Local cab owners have hit out at the rising cost of compulsory third party motor accident insurance and want the state government to do something about it.
Growing tired at the ever increasing fees, some of the region’s taxi drivers say their CTP premiums have doubled in the last 12 months.
New England cab owner Peter Croskell said his CTP insurance premium is “unfair” if it is to be compared to what drivers in larger towns with more traffic pay.
“I paid an annual premium of $4508.42 for CTP this year and last year I paid $2237 so in 12 months my premium has virtually doubled and I find that outrageous,” he said.
“I do far less driving in Glen Innes than someone in a bigger town like Newcastle would and yet I am being charged about the same rate for CTP.
“My biggest fare would be $10 and I am mostly driving people such as pensioners small distances around town, the chances of me being involved in an accident are extremely low.”
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has taken up the fight on behalf of country drivers and told parliament the “bloated CTP pricing structure” was hitting country taxi drivers the hardest.
“I have met with taxi drivers and co-operatives in the region and their anger and frustration over the current Green Slip scheme has reached boiling point,” he said.
“Insurance companies would argue the premiums were so high because taxi drivers are approximately 12 times more likely to make a motor accident claim than ordinary drivers.
“But the problem is compounded by the way the insurance companies calculate the premiums. Taxi drivers in the New England are being measured against the claim history of taxi drivers in Newcastle and Wollongong, which are much bigger centres with a lot more traffic.”
Mr Marshall said city cab driver claim histories didn’t bear any resemblance to the risk factor of driving a taxi around those country communities where, on average, they were charging less than $10 a fare.
“Proper reform of the CTP green slip sector will see those taxi drivers, and indeed all country motorists, pay a premium that properly reflects their risk factor and the nature of the business,” he said.
Mr Marshall said country taxi drivers should not be judged against accident history or the risks associated with driving in areas like Sydney, Newcastle or Wollongong.
“For too many years country motorists have been absolutely robbed blind by insurance companies that are gouging and involving themselves in super profits, along with many of the legal fraternity,” he said.
“Country motorists just want a fair go and it is a fair go that I will fight for and that they should have.”