Pressure for reform is mounting on the two last states in Australia where being injured in a car accident can leave a driver financially destitute.
Yesterday, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory abandoned their at-fault compulsory third party (CTP) insurance schemes in favour of no-fault operations, meaning all drivers who suffer catastrophic injuries in a motor accident within their borders will receive a lifetime of care and support.
It leaves just Queensland and Western Australia where at-fault drivers or riders are not covered by the insurance policy attached to their motor vehicle, leading to profound impact, says Chris McHugh, Executive General Manager Statutory Portfolio with Suncorp Commercial Insurance.
“Drivers in at-fault jurisdictions who make a small error of judgement or are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time can find themselves without cover for their catastrophic injuries,” he says.
“Many motorists are not aware that their coverage changes depending on where they are in Australia.
“Someone in Tweed Heads, NSW, who decides to drive to Coolangatta, Queensland, for lunch could find that meal ultimately costs them millions of dollars.”
In a new white paper entitled Beyond Fault, McHugh says urges the introduction of universal no-fault catastrophic care as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, the South Australian Government is also being praised for its impending privatisation of the its CTP scheme, set to take effect in 2016.
Insurance Council of Australia CEO Rob Whelan urged the remaining states to join NSW, Queensland and the ACT in privatisation.
“This is good for consumers, who will have greater choice not just on price but also on product features,” he says.
“Privatisation also benefits governments and the taxpayer by removing huge liabilities from state balance sheets.”
McHugh calls the change a turning point in the industry.