Revisions to NSW CTP scheme are failing injured motorists
23rd Aug 2018
Lawyers are urging the State Regulatory Insurance Authority (SIRA) to urgently publish data regarding complaints against insurance companies made by injured motorists since changes to the NSW CTP scheme were introduced.
“Some CTP insurers appear to have little recognition that they bear any obligation to treat claimants in a fair, frank and honest fashion,” said Andrew Stone, NSW President, Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA). “It is only reasonable that motorists are given the opportunity to make decisions about selecting an insurer based on the likelihood of their claim being paid fairly and promptly.
“Too many seriously injured motorists are being denied the help they need after they lodge CTP claims. They are in a vulnerable position and are certainly not prepared to deal with the often aggressive and combative behaviour of some insurers.”
Changes to the Motor Accident Injuries Act came into practice seven months ago and the impact of these changes on the CTP scheme is currently being reviewed.
“Although the new system has only been operating for seven months, lawyers representing the injured are very concerned about the delays and unfair treatment some individuals have experienced,” said Mr Stone.
“In many case, injured motorists are battling – without legal representation – against large insurance companies and are being treated very poorly. We believe SIRA needs to investigate the conduct of the insurance companies towards unrepresented claimants.
“ALA members have provided us with multiple examples of CTP insurers misinterpreting and misapplying the new Act. These mistakes have not been picked up by Claims Assist. They have not been identified by SIRA. They have been found and fixed by claimants’ lawyers, mostly acting without charge to assist the injured.
“The new system allow insurers to conduct their own internal reviews when complaints are made. It is highly unlikely that an insurer will ever change their mind about a claim without some external argument. The ALA is calling on SIRA to significantly improve this review process.”