Green slips – are they a necessary evil?

08 APR 2019

 

If you own a vehicle, you would know well the process of obtaining a green slip. Every year when we register our car, we hand over our hard earned cash to one of the insurance companies. But have you ever wondered what the green slip is all about?

What do green slips cover?

If you or someone else is injured in a motor accident in NSW, the green slip covers the injured person for their injuries and the losses that they suffer as a result of those injuries. This can include the cost of medical and hospital treatment, lost income and in some cases, compensation for pain and suffering.

The NSW scheme was overhauled in late 2017, and many significant changes were made in relation to the entitlements of injured persons.

Importantly, the scheme is now a “no-fault” scheme – even a person who was responsible for an accident is entitled to claim for their treatment expenses and / or loss of income for the first 6 months after the accident.

Contrary to what many people understand, the green slip does not cover any damage to property, either to your car or any other car. There are other types of insurance (third party property, comprehensive) which provide cover for those types of losses.

What if the vehicle is not insured?

While most of us dutifully go through the process of purchasing a green slip and paying registration fees, there are vehicles out on the road that have not been registered. If a driver of an un-registered vehicle causes an injury, the injured person can still submit a claim, to the government body called the “Nominal Defendant”. The Nominal Defendant then sends these claims out to one of the major green slip insurers to manage.

But before you start to think that maybe you could get away with not insuring and registering your vehicle, aside from the legal requirements to do so, you should be aware that the Nominal Defendant can seek to recover the cost of a claim, from the at-fault driver.

Why are green slips important?

The injuries arising from a motor accident can result in significant loss for those involved. Think about a situation where you become injured, through the fault of another driver, and as a result of your injuries, you are unable to work again or require several surgical procedures or years of treatment. What if that other driver has no money or assets, and therefore no means to pay for your treatment and loss? The green slip scheme ensures that drivers are covered by an insurer, which is required to make payment in respect of those losses.

On the flip side of that issue, the scheme also protects drivers who may cause significant injuries to others, sometimes by simply just a moment of inattention while driving. The green slip of the vehicle you are driving protects you from personal liability for those injuries and the losses the person may suffer.

For more information on the above article we recommend that you contact Accredited Specialist Joe Bonura on 02 4626 5077 or jbonura@marsdens.net.au.

The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication

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