From 1 February 2020, Canberrans will have a new, no-fault system of motor vehicle accident insurance. The purpose of reform is to provide:
- fair coverage for all road users
- equitable access to treatment and care
- quick and transparent benefits to speed recovery
- comprehensive and ongoing support for those needing it most.
The new scheme pays treatment, care and income benefits for up to 5 years for anyone hurt on the roads, whether it’s their fault or not. Around 40% more people (about 600) will now be covered under the new scheme. People who are more seriously injured can still sue for capped compensation through the courts.
Savings under the new scheme are much lower than first expected:
- 2017 premiums were $476 to $636
- Forecast premiums were $385 to $465
- Current forecast is $468 to $547.
This is because of two large amendments to the Bill. These amendments give children and injured workers who are not 10% impaired the ability to sue for damages. They also allow injured people earning less than $50,000 to get payments equal to superannuation.
It has been a long and troubled process to reform the scheme since 2012, including a citizens jury and Legislative Assembly inquiry. Many lawyers vigorously opposed any measures to reduce the ability of injured people to seek damages. This was a similar reaction to the one during NSW CTP reform.
Until 1 February 2020, people who are injured on the road will be treated under the old scheme. Injured people with outstanding matters at that date will continue to be treated under the old scheme.