Green slip reforms could increase costs and risks to family
18th Feb 2013
Proposed changes to the NSW green slip scheme, announced by the NSW Government on Sunday, could increase insurance costs for families and put them at risk of losing their homes if the main breadwinner is involved in a serious accident.
NSW Director of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, Andrew Stone, said that while the NSW Government predicts the changes will reduce green slip prices by $50 - $75, families who followed the government’s advice, to take out income protection insurance, would in fact face a higher total insurance bill.
“Currently those injured through the fault of another in a motor vehicle accident are fully covered for lost wages, but under the proposed changes lost wages will only be paid for “a few months” at a reduced rate and, thereafter, at workers compensation rates (a 20 per cent cut in pre-accident wages),” Mr Stone said.
“Ninety per cent of accident victims will be pushed out of the compensation system altogether within two years of their accident, leaving them reliant upon Centrelink benefits.
"No family would be able to sustain the financial hit that these scheme changes involve and families could be put out of their homes if the breadwinner is involved in a serious motor vehicle accident,” Mr Stone said.
He said the only solution offered by the government was for “high income earners” who “would reasonably be expected to have other sources of protection such as income protection insurance and disability insurance”.
“The Government offers no solution for low to middle income earners,” he said.
“Most families can’t afford to lose a couple of hundred dollars a week in income for any sustained period of time if the income earner is injured.
“Average families on $900 a week will need to take out income protection and disability insurance and will face annual premiums in excess of $150 to do so.
Mr Stone said if families don’t have that extra insurance they will put their homes on the line every time they go out on the road.