QLD CTP proposal slammed by lawyer group as insurer greed
27th Aug 2017
The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has strongly criticised calls from Suncorp and RACQ for changes to Queensland’s Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance scheme that would see less benefits for injured motorists.
ALA Queensland Director, Rod Hodgson, said the insurer’s defined benefits proposal is driven by a desire for greater profits and fails to recognise that Queensland’s CTP scheme is the best run and best structured CTP scheme in Australia.
“Queenslanders should be proud of the stability, access to justice and affordability provided by our CTP scheme”, Mr Hodgson said.
“Premiums in Queensland are second lowest in the country and the Queensland CTP scheme provides good access to benefits for those who are injured.
“From time to time we see insurers running the argument that the sky will fall in and there is a crisis in the CTP scheme - the problem for the insurers is that is simply not true,” he said.
Mr Hodgson said it’s important to acknowledge a number of facts about CTP insurance in Queensland. They are:
- 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 non-existent – 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”;
- The interstate experience of such schemes is of higher disputation rates, because people are unhappy with those schemes;
- A race to the bottom by joining some of those interstate 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
Mr Hodgson also singled out RACQ for their rank hypocrisy.
“This is an organisation that promotes itself as an honest advocacy group for motorists, some of whom will have the misfortune to be injured on the road,” Mr Hodgson said.
“RACQ is a big insurer and its call for a defined benefits scheme is in truth a call for a smashing of rights and benefits for those people who have had the misfortune to be injured, often through no fault of their own.
“That detriment to RACQ members reflects perfectly how the RACQ insurance company tail wags the advocacy dog” he said.