Superior income protection insurance
The Fair Work Order to provide Victorian MFB and CFA firefighters with income protection insurance was secured in October 2018, giving firefighters the choice of providers. Protect was identified as the provider of choice by the UFU because of the superior level of cover we offered, our high claim acceptance rate and team of Field Officers, independent of the insurer, available to support members through the claim process. Administered by Protect and issued by ATC Insurance Solutions, another key attraction was the insurer's standard assignment of a case manager to each claimant.
Field Officers set about introducing the Protect option to firefighters, making over 100 site visits to stations across the state. Almost 100% of Victorian firefighters are now covered for non-work related illness and injury, by Protect, with recruits from 2019 benefiting from the new standard in employment conditions.
Income Protection is paid as a reimbursement by the employer for all classifications in:
- CFA/UFU Operational Staff Agreement 2010
- CFA/UFU Managers Community Safety Enterprise Agreement 2005 (2009 Extended and Varied Version)
- MFB/UFU Operational Staff Agreement 2010
- MFB/UFU Assistant Chief Officers Agreement 2010
Designed for firefighters
Negotiating for individual income protection had been prohibitive for Victorian firefighters before Protect's community cover was in place. Individuals were quoted exorbitant costs that included excessive loading on premiums with 'special conditions' that reduced cover, or cover was denied altogether unless performing admin duties.
We're proud to bring the Victorian Fire Rescue industry injury and illness cover that has been carefully designed to suit the needs of these workers, providing vital financial security when they need it most.
Free confidential counselling service 1300 725 881
All members of Protect and their immediate family are eligible for free counselling services. Whilst there are excellent internal support services available for MFB and CFA firefighters, Protect Counselling is an external service sometimes preferred for the independence that ensures total privacy. It's separate from the employer, the union and the insurer. We partner with Hunterlink to provide a free professional confidential service Australia wide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Protect are provided basic non-identifying statistics on the use of the service including number of calls, age range and industry.
Primarily operated by external counsellors via a phone service, it became evident that our firefighter members would require the option to have in-person sessions as a first option. This resulted in changing the service model and we now offer face-to-face counselling at an independent location as an option to our firefighter members in the first instance.
Our Protect cover is one of the greatest things the UFU have done for us. It's security for not only us but our families as well. It gave me the opportunity to focus on rehab and get back on the truck as quickly as possible.
I've tried to get income protection privately and couldn't get covered, firefighters have just too high a risk a job, so to have Protect cover is absolutely invaluable. I used that instead of chewing through my leave.
This level of income protection for firefighters simply wouldn’t be possible if you were attempting to negotiate a policy one out. Sticking together to negotiate certainly increases your bargaining power.
Protect income protection insurance is the best thing to happen to the fire industry for many years. My experience accessing it was fantastic and the follow up was also extremely welcome. I was very impressed.
We couldn't do our role unless we were 100% fit, you'd be putting your crew at risk. My claim was reviewed, accepted and taken care of in a few days, it was all really seamless and comforting in the end.