The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government is overhauling the state's current compulsory third party insurance (CTP) scheme to make way for a new piece of legislation. But what are the changes within the new scheme and how will it affect drivers moving forward?
What is the current CTP scheme?
Currently, the ACT has a common law, fault-based CTP scheme. If you own a motor vehicle, you are required to pay CTP insurance premiums as part of the registration process. This current scheme provides compensation to people injured in a car accident (including drivers, cyclists, passengers and pedestrians) – if they can prove someone else was at fault, that is. People cannot make a claim for compensation if they were at fault for their injuries, or if it was nobody's fault, such as a wild animal running into road.
What is the new CTP scheme?
In August 2017, the ACT Government asked for public opinion on a proposed amendment to the current CTP scheme. Feedback was passed on to a citizen's jury who, after considering the community's feedback and expert submissions, selected the favoured model and put forward a new CTP scheme.
Under the new scheme, anyone injured in a motor accident has access to care, treatment and income support – regardless of who caused the incident.
How will it impact drivers?
The new scheme plans to lower CTP premiums and hopes to save drivers between $91 and $171 per year. Additionally, injured, not-at-fault drivers currently access payouts under common law meaning it can often take a long time to receive compensation. The new scheme hopes to deliver compensation fairly and quickly to all parties.
While some believe the changes are fair, others believe the amendments take away the chance for innocent victims to receive higher caps of compensation. Legal professionals are worried that because there will be no 'at-fault' person, the benefits once given to the innocent and injured party will now be split between them and the driver who caused the accident. The imposition of a 10 per cent whole person impairment (WPI) threshold means that the vast majority of innocent parties will no longer access higher levels of compensation.
When will the new CTP scheme begin?
While still in its draft stage with the chance for further commentary, the Bill is due to be introduced into the ACT Legislative Assembly by the end of 2018, and is expected to begin operating in mid-2019.
If you've been injured as a result of someone else's negligence on the road, get in touch with the experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners. Our motor vehicle accident lawyers can work with you to submit a claim for compensation.