Insurance Commission presents first-year results for the Catastrophic Injuries Support scheme
11 September 2017
The Insurance Commission today presented its first-year results for the Catastrophic Injuries Support (CIS) scheme at the 2017 National Disability Services (NDS) WA Conference.
The CIS scheme was introduced on 1 July 2016 to provide lifetime treatment, care and support to people catastrophically injured in car crashes in WA where fault cannot be attributed to another driver.
At 30 June 2017, 48 people with catastrophic injuries were assessed as eligible for treatment, care and support via either the CIS scheme or the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) injury insurance scheme, and a further 13 potential catastrophic injury cases were undergoing an eligibility assessment.
Commission Secretary Kane Blackman said the number of people catastrophically injured including those undergoing assessment is within the range of annual variation expected by the Insurance Commission and the actuary, but at the lower end of that range.
“That is a good outcome as fewer people have been catastrophically hurt on our roads”.
“The people catastrophically injured on our roads have been younger and more severely injured than we estimated in the first year.”
“This has caused the average cost of lifetime treatment, care and support to be higher by $900,000 per person ($4.9 million) compared to a forecast of $4 million per person, as high-cost care funding is required over a longer period of time.”
The CIS scheme recorded an underwriting loss of $98.1 million in its first year and a loss before tax of $94.3 million. The principal reason for the underwriting loss is that premium revenue was not collected from motorists in advance of the CIS cover start date.
To fill the shortfall in the CIS scheme, the Insurance Commission made a $95.9 million capital transfer to the scheme from one of its other funds. This transfer to fully fund the scheme in its first year was possible as the Insurance Commission sold the Forrest Centre in 2016, which released a significant asset revaluation reserve held against that building.
Of all the people eligible for the CIS and CTP schemes, 46% fell within the 15-34 age bracket and 75% were male, showing that young males continue to be a vulnerable group on the road.
The most common type of catastrophic injury was acquired brain injuries which represented 69% of eligible cases in the CIS and CTP schemes.
Of all the crashes that resulted in catastrophic injuries from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, 52% occurred in regional WA. Outside Perth, the South West region had the most crashes resulting in catastrophic injuries, representing 23% of those crashes.
The Insurance Commission has recruited a dedicated team of Care Service Coordinators who work with people catastrophically injured, their families and disability service providers to ensure treatment, care and support is provided.
Mr Blackman said the disability sector was benefiting from the introduction of the CIS scheme as the Insurance Commission paid service providers to deliver care to people catastrophically injured that weren’t previously eligible for motor injury insurance cover.
At 30 June 2017, the Insurance Commission had paid over 180 service providers in the health and disability sector to deliver treatment, care and support to people with catastrophic injuries in the CIS and CTP schemes.
The Insurance Commission continues to engage closely with NDS and WA’s health and disability sector, and will sponsor the 2018 WA Disability Support Awards run by NDS. A new award category, Excellence in Care Innovation, has been created for the Insurance Commission to promote innovative practices that improve rehabilitation outcomes for people with catastrophically injuries.