Specialised insurers

If you are a licensed specialised insurer, you can underwrite workers compensation liabilities and manage workers compensation claims for employers in a defined industry.

Specialised insurers are responsible for:

  • targeted work health and safety, return to work and injury management programs for workers within a defined industry
  • the direct ownership and management of workplace and workers compensation risks
  • the experience and outcomes for injured workers
  • workforce relationships

A standard licence lasts up to five years. It can be renewed thereafter.


When considering to apply to become a specialised insurer, there are a number of requirements to meet.

These requirements ensure specialised insurers obtain appropriate authorities, are financially viable and maintain high standards of injury management and case management throughout the term of the licence.

You can read more about licensing requirements in the specialised insurer licensing framework.

The licensing requirements include:

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority authorisation

If you're a specialised insurer you must hold an authority from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to carry out insurance in Australia (unless exempted by specific legislation).

Ownership and controls specifications

Specialised insurers must be incorporated with 50 per cent of the shares and paid up capital held by the relevant professional, business or other industry bodies with 50 per cent of the voting rights.

Strong financial viability and strength

To be a specialised insurer you must:

  • be adequately capitalised
  • have a strong financial position based on net tangible assets
  • have a sound profit and cash flow history
  • lodge your annual report (including audited financial statements) each financial year

Financial security

If you're a specialised insurer you're required to provide financial security to ensure you're able to meet your workers compensation liabilities.

Our security policy sets out the types of security and the terms under which security will be accepted.


If you're a specialised insurer you must obtain appropriate reinsurance cover for your workers compensation risks.

Case management practices

We will conduct case management audits periodically throughout a licence term. This assists specialised insurers to monitor compliance with legislation and identify opportunities for improvement in case management. Specialised insurers will also be required to report self-audit results at least annually.

WHS Loss Management program

Specialised insurers are required to demonstrate that they have a WHS Loss Management program in place to assist insured employers maintain strong work health and safety standards.

The WHS Loss Management program should focus on systematic approaches to injury and/or illness prevention based on industry-specific problem areas utilising WHS risk management principles.

Our specialised insurer loss management assessment criteria have more information on loss management programs and our expectations.

Our licensing framework explains our requirements in more detail.

How to apply

  1. Complete a specialised insurer application form and provide the information outlined in the application for a new specialised insurer licence: requirements document
  2. An application fee of $50,000 is payable at the time of your application. The fee is GST exempt and non-refundable regardless of the outcome of your application

For more information you can email

List of specialised insurers

For a list of specialised insurers see the How to get workers compensation insurance page of our website.