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Rural roads – more deaths but cheaper CTP

Two thirds of Australians live in metro areas yet two thirds of deaths occur on remote and rural roads. In fact, the fatality rate per 100,000 people in country areas is nearly four times higher than in the city. So why is the cost of compulsory third party (CTP) insurance for city drivers 31% higher than for rural drivers?

Rural tragedy

During 2017, 392 people died on Australian roads and more than two thirds of these died on country roads. Sadly, more than 70% of deaths are local residents and 71% of deaths are men, particularly drivers and riders aged 30-50. Only a fraction are international or interstate visitors who could be unfamiliar with the roads.

Rural roads are potentially more dangerous because:

  • Drivers tend to travel a higher speeds
  • Travelling distances are longer
  • Roads are more varied with unsealed, dirt roads
  • Vehicles are more varied, such as heavy agricultural and mining vehicles.

Road deaths in NSW

NSW statistics are the same as national ones: two thirds of road deaths are in the country. To put it another way, there are twice as many deaths in the country as in cities.

  May 2018 May 2017 Year to May 2018 Year to May 2017 Year on year difference
Metro 8 10 48 36 +12
Country 15 21 92 92 None
Difference x2 x2 x2 x2.5  

Even so, all insurers charge 31% higher prices for vehicle owners in metro areas:

Difference between metro and rural CTP*

  Metro Rural % Extra
QBE $478 $366 +30.8%
CIC-Allianz $552 $422 +30.8%
Allianz $579 $442 +31.0%
NRMA Insurance $748 $571 +31.0%
GIO $595 $454 +31.1%
AAMI $610 $466 +30.9%

* 12 month prices from www.greenslips.com.au

We wonder why metro vehicle owners must pay 31% more for CTP if their fatality rate is only a quarter of the rate for rural drivers.

Serious injuries on the road

The answer may be related to the rate of serious injuries. While two thirds of road deaths are in the country, just under two thirds of serious injuries are in metro areas. These are government figures:

  12 months ending June 2017 12 months ending June 2016
Metropolitan 3,698 (60%) 3,789 (60%)
Country 2,460 (40%) 2,521 (40%)
Total 6,158 6,310

Sadly, people who are seriously injured in road accidents may need treatment for years or even for their lifetime. This is why part of the CTP premium goes towards those with catastrophic lifetime injuries.

It is not known exactly how insurers assess the risk of each driver. But it appears the difference between metro prices and rural prices is there for a reason. Calculate your lowest CTP here. 

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