Recently Suncorp and RACQ have proposed changes to Queensland’s Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance scheme that would see less benefits for injured motorists.
On 17 August 2017 Suncorp and RACQ released a joint statement in which they announce they have joined forces to implore the State Government to address the” rampant rorting of Queensland’s Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance scheme”.
These two insurers seem to believe that urgent action is required to make the system fairer and protect Queensland motorists from a spike in CTP premiums, despite the Suncorp Group reporting over a billion dollars net profit in their 2016-17 financial report (increased by $37 million in the year prior).
RACQ’s John Myler said “Despite a steady decline in the number of car accidents, we are seeing a growth in dodgy CTP insurance claims due to people exploiting the system to get cash payouts,”
What RACQ and Suncorp are really asking for is a smashing of rights and benefits for those people who have had the misfortune to be injured, often through no fault of their own.
These insurers want the State Government to introduce defined benefits for low severity claims. This means that if the insurers have their way, an injured person would receive a prescribed amount of compensation for a certain type of injury. Injured persons would lose other compensation such as loss of earnings which is usually the most significant part of their claim.
We share the views of the Australian Lawyers Alliance that the insurer’s defined benefits proposal is driven by their desire for greater profits and fails to recognise that Queensland’s CTP scheme is the best run and best structured CTP scheme in Australia.
Rod Hodgson of the Australian Lawyers Alliance said that “Premiums in Queensland are second lowest in the country and the Queensland CTP scheme provides good access to benefits for those who are injured.”
It is important to acknowledge a number of facts about CTP insurance in Queensland:-
- In addition to being inexpensive the Queensland scheme has a very low disputation rate, which sees less than 1 per cent of matters commenced go to court;
- Claims which lack merit are almost nonexistent – if an insurer believes that a claim lacks merit they should do their job properly and dispute the claim;
- The Queensland courts have a strong track record of supporting only claims which have merit and dodgy claims are not tolerated;
- Defined benefits schemes are simply insurance company code for “we know best, benefits ought to be less and the courts ought to get out”;
- A race to the bottom by joining some of those other State’s models is not in the interests of Queensland motorists who can be very proud of our present scheme and how it’s run; and
- Queensland has long had a strong focus on rehabilitation and this was recently enhanced with changes that see those catastrophically injured from 01 July 2016 having access to not fault coverage.
If you have sustained an injury in a car accident you have the right to make a common law claim for damages in Queensland and you have three (3) years from the date of injury or accident to settle your claim or file court documents or you will forever lose your right to make a claim.