Is the CTP Fit For Purpose?

Published 18 Aug 2016

The Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance scheme has come in for high-profile criticism of late, and there are serious question marks about its cost structure and performance — particularly in New South Wales and the Northern Territory where it is compulsory.

Though there’s no doubting the good intentions behind the current version of the Greenslip scheme, and the significant success it’s had in some respects since being introduced in 1999, it seems hard to avoid future changes being necessary sooner rather than later.

In this piece, we’ll cover some of the background to recent criticism of the CTP, and assess the chances of a better solution being available to NSW motorists any time in the near future.

The CTP Scheme Is Struggling to Deliver

Compulsory third party insurance has been a political hot potato since as far back as 1942 when the first CTP personal injury scheme was introduced to New South Wales. In the years since then, we’ve seen a number of major attempts at reform in response to ever-changing conditions on the road and in society at large, with major alterations being introduced in virtually every decade since the fifties.

The overall aims of the different incarnations of the scheme have stayed largely consistent — providing adequate compensation, swift resolution of claims, and keeping premiums and costs in check have been to the forefront of the agenda throughout. Sadly, the reality hasn’t always lived up to the aims for many people who’ve been unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident.

Speaking as recently as this year, the Chief Executive of the NSW State Insurance Regulatory Authority Anthony Lean was admirably frank about the shortcomings of the current setup:

“Injured people are waiting too long to receive benefits. The average time for a claim to settle is three to five years and even minor injuries – such as whiplash – take on average 18 months to settle. Injured road users are also not receiving a fair share of benefits. Only 45 per cent of CTP funds end up in the hands of injured road users. The rest is absorbed by scheme-related costs and provider expenses.” — Anthony Lean, Chief Executive SIRA.

That’s a state of affairs that we can sadly confirm from first-hand experience as motor vehicle accident claims lawyers over the last number of years.

The government-led 2013 Scheme review held out some promise of significant change just a few short years ago but, in the aftermath of the failure of the Motor Accidents Injuries Amendment  Bill 2013 that it led to, movement has been slow. As leading compensation lawyers, we sincerely hope that the current On the Road to a Better CTP Scheme options paper from the NSW government manages to effect more significant change down the line.

Choose an Expert Partner to Navigate Your Case

Against the backdrop of the current failings of the CTP scheme in general, it’s more important than ever that you secure the best possible representation if you’re pursuing a motor vehicle accident claim. Our expert team of personal injury lawyers have decades of experience in navigating every aspect of the process, and can significantly simplify and speed up any case that they’re involved with.

While we’re all holding out hope for a fairer, speedier, more transparent system in the near future, we still need to deal with the reality of the landscape today on a case-by-case basis. Give your motor vehicle accident claim the best possible chance of success by consulting with one of our no win no fee lawyers today.