injury can be covered by ACC.

So if you’re new to business, check out this webpage from ACC which gives you some options (although they don’t mention that they won’t cover your first year of trading!).

CoverPlus gives you 80% of your earnings from your last set of financial statements – this is not clear from ACC but is how it works.  No statements, no 80%.  If your earnings are increasing or you are new to business then consider the next option:

CoverPlus Extra – this allows you to set your own weekly payment and your own ACC levy.


Discuss with your insurer – this may be a better option.

I also cannot stress strongly enough that where ACC can avoid paying you anything, they will, so take some time to protect yourself and your family. Let us know if you have any good or bad stories about your experiences with ACC or contact [email protected] if you want more specific assistance with ACC.  

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