In March 2016, the NSW Government released the Report of the Independent Review of Insurer Profit within the NSW Compulsory Third Party Scheme by the Independent Review Chair, Trevor Matthews, in conjunction with the Options Paper on the review of the CTP scheme.
In June 2016, following extensive public consultation, the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation announced the Government’s intention to reform the NSW CTP Scheme. The proposed reform will see the introduction of a hybrid scheme, delivering no-fault defined benefits for all injured road users, while retaining the right to claim common law damages for the more seriously injured.
This model was chosen as it was the most preferred option suggested by stakeholders that made submissions during the consultation process and best delivers against the Government’s stated objectives for CTP reform:
- increase the proportion of benefits provided to the most seriously injured road users
- reduce the time it takes to resolve a claim
- reduce opportunities for claims fraud and exaggeration, and
- reduce the cost of Green Slip premiums.
One of two key themes which consistently emerged during consultation for the new CTP scheme was that insurer super-profit must be addressed.
While action has commenced on addressing the regulatory and administrative recommendations of the Profit Review, the Government has also indicated a number of measures to ensure that insurer super-profits are brought to an end, as part of its legislative reform proposals.
The Government has commissioned the SIRA Board to conduct further consultation on how mechanisms to address super profits and encourage competition are best implemented, and to canvass other ideas or views, and recommendations made to the Government.
To facilitate this consultation the discussion paper Reforming insurer profit in Compulsory Third Party (CTP) motor accident insurance has been released by the Government.
Role and Function of the SIRA Board in the consultation process
The function of the SIRA Board in facilitating stakeholder forums is to:
- lead consultation with stakeholders to obtain their views on the proposed actions to reform the premium system and approaches to deal with insurer profit
- capture feedback on other ideas or views on how to deliver an effective premium framework or profit normalisation mechanism
- provide a report to the Minister documenting feedback and the merit of any alternative options for delivering the documented approaches
In providing advice, the SIRA Board shall be guided by the Government’s stated objectives of scheme reform, the need to ensure fairness across the scheme and the focus of a defined benefits scheme on promoting the recovery of injured road users, balanced against the need for certainty and affordability.
The role of the SIRA Board consultation is not to review or provide advice on the merits of a hybrid scheme or the scheme design details of the defined benefit structure and eligibility for common law as proposed by the Government in June 2016. It is only to address the details and processes and related issues as outlined in the Reforming insurer profit in Compulsory Third Party (CTP) motor accident insurance discussion paper.
The public consultation period will close on 25 November 2016. The Board will report to the Minister after this.
The State Insurance Regulatory Authority Board Chair, Trevor Matthews, will lead the insurer profit consultation.
Support for the SIRA Board Chair will be provided by SIRA.
This will include:
- organising meetings and inviting participants
- issuing calls for papers and finalising agendas in liaison with SIRA Board Chair
- record and distribute actions or outcomes for or from meetings as required
- coordinate research as required by the SIRA Board Chair
The SIRA Board representative will meet with stakeholders as required and agreed.