The Motor Accident Insurance Commission (“MAIC”) recently published their quarterly CTP Scheme Insights for the period January to March 2021.

The MAIC is the regulatory authority responsible for the ongoing management of the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme in Queensland.

Each quarter, the MAIC crunches the numbers and provides an overview of some of the key statistics regarding CTP insurance premiums, CTP insurers and CTP claims.  These statistics provide a helpful insight into how insurers manage and respond to CTP claims.

Some of the relevant findings from the report are as follows:

  1. Of the four CTP insurers, Suncorp held the largest portion of the market with over 40% of all CTP insurance policies.
  2. 65% of CTP insurance premiums were delivered as claimant benefits.
  3. When claimants are legally represented, the CTP insurer with the shortest average claim duration was RACQ at approximately 21-22 months, followed by QBE at 23-24 months, Allianz at 25-26 months and Suncorp at 30 months.
  4. When claimants are not legally represented, the average claim duration for all insurers is between 9 and 13 months. RACQ remain the shortest, followed by Allianz, QBE and Suncorp.
  5. Just over 50% of all CTP claims resolve prior to the parties meeting to attempt to resolve the claim at a compulsory conference, with just under 85% of all CTP claims resolving prior to the commencement of court proceedings.
  6. The two heads of damage which make up the largest portion of compensation payouts are economic loss and care & medical.

One key statistic which might surprise or confuse readers is the fact that the average claim duration for legally represented claimants is far longer than for claimants who are not legally represented.

In order to maximise a claimant’s damages, it is very rare for a CTP claim to be a quick process.  It is necessary for claimants to obtain supportive evidence to be able to substantiate their loss and damage.

As outlined above, the economic loss and care & medical components of CTP claims make up the two largest portions of compensation payouts.  Therefore, it is imperative for claimants to obtain supportive medical evidence to support their claim for past and future loss and damage.

In order to assess the permanent impact of a claimant’s injuries, it is necessary to wait until their injuries are considered to have reached maximum medical improvement.  In our experience, an injury is only certified by a doctor as reaching maximum medical improvement approximately 9 to 12 months after the injury was sustained.  If claims are resolved prior to injuries stabilising, there is a risk that these injuries could worsen and have a more significant impact on the claimant’s loss and damage which may not have been compensated for.

With respect to a claim for care and assistance, the Civil Liability Act 2003 places a threshold that must be met in order for claimants to make a claim for care and assistance provided gratuitously.  In essence, the claimant must receive gratuitous care and assistance for 6 hours per week for 6 months to be eligible to make a claim for past gratuitous care and assistance.

These are just some examples of processes and legislative provisions which underpin personal injury claims and which are often unknown by non-legally represented claimants. Therefore, without legal representation, claimants are likely to navigate their way through their claim at a superficial level without maximising the damages available to them.

In our experience, it is common for insurers to make low offers to settle claims at or before a compulsory conference.  Legally represented claimants have the benefit of receiving advice about what offers are reasonable and whether it would be in their best interests to pursue the claim further.  In many instances, it is often necessary to commence court proceedings to achieve a fair and reasonable outcome for our clients.

The team at vbr Lawyers have a wealth of knowledge and experience in personal injury law and strive to achieve outcomes for our clients which maximise their damages and their ‘in hand’ figure.

The full CTP Scheme Insights report can be found here:

https://maic.qld.gov.au/publications/quarterly-ctp-scheme-insights-jan-mar-2021/ 

Daniel Macpherson Solicitor

This blog was written by Daniel Macpherson, Solicitor

Phone:  (07) 3278 0099 or Toll Free 1800 316 716

Email: daniel@vbrlaw.com.au

Greg Black Compensation Lawyer Brisbane

This blog was approved by Greg Black, Director

Phone: (07) 3278 0099 or Toll Free 1800 316 716

Email: greg@vbrlaw.com.au