Need to know
- CTP car insurance is compulsory in Australia, but it works differently in each state
- CTP car insurance covers you against compensation claims if someone is injured in an accident – the injured person is covered for costs, including medical treatments and lost income
- Depending on where you live, CTP car insurance may not cover you for your own injuries if you're at fault
Compulsory third party (CTP) insurance – called a green slip in NSW – is compulsory in Australia. It covers you against paying compensation to people injured in an accident that you caused.
CTP insurance doesn't cover damage to your car or any other cars. This is covered by comprehensive car insurance.
CTP insurance is administered by the states, so it works differently depending on where you live. The main differences are:
- who's covered
- what you're covered for and how much compensation is paid
- cost of CTP car insurance
- choice of insurer.
CTP insurance covers people injured in a car accident. This can include:
- you and your passengers
- anyone else driving your car
- drivers and passengers of other vehicles
- other road users, including cyclists and pedestrians
- compensation for dependents and funeral expenses if anyone died as a result of the accident.
If you're injured, you're usually covered for:
- medical treatment
- loss of income
- a period of time.
Queensland, SA and WA have an at-fault scheme, which means the driver who is at-fault can't claim CTP insurance compensation. NSW has a mixed scheme where the at-fault driver receives less compensation.
But all four states cover anyone who was in a road accident, including at-fault drivers if they have catastrophic permanent injuries, such as spinal cord or brain injuries.
Some insurers in NSW and all in Queensland also offer at-fault driver protection cover as a free add-on to CTP insurance. At-fault driver protection pays out lump sums for serious injuries like paraplegia or losing a limb.
If a driver is charged with a serious driving offence such as drink driving, they usually won't be able to claim benefits for themselves.
Common law claims
In a number of states, you can also make a claim for compensation under common law. You normally need to prove negligence by someone else and you may be able to make a claim if your injury is severe and permanent. Strict time limits apply.
The cost of CTP car insurance varies, depending on the state you live in and variations between insurers. Choose your state below to get an idea of CTP insurance prices for 'Class 1' cars and station wagons.
Your CTP insurance will protect you from paying compensation anywhere in Australia.
- If you have an accident interstate, the laws of the state where the accident occurred will be applied.
- If you have an accident with a car that is registered in another state, you need to make a claim against the CTP insurer of the driver who is at fault. The laws of the state in which the accident happened will be applied.
If you are in ACT, NT, Tasmania or Victoria, you will be covered regardless of fault.
But if you are an at-fault driver, you may not get any compensation for your injuries under CTP insurance if you are in Queensland, SA and WA. In NSW your compensation could be reduced if you're at-fault.