The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) has been kind enough to share with us a “snapshot” of the motor accident scheme introduced on 1 December 2017 for the period up to 30 September 2019.
Salient features of the scheme include:
- 19,382 claims have been lodged.
- Of those claims, only 4,622 claimants are legally represented. That is, there are 14,760 claimants dealing directly, at their peril, with insurance company representatives. Insurance company representatives are well trained and well versed in minimising claims for the benefit of their employer. Their interests are not the interests of the injured claimant.
- 16,496 claimants have had a determination made of their injuries. Of the 16,496 claimants assessed 9,550 have been determined to have suffered a minor injury or an indicative minor injury. That is, of the total claimants assessed 58% have or will be determined to have suffered a “minor injury” so that they are not entitled to receive any benefits for more than 6 months following the subject accident.
- Curiously SIRA has not provided to us the total of the premiums which have been collected by the insurers since the introduction of the scheme on 1 December 2017. It is not difficult to discern why. It would be incredibly embarrassing for SIRA and the insurers to disclose what they have recovered by way of premiums. I think we can safely assume that the figure is well in excess of $4 billion.
- We are told however what the insurers have paid out. This is indeed most illuminating.
- In total, from the assumed sum of $4 billion plus collected in premiums, insurers have paid out just over $240 million. That is insurers have retained well in excess of $3.7 billion in premiums collected. Not a bad profit margin by any measure!
- Of that $240 million, $1,257,000 was paid by way of “non-economic loss” damages. That is, damages paid to injured persons for their pain and suffering.
- Of that $242 million, the insurers have paid almost $11 million for “insurer investigation”. That is, the insurers have spent almost nine times more on the investigation of claims than they have on payments by way of pain and suffering to claimants.
The more information which is selectively released by SIRA, the worse it looks for this scheme. The figures speak for themselves. Injured motorists, pedestrians, passengers, bicyclists and other road users are not receiving adequate compensation. All that the Motor Accident Injuries Act 2017 has done is to create a conduit for the transfer of incredibly large sums of money directly from the pockets of motor vehicle owners to CTP insurers. This was all but confirmed by the recent post from the Minister responsible, Mr Victor Dominello when he announced the consideration of legislation for the purpose of clawing back “super profits”. As I said at the time, the mere suggestion that there is any concern that insurers are making “super profits” within 2 years of the introduction of a new motor accident scheme is in itself the
most damning indictment as to the complete failure of the scheme.