Insurers back WA no-fault CTP
Insurers support the introduction of a no-fault compulsory third party scheme in WA, but say it must be consistent and fair.
About 92 people are catastrophically injured in crashes in the state each year, and about 44 receive no compensation because they cannot assert fault against another driver.
The state published a green paper in October seeking submissions on three options: no change; a no-fault scheme for all people catastrophically injured; and a no-fault scheme just for those not currently covered.
Under option three victims able to prove another driver’s negligence would still be eligible to claim a lump sum, while the rest would have to rely on regular payments under the scheme.
Commission Secretary Kane Blackman told insuranceNEWS.com.au there were 2300 responses, including formal submissions, emails and comments on social media.
“The overall consensus is that people are supportive of no-fault insurance, but they are concerned about costs.
“Most people also believe people shouldn’t be worse off than they are now, they shouldn’t lose the right to a lump sum payment.”
In a submission on the paper, the Insurance Council of Australia supports option two, which would be in line with other jurisdictions.
It says option three does not meet principles of “simplicity, consistency and fairness”.
IAG and QBE also support option two, with QBE arguing that while lump sum settlements seem attractive, they are not always appropriate for long-term care.
Payments are based on potentially inaccurate life expectancy, and the injured person may not have the skills to manage the money.
QBE says option two would give all catastrophically injured people equal access to lifetime care and support, while option three will “inevitably lead to disputes over fault, which will add legal and other frictional costs to the scheme”.
Legal groups including the Law Council of Australia, Law Society of Western Australia and the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) recommend option three.
“Option two unfairly removes the freedom of negligently injured persons to control and direct their own care needs,” the ALA said.
The average premium of $291 for a family car will rise by $109 under option two and $101 under option three.
National Disability Services WA and the RAC have condemned the increase, despite welcoming the introduction of a no-fault scheme.
The Insurance Commission of WA will now prepare a report for the State Government.
Premier Colin Barnett has hinted a no-fault scheme will be introduced in this year’s budget.