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NSW moves to no-fault benefits

NSW have recently been considering options to convert to a no-fault system, and the APA contributed to this review of the CTP Motor Accidents Insurance Scheme in NSW. We advocated for no-fault insurance coverage.

The current CTP scheme in NSW is not fair or equitable, as sometimes a motor accident is no-one’s fault (eg, single vehicle accidents).

We pushed for this reform because a no-fault model would deliver a reduction in insurer profits by introducing greater certainty around benefits and timeframes for resolving a claim. Instead of going straight to insurers, we advocated that insurance premiums should go towards funding rehabilitation and facilitating return-to-work.

Our arguments included that instead of paying lawyers thousands of dollars to determine liability in an accident, we believe that funding would be better allocated to healthcare. Physiotherapists have the necessary skills and training to return injured motorists to work more quickly so injured motorists can expect to spend less time on compensation benefits. This ultimately would result in cheaper CTP insurance prices for motorists and better outcomes for injured people.

As a result of the consultation, the NSW Government is now considering options for a CTP scheme that focuses on recovery from injury and ensuring that the seriously injured receive the right support at the right time.

This means that motor vehicle compensation could extend protection to at-fault drivers. Up to 7000 injured road users in NSW could access benefits that were previously not available to them.

Injured road users in NSW will still be able to access common law benefits, including compensation for pain and suffering.

Moving to a no-fault model will create consistency within the NSW workers' compensation scheme and alignment with the approach in other no-fault states. Further, it will align more broadly with reforms at the Federal level geared towards no-fault compensation benefits. Two significant reforms are the National Injury Insurance Scheme, which supports lifetime care for the catastrophically injured, and the National Disability Insurance Scheme that provides ongoing care and support for people with an enduring disability.

For more information, visit the NSW state government site on the consultation and reforms.