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Uber drivers could pay more for greenslips

When Uber first came on the scene, nobody knew ridesharing could so quickly disrupt the status quo. It was a threat to traditional taxi drivers across the world and it caught the attention of regulators. Now Uber is legal in NSW, the government is looking at its implications for the price of greenslips.

Point-to-point transport

Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, Victor Dominello, has just announced a review of the NSW greenslip scheme in the point-to-point market. Point-to-point transport includes taxis, hire cars and now, new ride-sharing schemes like Uber or the Australian start-up, GoCar.

Currently, taxis and hire cars are part of a separate vehicle class, point-to-point, while ride-share services are part of the general pool of passenger vehicles.

Taxis currently pay ten times as much for their greenslip, about $7,000 a year, compared to $600-$700 a year for private passenger vehicles. It is a sizeable expense for a taxi owner and, you could argue, unfair, because the pool of taxi premiums from which to pay claims is so much smaller.

From an insurer’s point of view, taxis are high risk and that is why their premiums are so high. But nobody really knows whether ride-share drivers, who use their own car for the service, are high risk or low risk and how much other drivers might be subsidising their premiums.

The taskforce reviewing the CTP scheme believes vehicles should pay according to individual risk, whatever the vehicle class, so point-to-point drivers are treated fairly. It also wants to reward safer drivers, so premiums more accurately reflect the risk.

Six options

The taskforce has proposed six options for discussion, each of which means ride-share drivers would have to declare their vehicles at registration:
  1. Create a new vehicle class for ride-share services (as in the ACT)
  2. Create a new point-to-point vehicle class
  3. Deregulate point-to-point premiums to allow risk rating
  4. Rate all point-to-point vehicles as Class 1 vehicles (regular passenger vehicles)
  5. Risk pool (add an insurance levy to each fare)
  6. Keep current vehicle classes, but free up risk factors.
The ACT will, from 1 April 2016, introduce a new ride-share class to make premiums for taxis, hire cars and ride-share vehicles more equitable. As a result, CTP insurance premiums charged by Suncorp (GIO, AAMI and APIA) for passenger vehicles will decrease from 1 April 2016 while NRMA premiums will stay the same.

The government is calling for submissions from interested parties before 8 April 2016. Greenslips.com.au will keep a very close eye on this topic for the benefit of our readers. Also see our News item on proposed reforms to the NSW CTP scheme.

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