Compulsory third party (CTP) insurance in Queensland provides financial protection for motorists in the event of a motor vehicle crash. It also delivers fair and timely access to rehabilitation for people who are injured. It is conveniently bundled with vehicle registration to ensure that all registered Queensland motorists receive this important protection.
The Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) regulates CTP insurance in Queensland to ensure it meets these objectives. This year, we continued to deliver our core objectives despite the challenging effects of COVID-19. Read on to learn more.
Highlights from 2020-2021
During the 2020–21 financial year, we:
- delivered affordable financial protection for motorists and fair and timely rehabilitation for people injured on Queensland roads
- through our Nominal Defendant scheme, finalised the last claim associated with the liquidation in 2000 of the HIH Insurance Group and its subsidiary FAI Insurance
- continued to make the CTP insurance scheme more culturally safe, respectful and accessible to First Peoples
- further embedded car crash scamming (‘claim farming’) reforms to preserve the integrity and affordability of CTP insurance in Queensland
- improved the experience of managing CTP insurance claims through the Queensland CTP claim portal
- renewed our website, quarterly report, and newsletters to improve stakeholders’ access to information about CTP insurance.
On the horizon
In the year ahead, we will:
- continue to enhance the claims experience for people who have been injured, their legal representatives, and industry stakeholders
- improve First Peoples’ road safety and access to CTP insurance
- align CTP insurance premiums for vehicles used for personalised transport to reflect changing market dynamics
- invest in research that reduces the incidence and effects of road trauma
- enhance collaboration between the CTP insurance scheme and National Injury Insurance Scheme, Queensland (NIISQ).
Stay in the loop
Explore our graphs below to learn more about our scheme’s performance.
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Delivering the second-lowest CTP insurance premiums in Australia
CTP insurance premiums remained consistently affordable to Queensland motorists despite minor changes in underlying economic factors. During the 2020–2021 financial year, the class 1 premium each quarter fell within the range of 21–22 per cent of Average Weekly Earnings, showing that premiums remained affordable and stable for Queensland motorists. In the latest quarter (1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021), the Class 1 premium ($351.60) was 21.3 per cent of Average Weekly Earnings.
CTP premium breakdown
The overall CTP insurance premium comprises levies and a fee which efficiently fund services for people who are injured in motor vehicle crashes. It also includes an insurer’s premium which is used to meet the expected costs of claims, as well as insurer expenses and profits for administering claims.
Insurer market share
The market for CTP insurance in Queensland has four operators: Suncorp, Allianz, QBE and RACQ. This year, the RACQ market share has increased slightly and Allianz decreased slightly while QBE and Suncorp remained similar.
Number of motorists switching insurers
There has been a general upward trend in switching over the last few years, which suggests that motorists are actively comparing and choosing their CTP insurer.
motorists switched insurers in the last month.
Balancing claimant benefits with scheme delivery costs
The efficiency of a CTP insurance scheme can be judged by how well insurer delivery costs are controlled while maximising the amount paid to benefit the person who was injured. We consider a minimum benchmark for our privately-underwritten scheme is for 60 per cent of CTP insurance premiums to be delivered as claimant benefits. In our most recent analysis, we exceeded the minimum benchmark by 5 per cent. Delivery costs increased by 1 per cent compared to the previous rolling 5-year average due to the influence of COVID-19 lockdowns on estimated insurer profitability.
Ensuring timely resolution of claims
Our legislation requires insurers to deal with claims as quickly as possible, with insurers determining liability within 6 months of receiving a compliant claim. We consistently achieve over 99 per cent, indicating that insurers and lawyers continue to work constructively together to resolve claims quickly.
of claims met this requirement in the last 12 months.*
Legally-represented claimants – Average claim duration (months)
We continue to monitor insurers’ legislative compliance and claims management practices, including claim durations and stages of settlement. Where variations exist between insurers, we are analysing the data and consulting with insurers to understand the reasons behind it. The duration of a claim can be influenced by injury severity, circumstances around liability, evidence gathering, and claims management approach.
Direct claimants – Average claim duration (months)
People who lodge claims directly with an insurer tend to experience shorter claim durations than people who lodge claims through legal representatives. This may be because people often seek legal assistance when their claim is more complex.
Claims settled before, during or after compulsory conference (CC) by insurer
Some claims involve a compulsory conference (CC), or meeting, being held between parties to resolve the claim. When negotiations at a compulsory conference are unsuccessful, claims may progress to court proceedings. Many claims are settled without the parties needing to hold a compulsory conference, some are settled at or within 14 days of compulsory conference, and very few claims proceed to court.
Facilitating fair and timely access to compensation and rehabilitation
Total payments by heads of damage for finalised claims
In Queensland, CTP insurance enables people who are injured in vehicle crashes through no fault of their own to claim fair and timely compensation and access rehabilitation. The compensation paid to the person who was injured depends on the extent of their injuries resulting from the vehicle crash and how these injuries affect their work and social functioning. In 2020–21, the types of compensation remain consistent with previous years, with the majority of compensation being allocated to economic loss, care and medical expenses.
Number of new claims per quarter
Lockdowns related to COVID-19 led to less traffic on the roads and therefore fewer CTP insurance claims in 2020. While trending slightly upward in 2021, the overall number of claims remained lower than before car crash scammer reforms were introduced in December 2019.
Proportion of claims added per quarter
In 2020–21, more than 77 per cent of people who lodge claims engaged Queensland law firms to represent them, while approximately 20 per cent of people lodged their claims directly to the CTP insurer. This applied to the claim lodgment stage, however some people may later choose to be legally represented during the course of their claim.
Number of claims added per quarter by severity
During 2020–2021, fewer claims were lodged than the previous year, during which we introduced car crash scamming reforms.
Nominal Defendant claims received by financial year
The Nominal Defendant ensures that people involved in accidents with unidentified or uninsured vehicles still receive fair and timely access to compensation and rehabilitation. In 2020–2021, the Nominal Defendant added 130 managed claims involving unidentified vehicles and 54 claims involving uninsured vehicles. The slight drop in claims compared to previous years could be due to a combination of COVID-19 restrictions and car crash scammer reforms.
Claimants by role in accidents involving an unidentified vehicle
The Nominal Defendant manages claims for various types of people, ranging from cyclists to drivers to pedestrians. Most claims were lodged by a driver. For claims involving an unidentified vehicle, 41.9 per cent of claimants were drivers.
Responding to many varied types of road users, crashes and traffic patterns
Queensland’s CTP insurance scheme supports a wide range of people with different ages, genders, roles in crashes and types of crashes.
Age groups of claimants by gender
In 2020–2021, most claims were lodged by people aged between 26 and 35. The second-largest cohort of people lodging claims was people aged from 36 to 45.
Queensland crash claims by region
More CTP insurance claims were lodged for people in metropolitan areas than regional areas, but regional crashes led to more severe injuries than metropolitan areas. This may be due to less traffic and higher travelling speeds in regional areas. In metropolitan areas, more traffic increases exposure to the risk of a potential crash which can lead to more claims being lodged.
Number of crashes per time and day of week
Our data revealed that crashes were mostly likely to occur between 3pm and 6pm on weekdays. This may be due to higher traffic volumes at this peak time for road travel.
Percentage of serious crashes per time and day of week
Although fewer accidents occurred at nighttime, the crashes that did occur were more likely to be serious, particularly on weekends with the peak period being Saturdays between 12am and 3am. Of the crashes that occurred at that time, 26.1 per cent were serious.
Claim severity, role and crash details
Most claims involved a minor injury where the person lodging a claim was the driver and they were travelling in the same direction as the other driver/s involved. We continue to support initiatives led by the Department of Transport and Main Roads to reduce distracted driving which can cause these types of collisions.
Injuries by body regions
Over the past three years, 79 per cent of claimants experienced spinal injuries (including whiplash). Out of these claimants, more than 1.2 per cent experienced severe spine injuries. Amongst the 9 injured body regions, thorax is most likely to be seriously injured (11.7 per cent), followed by head (9.3 per cent). In addition to the physical injuries shown below, more than 27 per cent of the claimants experienced psychological conditions.
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Number of registered vehicles by vehicle class
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, the number of class 3 (taxis), class 4 (hire vehicles) and class 26 vehicles (booked hire vehicles and limos) registered was below the number it was before COVID-19. Although, the number of class 4 (hire vehicles) and class 3 vehicles (taxi sedan or station wagons) registered have since recovered from the low in May 2020. Class 26 has plateaued, while overall the number of vehicles registered in Queensland grew at a steady rate. We have seen a steady growth in the number of class 2 motor homes registered.
Average growth rates in road traffic flow, in comparison to corresponding months in 2019
Data sourced from the Department of Transport and Main Roads shows that traffic flow in April 2020 was significantly impacted by COVID-19 lockdown, and subsequent shorter lockdowns in 2021 caused slight to moderate impacts on monthly aggregated traffic flow. The historical trend in road usage has been used to understand the pattern that we see in claim numbers. We are continuing to observe and monitor the impacts of the COVID-19 lockdowns on CTP insurance claims.
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