The ACT’s proposed CTP scheme would cover at-fault drivers

Posted: 21 September 2018 4:46 pm
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More people will be covered but fewer benefits will be paid out under the controversial proposal.

The ACT government has released draft legislation of its new compulsory third-party (CTP) car insurance scheme, bringing CTP insurance one step closer to a complete overhaul.

If the bill succeeds, it will reduce the cost of premiums, while increasing the number of motorists who are eligible for CTP payments, naturally leading to lower benefit payments across the board.

ACT's current CTP scheme was due for a shakeup, with premiums much higher than the national average and certain motorists arguably deserving of cover being excluded, for example, a no-fault driver who may have hit a kangaroo or had a medical episode while driving.

The new legislation covers both of those concerns while also providing cover for drivers who are completely at fault in an accident – although, if they were engaged in a minor infraction like speeding, their income support and quality-of-life payout would be reduced by 25%.

Even at-fault drunk drivers will be able to access benefits, but these will be cut off if and when they get convicted in court.

Critics say that reducing the payout for innocent victims in order to cover at-fault motorists is not fair to the victims. However, the trend around the country is to allow at-fault drivers to claim under CTP and this legislation brings ACT in line with most other states and territories.

This legislation has been in the works since March when the ACT government convened a citizens jury of 40 citizens to help improve the current CTP scheme. The jury spent three full weekends listening to experts, reviewing several proposed solutions and considering these proposals from a variety of perspectives.

The scheme they settled on became the basis for this legislation, which has been referred to a Legislative Assembly committee for review.

Regardless of who is at fault, CTP only covers medical treatment and on-going income support, not anyone's car or property. ACT motorists who are concerned about damage to their car or the liability of damaging someone else's car should consider upgrading from CTP insurance by adding a higher level of cover.

Picture: Shutterstock

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