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Our History

Established in 1993 in response to underwriters withdrawing their support for local government in Public Liability and Professional Indemnity cover, Statewide Mutual has consistently been there for its Member Councils.

Prior to 1993

During this time, individual councils with poor claims records were being heavily penalised and many had difficulty obtaining cover. They were insured in a variety of manners, such as directly with underwriters or through brokerage firms.

This scenario was particularly volatile. Claims were spiralling out of control and premiums were rising rapidly. Annual increases of 20-30% were not uncommon. Underwriters were fleeing at a rate of knots as a result of high claims costs.

At the time of Statewide Mutual’s formation, there were few underwriters in Australia willing to write local government business.

We commenced with a membership of 96 councils and have progressively grown to become the leading risk partner for NSW local government.

HIH liquidation

When the HIH Group of Companies went into liquidation during March 2001, we came to the rescue. We met the costs of unsettled claims against impacted councils whose claims occurred during the period HIH provided reinsurance to the Scheme. Without this support, totalling approximately $9 million, impacted councils were in danger of financial disaster.

A number of the other local government providers weren’t able to provide the same support to their members.

Introducing the right cover for members

Over the years we have progressively developed schemes in response to Member Council’s needs and primary areas of risk.  These include:

  • Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Scheme
    As the cornerstone of our existence since 1993, the limit of indemnity on Public Liability and Professional Indemnity claims was increased in 2006 from $200 million to $300 million with the additional reinsurance premium being met from surplus funds. In 2007 the Public Liability cover was again increased, to $400 Million with the premium coming from reserves.
  • Fidelity Guarantee Scheme
    Introduced in 1995 to provide protection from fraudulent embezzlement or misappropriation of money or goods belonging to a council. Cover is provided up to a limit of $1 million per employee. The Scheme has a self-insured retention (SIR) of $100,000 on any one claim.
  • Property Scheme
    The Property Scheme was introduced in 1998 to provide protection of members’ assets. It has a fully funded and capped SIR with claims in excess of the SIR are paid by underwriters. There’s no risk to members.  In 2009 the limit of liability was increased from $250 million to $2 billion.
  • Motor Vehicle and Councillors’ & Officers’ Cover
    In line with our approach to innovation and providing Member Councils with relevant and in-demand cover, these two schemes were introduced in 2013.

SWM website graphic 5 - Timeline

See ‘How we do it’ for more detailed information on the extensive products and services on offer to Member Councils.

Statewide Mutual today

Today we’re known for our experience, expertise advice and service, as well as an innate understanding of what councils look for in a first-class risk partner.

We have a membership of 147, or 87.5% of NSW Local Government councils. Among many advantages, members benefit from stable premiums, financial strength and buying power and an unwavering level of integrity.

Being the largest local government self-insurance pool in Australia, we have a responsibility to our members to remain ahead of the pack in terms of innovation and adding value.

For several years, our focus has been on risk management to reduce the incidence of claims, thereby making each council a safer community in which to live or visit.