Call for CTP Review

A review of the Motor Accidents Authority (MAA) was released this week and some parties are not happy with the findings.

The NSW Parliamentary Law and Justice Standing Committee released its eleventh review into the MAA and the Motor Accidents Council (MAC) on Tuesday.  A copy of the report is available here.

Amongst other things, the report found that for the last five years there is a gap between the profit insurance companies project for the purpose of setting greenslip premiums and the profit they actually make.

The NSW Bar Association says that this represented a fundamental flaw in the greenslip scheme in NSW and, along with the NSW Greens, has called for an overhaul of the scheme.

The Insurance Council of Australia argues that the higher profits result from fewer claims on the scheme.

Battle of $77 green slip lift

There is an interesting article in today’s The Daily Telegraph by Andrew Clennell, titled “Battle of $77 green slip lift”.  The article says that the State Government, through the Motor Accidents Authority (MAA), is pushing back on requests by insurers for increased CTP greenslip premiums.

Under the current legislation, the MAA may reject a premium proposed by an insurer if, in its opinion, the premium will not fund liabilities under the scheme, the premium is excessive or the premium does not comply with guidelines issued by the MAA.

If the MAA and the insurer are not able to reach agreement on the premium, the matter may be resolved by an arbitrator agreed on by the parties, or in the absence of agreement on an arbitrator, by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

College St Cycleway Disaster

I have commented in the past about cycleways in the Sydney CBD and feel compelled to do so again. My comments this time are specifically about the cycleway in College Street, between the Cathedral and William Street.

I do not understand why cyclists run the risk in College Street traffic when there is a new cycleway running a parallel path. Any week day afternoon there are many cyclists weaving through the traffic in College Street and yet the cycleway is largely unused. Last Friday afternoon I witnessed an altercation between a driver and two cyclists at the William Street lights.

Something needs to be done. College Street is dangerous for cyclists and for drivers.

If the cycleway is badly designed and in the wrong place, admit defeat and move it so that it can be used, otherwise get rid of the cycleway. What is the point of retaining a cycleway that is not used?

Finally, if the cycleway is to be retained, then cyclists should be forced to use it.

13 Insurers Down to 7

As at June 1998, there were 13 insurers licensed to issue greenslips in NSW. Today there are 7 licensed insurers.

The licensed insurers are AAMI, Allianz, CIC Allianz, GIO, NRMA, QBE & Zurich.

The 7 insurers are controlled by 5 companies. Suncorp owns GIO and AAMI. Allianz also owns CIC Allianz.

In the current debate about insurer profitability we need to keep sight of the fact that the State Government can not afford for any of the current insurers to withdraw from the scheme.

A reduction in the number of insurers, or companies which own them, could reduce competition, placing even greater pressure on greenslip prices.

Sydney Cycleways and Greenslips

What is it about cycleways in the Sydney CBD? Cycleways have been installed at the expense of pedestrians and motorists. I think there is an issue with the design and location of the cycleways and I think there is an issue with the fact that cyclists do not bother to use them. It is rare to see a cyclist on the Kent street cycleway. Travelling south along College Street of an afternoon it is positively dangerous as cyclists compete with motor vehicles, running alongside an unused cycleway.

Perhaps cyclists need some encouragement to use cycleways. One way to encourage cyclists onto cycleways may be to legislate that cyclists injured in an accident with a motor vehicle do not have access to benefits under the CTP greenslip scheme if the accident occurred adjacent to a cycleway that the cyclist could or should have been using!