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At-Fault Driver Cover

Understand & Compare At-Fault Driver Cover

All green slip insurers provide the statutory cover required under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 and the Motor Accidents (Lifetime Care and Support) Act 2006.

Prior to the 2009 amendments to the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999, the driver at fault in an accident was not covered by the CTP greenslip scheme unless the driver was catastrophically injured.

Because the driver at fault was in most cases not covered by the scheme, green slip insurers introduced a benefit in addition to the statutory cover. That additional benefit is generally referred to as at fault driver cover.

Through at fault driver cover, insurers provide specified lump sum benefits for prescribed injuries which the driver may sustain and in some cases the insurers provide a death benefit for the at fault driver.

Four of the seven greenslip insurers offer at fault driver cover. A full insurer by insurer comparison of at fault driver cover is on this site, including injuries, benefits and exclusions.

Whilst at fault driver cover is a worthwhile additional feature, it was introduced by the insurers primarily as a marketing tool. A green slip is a generic product. The only real differentiating features are price, ease of access for purchase and at fault driver cover. The introduction of at fault driver cover provided the opportunity for insurers to differentiate their green slip offering on a basis other than price.

In May 2009 the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 was amended. The amendments gave rise to two key reforms to the operation of the CTP greenslip scheme in respect of at fault drivers. Those reforms have had an impact on at fault driver cover.

More detail on the amendments to the scheme is available on this site.

The first reform, effective for accidents occurring from 1 July 2009, provides that hospital treatment, transport by ambulance and other treatments for at fault drivers are funded by the scheme, as they are for other injured persons.

Under the second reform, the entitlement to early payment of $5,000.00 for treatment and lost earnings through lodgement of an Accident Notification Form (ANF) has been extended to include at fault drivers injured in accidents occurring on and after 1 April 2010.

A major issue arose from 1 April 2010. The terms of the insurer's policy documents for at fault driver cover at that time had provided that no at fault driver cover benefits would be paid if the at fault driver was entitled to or received compensation under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999. As a result of amendments to the Act, at fault drivers became entitled to compensation from 1 April 2010. Therefore, no benefits were payable under the terms of the at fault driver cover policies then in use (despite the fact that the insurers were still advertising those benefits). The insurers were required to change their policy terms so as to pay at fault driver cover benefits in addition to benefits which became available under the CTP greenslip scheme from 1 April 2010.

Each insurer provides a policy document setting out the benefits, injuries, exclusions, terms and conditions for their at fault driver cover.

The schedule of benefits, injuries and exclusions vary from insurer to insurer.

A comparison of the exclusions and the schedule of benefits paid by each insurer is set out on this website.

Before purchasing a greenslip you should refer to the insurers policy document to understand the full terms applying to the insurers at fault driver cover.

Update

In our news article of 1 April 2010 and in our analysis of at fault driver cover on this page, we identified issues with at fault driver cover from 1 April 2010.

The issue was created by a conflict between policy wording used by insurers and changes to legislation which became effective on 1 April 2010. The consequence was that whilst insurers offered at fault driver cover as an added feature, from 1 April 2010 no benefits were actually payable, given the terms of those policies.

This site was the first to identify and articulate the issue.

Four of the seven insurers offer at fault driver cover. QBE ceased offering at fault driver cover on greenslips commencing on or after 1 April 2012.

GIO, NRMA, Zurich and Allianz have now updated policy terms to remove the conflict (as had QBE), Allianz being the last to do so on 12 July 2011.

A full insurer by insurer comparison of at fault driver cover is on this site, including injuries, benefits and exclusions.