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Mobile Website

We have just launched a new version of our website, designed specifically for use on smartphones.

A lot of our visitors want to be able to check greenslip prices on the go.  Now, you can do it.  You can compare greenslip prices when you are on the train or bus, standing in the queue at the RTA, or anywhere you like.

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CTP Green Slip Reforms Abandoned

The NSW Government announced today (19 August 2013) it is withdrawing legislation for reforming the NSW CTP greenslip scheme. By withdrawing the legislation, the Government has effectively abandoned the current plan for reform of the scheme.

Andrew Constance, Minister for Finance and Services blamed the fact it was abandoned on Labor and the Greens. They did not support the legislation in the Upper House.

Minister Constance said “There is no doubt the current CTP scheme is broken and its disappointing Labor and the Greens would rather work against the Government than co-operate to reach a solution”.

Under pressure

The Government has been under pressure to stop ongoing increases in greenslip prices.  Minister Constance argues “the NSW Government’s legislation was designed to make the CTP scheme more affordable for motorists and fairer for accident victims”.

The Government has cited estimates by Ernst & Young* as evidence that prices would have decreased under the proposed new scheme, however there is concern that accident victims would have paid the price.

Ernst & Young estimated that average car greenslip prices in 2014 (excl GST) would have decreased by $97.00 from $571.00 under the current scheme to $474.00 under the proposed scheme.  Ernst & Young also estimated that without reform, the current scheme cost will increase by about 10% in 2014.

Whilst benefits would be paid sooner, Lawyers and victims groups argued  the proposed scheme would disadvantage victims by reducing legal representation and reducing compensation.

New steps

The next step for the Government is not clear. The status quo will likely result in higher greenslip prices. Higher greenslip prices will result in even greater pressure on the Government.

We will provide more information as it becomes available.

*Ernst & Young, “Estimated Cost Per Policy of the Proposed NSW Green Slip Scheme”, 29 July 2013.

CTP Greenslip Reform – Greenslip Price Estimates Released

The Motor Accidents Authority of NSW (MAA) has released price estimates of greenslips under the proposed new CTP greenslip scheme.

The estimates are set out in an actuarial report by Ernst & Young (E&Y), “Estimated Cost Per Policy of the Proposed NSW Green Slip Scheme”, dated 29 July 2013.

Estimates for 2014

Price estimates for 2014 include the following:

1. Average Greenslip Cost under the proposed scheme down by $97.00, form $571.00 under the current scheme to $474.00 under the proposed scheme.

2. Average cost savings of around 15% per greenslip (excluding any reduction in the MCIS Levy) under the proposed scheme.

3. Without reforms the current scheme cost could increase by about 10%.

4. Scheme Affordability (Greenslip Cost as a proportion of Average Weekly Earnings) improved from 39% under the current scheme to 32% under the proposed scheme.

Estimates are for Class 1 vehicles (motor cars) and assume a mature scheme.  Price estimates exclude GST.

The Amendment Bill

The E&Y report provides estimates on the basis of the Motor Accidents Injuries Amendment Bill 2013, which sets out the detail of the proposed new scheme, as it currently stands. The Bill was introduced to parliament in May 2013. The government was not able to secure passage of the Bill through parliament and there has been considerable criticism from stakeholders.

A roundtable was held on 24 July to discuss the Bill.  As a result of the roundtable and ongoing consultation, there may be amendments to the Bill, particularly in the areas of benefits for children and legal representation. The E&Y estimates will be affected by any amendments to the Bill.

At the roundtable, participants were critical of the government for not having released the estimates, particularly as the estimates were a large part of the government’s justification for the reforms. Insurance Council CEO Robert Whelan said “We can’t guarantee the extent to which premiums will go down. The reason for that is we don’t have clarity around the claims position on this new scheme.”

In his Media Release of 31 July 2013 announcing the release of the estimates, Andrew Constance, Minister for Ageing & Disability Services said that he will continue to consult with stakeholders on their concerns and that he is “awaiting the advice from the CTP roundtable chair Paul McClintock and the steering committee, which is overseeing any further work needed to refine amendments to the Bill.”

At the roundtable, the Minister said he wants the government’s position on the reforms resolved by the end of August.

 

CTP Roundtable Held

The proposed CTP roundtable was held on 24 July 2013, to discuss proposed reforms to the CTP greenslip scheme in NSW.

In his welcome, Minister for Ageing and Disability Services, Andrew Constance said that he wants the government’s position on the reforms resolved by the end of August.

Chair for the day, Paul McClintock will prepare a report on the discussions for the Minister and the steering committee.  The report will be published.

Roundtable summing up

In his summing up, Mr McClintock identified the following issues and observations from the day:

  1. Scheme coverage.
  2. Certainty, timeliness & care.
  3. Freedom (how you are cared for) & choice (use of a lawyer).
  4. Justice (cross subsidisation of risk).
  5. Risk mitigation.
  6. Cost & efficiency.
  7. Governance (and lack of trust between insurers and other stakeholders).
  8. Transparency of information and data.
  9. Sustainability.
  10. 5 year cut-off point for the majority of benefits.
  11. There is a long way to go (there is a lot of detail and a lot of issues for resolve).

We will provide information on the report as soon as it is available.

CTP Roundtable Details Announced

On 19 June 2013, the NSW Government announced proposed reforms to the NSW CTP greenslip scheme would be delayed. The government admitted it would not get the reforms through the upper house and that wider community consultation was required via a roundtable.

At the time of the announcement, Acting Minister for Finance and Services, Andrew Constance said that the Government wanted to consult further with stakeholders and that it would do so by facilitating a CTP roundtable.

Mr Constance has announced that the roundtable to discuss reforms to the CTP greenslip scheme will be held at Parliament House on Wednesday 24 July 2013.

An issues paper will be released a week beforehand.

Participants

Paul McClintock AO, Chairman of Myer Holdings Limited and former Secretary to Cabinet in the Australian Government has been appointed Chair.  ABC broadcaster Peter Thompson will act as facilitator and John Walsh AM, former Associate Commissioner at the Productivity Commission will provide actuarial expertise.

Invitations are being issued to insurers, lawyers, motoring groups, accident victims and community and business leaders.

Members of the public will be entitled to sit in on proceedings.

Mr Constance said that “the NSW Government has listened to community concerns and will use the roundtable to explain the reforms more effectively and explore the concerns of the various representatives.”

Enquiries can be directed to greensliproundtable@services.nsw.gov.au.

 

 

 

CTP Greenslip Reforms Delayed

The NSW Government announced yesterday a delay in proposed reforms to the NSW CTP greenslip scheme. The Government will need to re-visit the nature and the extent of the reforms in order to get them through parliament and to gain wider community acceptance for them.

In his press release, Acting Minister for Finance and Services Andrew Constance said “the NSW Government does not have the numbers in the Legislative Council to proceed with the legislation and believes more work is necessary to discuss the reform with the community”.

The Government has been criticised for the reforms and for the speed at which they are being pushed through.

No-fault scheme

The Government is proposing to move to a no-fault scheme. Under the scheme, for most injured parties benefits are prescribed and cut off after five years. Because benefits are capped and because the scheme is not fault based, the government argues that the cost of the scheme, including benefits paid, administrative and legal costs will be reduced, resulting in lower premiums.

Opponents argue that injured parties will not be adequately compensated and a mandatory cut off period is unreasonable.  Opponents are also concerned that most injured parties will no longer have the benefit of legal advice and representation.

The initial consultation period was relatively short. The initial discussion paper was released on 17 February 2013, with public comment open until 5 April 2013. The Bill was introduced into the lower house approximately five weeks later on 9 May 2013.

More consultation

The Government says the delay is because it wants to consult further with stakeholders.

“We will take the next six weeks to communicate and further consult on stakeholder issues and at the same time work with cross bench MPs”.

“We will facilitate further discussion by holding a CTP roundtable involving relevant players including accident victims, insurers, lawyers, community and business leaders”.

“The bill will be further consulted on as part of this process and a position paper will be released prior to the roundtable”.

The CTP roundtable is expected to be held in mid July. The Government expects the bill to be discussed in the upper house in late August.

Update on Reforms to the NSW CTP Green Slip Scheme

In March we published an overview of the proposed reforms to the CTP green slip scheme in NSW.

The reforms were open for a period of public comment and consultation, ending 5 April 2013.

Reforms submissions

Copies of some submissions are included on the MAA website, including those from Actuaries Institute NSW, Insurance Council of Australia, NSW Motorcycle Alliance, Transport for NSW, QBE, NRMA and Joint Submission of NSW Bar Assoc; Law Society; Australian Lawyers Association.

The Motor Accident Injuries Amendment Bill 2013 was introduced into Parliament on 9 May 2013.

It is not clear, at this stage, when the Bill will be passed by Parliament or when the new legislation will commence, nor is there a timeline for implementation.

Regulations and Guidelines, which will cover implementation and operational aspects of the new scheme, have not been released.  They are expected through the second half of this year.

Overview of Reforms to the NSW Compulsory Third Party Green Slip Insurance Scheme

There are many issues with reforms to the current NSW green slip scheme, particularly affecting affordability, efficiency and sustainability.

The NSW Government recognised that it needed to deal with those issues and instructed the Motor Accidents Authority (MAA) to develop a compulsory third party (CTP) pricing strategy.

The MAA responded with a plan for major reform of the scheme.  The plan is set out in the document, “Reforms to the NSW Compulsory Third Party Green Slip Insurance Scheme”, dated February 2013.

The document sets out the principles for reform of the scheme. It does not provide detail on how the reforms will be implemented nor does it provide a timetable for implementation.

Current Scheme

1.  The Current Scheme.

The current scheme is primarily fault based, making it complex and adversarial.  The scheme is characterised by disputes over liability, extent of fault, severity of injury and the amount of compensation.  The disputes result in high legal, medical and administrative costs, court action and delayed compensation.

Premiums are high, particularly relative to other states and affordability is decreasing.

Scheme inefficiencies, increasing claims frequency and uncertainty, the delay in settling claims and poor investment returns makes setting premiums difficult.  Allowances for risk and future uncertainty often result in higher profits for insurers than is anticipated when premiums are set and submitted to the MAA. Flexibility to differentiate different risk groups on the basis of price is limited.

Without reform, it is likely that premiums will continue to increase.  Pressure on premiums was the driver for the review and is a major focus for the reforms.

Reformed Scheme

2.  The Reformed Scheme.

The proposed reforms will change the fundamental nature of the scheme.

The new scheme will not be fault based.  Injured parties will be entitled to defined benefits, regardless of fault.  Common law will still be available to injured parties with greater than 10% whole person impairment and for those with catastrophic injuries the Lifetime Care & Support Scheme will not be affected.

The theory is that by removing the fault based nature of the scheme, disputes over liability and fault will be greatly reduced.  Compensation will be prescribed and capped, again reducing the number and cost of disputes.  The claims process should be simpler and claims should be paid much earlier.  Dispute resolution mechanisms, a Code of Conduct for insurers and lawyers and safeguards for claimants will be implemented to further aid the process.  Again, the theory is that pressure on premiums should decrease if expenses are lower and the risk and uncertainty factored into premiums by insurers is reduced.

No fault schemes

In support of the theory, the MAA cites the experience in other states as showing that no fault schemes are more efficient and effective.

More people will be entitled to compensation under a no fault scheme.  It is also likely that more injured people who are entitled to claim but do not bother, or give up, will pursue their claims.

Premium regulation and increased competition between the insurers is also part of the reform plan.

The MAA will be seeking to increase its powers in the regulation of premiums, but says it will offer simplification and more flexibility in the setting of premiums.  It will also look to streamline the purchase process.

The new scheme will change the claims process so that injured parties claim against their own insurer, rather than the insurer of another vehicle.  This will allow insurers to differentiate green slips on the basis of service, in addition to price.

Some downsides have been identified.

Because the scheme is no longer fault based, more people will be entitled to claim.

If compensation is capped, it is likely that the capped level will not fully compensate some injured parties.  When compensation is capped at inadequate levels, injured parties may be forced to rely on other personal insurance policies.

Next steps

3.  What is Next?

The plan is open for public comment until 5 April 2013.

Consultation with stakeholders is underway.

A timetable for implementation is to be determined.

We will provide updates and commentary as the detail of the reform unfolds.

Reforms to Green Slip Scheme Announced

The Motor Accidents Authority has released a paper on proposed Reforms to the NSW Compulsory Third Party Green Slip Insurance Scheme.

The proposed reforms are far reaching and include the claims process, compensation and setting of premiums.

A copy of the paper is available here, as is a copy of the Media Release from Barry O’Farrell, Premier of NSW

A consultation period is in place until 5 April 2013.

The timetable for implementation of CTP reform is yet to be determined.