CTP reforms positive, but must go further: RACQ
RACQ welcomed today’s Parliamentary Committee investigation into claim farming, a practice it said was a scourge on Queensland’s Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme with crooked lawyers and organised crime driving thousands of unnecessary claims, pushing up the costs for drivers.
Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) figures indicated there had been an increase of up to 1700 claims a year, which added at least $10 to every motorist’s CTP bill.
RACQ spokesperson Paul Turner said Queenslanders deserved access to a CTP system that covered them without opening the door to international criminals and unscrupulous lawyers.
“We support these legislative changes which try to stop people being preyed upon by claim farmers, lawyers and medical practitioners pushing people to lodge insurance claims. These innocent people may then be open to scrutiny by investigations,” Mr Turner said.
“Recent research by MAIC shows almost 40 percent of people have received an unsolicited phone call from someone trying to get them to lodge a claim with the CTP scheme.
“CTP is there for those who are truly injured and we need to make sure it isn’t overtaken by these sort of dodgy claims.”
RACQ supported the current legislation of the Motor Accident Insurance bill but believed it did not go far enough. To tackle the cause, and not just the symptom, Mr Turner said Queensland needed more fundamental reforms, which included:
1. Defined benefits for minor injuries – To remove incentives for law firms to take these sorts of cases to court while still providing access to legal avenues for those who are seriously injured;
2. Transparency over legal and medical fees – Just as MAIC has full access to insurance company data, the same provisions must be made for the percentage taken by lawyers and medical practitioners on the final payout to a CTP claimant;
3. A ‘no fault’ scheme – The current CTP scheme only pays out to those who prove they had no fault in the incident. This is out of step with laws in other states and means thousands of Queenslanders are missing out on support for serious injuries from motor vehicle crashes.