Becoming self-insured

When you apply to become self-insured, you are applying for direct responsibility and management of all existing and new work injury claims in your workplace.

You will be responsible for managing work injuries in accordance with the Return to Work Act 2014, as well as ensuring you have appropriate work health safety systems in place to minimise the incidence of work injuries.

The risks and benefits of being self-insured should be considered in conjunction with other insurance options such as Retro Paid Loss.

How to apply

Our guide on applying for registration as a self-insured employer (DOCX, 360 KB) provides information on the application process.

To apply for registration as a self-insured employer, you will need to:

Prior to taking any action to become self-insured, we recommend you call the Technical Lead Insurer Performance on (08) 8233 2002 or email to arrange a time to meet with us. We will explain what it means to be self-insured and the steps you need to take to become self-insured.

Assessing your application

When assessing your suitability and readiness to become self-insured, we will consider:

  • the number of workers employed
  • the resources that you have for the administration of claims under the Return to Work Act 2014
  • whether you are likely to be able to continue to meet your liabilities
  • the design and implementation of your work health and safety, and injury management systems
  • interactions with SafeWork SA
  • the incidence and severity of injuries in your workplace/s
  • the effect, or likely effect, of working conditions under which workers are employed
  • your recovery and return to work record
  • your record in providing suitable employment
  • the views of industrial associations with a proper interest in your application
  • your attitude toward the rehabilitation of labor hire employees injured in your workplace/s
  • your readiness to exercise the powers and discretions delegated to self-insured employers

In deciding to grant a period of registration as a self-insured employer we may also have regard to any other matter that we consider relevant. The decision to approve an application for an initial grant of registration as a self-inured employer sits with the Board of ReturnToWorkSA.

The period of registration for the initial grant may be for up to 3 years and any subsequent registration periods may be granted for up to 5 years.

Further information about what it means to be self-insured can be found in the code of conduct for self-insured employers.  (PDF, 7971 KB)

Claims liabilities

On becoming self-insured you will be liable for all past, present and future outstanding claims liabilities, including liability for claims that have been incurred but not yet reported.

The transfer of these liabilities comes with some risk to the self-insured employer.

The value of the liability transfer payment is determined using a central estimate of outstanding claims liabilities determined by an actuary. This means liabilities assumed by the employer may exceed the value of the liability transfer payment. No further payments will be made to account for any difference between the value of the liability transfer payment and the ultimate costs incurred by the self-insured employer.

Before commencing registration as a self-insured employer you will need to agree to the value of any liability transfer payment payable to or by ReturnToWorkSA.

Our guideline on the liability transfer payments (DOCX, 517 KB) provides further information on the assumption of outstanding claims liabilities and the liability transfer payment.

Self-insured fee

Self-insured employers are required to pay an annual self-insured fee to ReturnToWorkSA. This fee is expressed as a percentage of the base premium that would have been payable had the employer not been registered as a self-inured employer.

The self-insured fee is reviewed annually.

  • The private self-insured fee for 2022-23 is 4.4 percent of base premium for employers who have been self-insured for less than 10 years, or 3.4 percent of base premium for employers who have been self-insured for more than 10 years.
  • The Crown self-insured fee for 2022-23 is 3.3 percent of base premium.

GST and a WHS fee which is collected on behalf of SafeWork SA are paid in addition to the self-insured fee.

For more information about self-insurance, please contact