Queensland insurers combine to battle CTP rorts
RACQ’s John Myler said there had been a surge in the number of exaggerated and suspicious insurance claims for minor injuries like whiplash, made worse by claims farming and an influx of NSW-based lawyers.
“Despite a steady decline in the number of car accidents, we are seeing a growth in dodgy CTP insurance claims due to people exploiting the system to get cash payouts,” he said.
“All motorists will eventually pay for this type of rorting through higher premiums.
“The CTP scheme represents a vital safety net, yet the alarming growth in suspicious claims has the potential to make the scheme unaffordable and unsustainable.
“The only way to fix this and make the system fairer is to remove the incentives that drive this behaviour.
“It’s time for the State Government to introduce defined benefits for low severity claims. This will allow genuine claims to be processed faster and leave the CTP scheme less vulnerable to rorting,” he said.
Suncorp’s Anthony Day said the legislative design of the Queensland CTP scheme creates incentives that encourage abuse.
“The CTP scheme allows sizable lump sums to be paid for minor injuries from low-impact collisions, with legal representatives then able to take 50% of these payouts,” he said.
“Someone who is nudged from behind in a car park or at the traffic lights is able to claim they now have a sore shoulder and walk away with tens of thousands of dollars.
“At the end of the day it’s Queensland motorists who pay for these dodgy claims in higher CTP premiums.
“The solution is to change from a CTP scheme that pays lump-sum financial compensation to one focused on rehabilitation of injured people.
“For several years Suncorp has been advocating for the introduction of defined benefits into Queensland because it’s an approach that has been proven to work in other Australian jurisdictions.
“Defined benefits will mean that people with minor injuries get all necessary medical treatment and have their lost wages paid, but there is no longer an incentive for claimants to exaggerate their injuries so they can get a large cash payout.
“By putting a stop to these dodgy claims, more of every dollar in premium can go to the seriously injured who need it most.
“A defined-benefits CTP scheme also provides greater certainty for insurers, which helps lower premiums and keeps insurer profits in line with community expectations.
“It’s important we have a scheme that protects the rights of genuinely injured claimants to be supported through their recovery, while keeping CTP costs affordable for all Queenslanders.”