It was nice to see this independent report into the ACC scheme by Price Waterhouse Coopers. Amongst the general positive comments was this observation:
“The ACC under its current implementation structure performs as well or better than most other schemes we can observe around the world.”
“No fault” models (such as ours) are associated with:
â€¢ More injured people (70-95%) receiving compensation;
â€¢ More money reaching people: A higher portion of total costs (up to 90% in some schemes) goes directly to claimants’ benefits compared to perhaps only 50% in liability systems;
â€¢ Getting results faster: No fault systems get payment happening more quickly than in tort systems. The average settlement completion in the US tort system is 15 to 20 months, whereas benefits flow in 3 weeks on average in an uncontested workers’ compensation claim, and 4 months in contested claims; and
â€¢ Outcomes for people are better. A New South Wales study (on a blended system) found those on the no-fault system better off in terms of health outcomes and return to work rates.
So why privatise something that seems to be working so well?
John Key: “I want to confirm today that National’s policy is to re-establish a competitive market to provide accident insurance. This delivered more efficient accident coverage in the 1990s, and will do so again when National forms the government.’
Can we expect a change in direction?