National Injury Insurance Scheme

Find out how the National Injury Insurance Scheme receive extra care and support

The National Injury Insurance Scheme (NIIS) is an expansion of Australia’s “Green Slip” compulsory third party car insurance program. It raises the minimum standards of the scheme around Australia to ensure that more people, in a wider variety of circumstances, are eligible for compensation under the compulsory third party (CTP) insurance scheme.

  • Before the NIIS: In many cases, motorists could generally only claim compensation for injuries if there was another party at fault for the accident and there were a lot of differences between the states.
  • After the NIIS: All states (except WA) raise the minimum standards of their CTP insurance program to make sure drivers who suffered catastrophic injuries could be compensated, even when there was no one at fault.

What is covered by the NIIS and how does it work?

The National Injury Insurance Scheme is essentially a new set of standards for CTP insurance, to all around raise the level of cover offered and make it more consistent between states.

How the NIIS works

The NIIS is simply an extension of the existing CTP insurance scheme, to make it more similar between states and overall raise the level of cover it provides. It recognises that not all road accidents are someone’s fault, and that sometimes bad luck or simple mistakes can have a devastating impact.

  • The NIIS removes a lot of the “at fault” conditions surrounding CTP car insurance, meaning that injured drivers can still claim the cost of medical treatments, rehabilitation, necessary home and vehicle modifications and other assistance needs on their CTP insurance, even if they were at fault or no one was at fault.

As always, the only benefits one is entitled to under the NIIS scheme are the medically necessary and important ones. The NIIS is currently only for road accidents, but there are plans to expand it to workplace and general accidents.

What does the NIIS cover?

If you have been seriously injured in a car accident, regardless of whether you, another driver, or no one, was at fault, the NIIS can cover the costs of:

  • Medical and dental treatment
  • Ambulance transportation
  • Rehabilitation, education and vocational training
  • Attendant care, respite care and domestic assistance
  • Medical aids, appliances and prosthetics
  • Necessary modifications to one’s home or vehicle

The NIIS was specifically designed to solve several problems:

  • Injured and disabled drivers were often not able to get adequate compensation.
  • CTP insurance was different in every state, leading to difficulties in determining and claiming benefits.
  • The blame-based nature of the pre-NIIS CTP scheme was needlessly expensive due to additional legal costs.
  • The old CTP system was unnecessarily slow because agreements often had to be reached in court.

How does the NIIS affect my car insurance?

The NIIS expands your CTP car insurance cover, and ensures that it is required to meet a higher minimum standard. How it affects you and your car insurance is largely dependent on which state you live in. For example:

  • The NIIS in NSW is generally unlikely to affect your cover significantly because NSW already had a no-fault compensation scheme for catastrophic injuries.
  • The NIIS in QLD improves your CTP cover considerably. Previously, about half of all catastrophically injured motorists in QLD were not able to claim compensation, either because they were at fault or because no one was at fault.

Will the NIIS change the cost of CTP insurance? Possibly, depending on your state. The program raises costs by expanding your CTP cover, but may also lower costs by being a more efficient alternative to the old blame-based CTP insurance system.

Does the NIIS replace any of my car insurance? No. You still need to purchase mandatory CTP insurance as normal, and should still choose a suitable car insurance policy for liability cover and to protect your vehicle from the cost of damage.

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Andrew Munro

Andrew writes for finder.com, comparing products, writing guides and looking for new ways to help people make smart decisions. He's a fan of insurance, business news and cryptocurrency.

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