12 October 2009

ACC deficit shows monopoly failings

ACC has a statutory monopoly. Labour claimed this is the most "efficient" way of insuring personal injury by accident, yet it has proven incapable of managing its own finances in a way that doesn't mean taxpayers and levy payers have to bail it out.

No other country has the socialist style no-fault statutory monopoly state insurance scheme New Zealand has. The claims by its advocates that it is "lauded" the world over seem very empty when no others follow, and this sort of news comes to light.

I've written before on how to change this, individualise the whole system so everyone buys ACC cover for non-work accidents, open it up to competition, so the risk is spread among multiple insurers (coverage for past accidents would either remain with a legacy ACC or tendered among competitors), and then return the right to sue between insurers and let people choose not to be insured. Care would need to be taken to ensure tort law was based on objectively reasonable criteria, but if it came about after a culture of personal insurance, the risks of aggressive tort claims could be minimised. Besides, if you insure yourself against what others do to you, then you have little to complain about.

Of course at the same time, road owners could demand drivers be insured before using their roads, as could others when you use their property, but overall the risk would be spread and shared. Those who undertake risky behaviour would pay, those who don't, wouldn't.

The monopoly has failed, miserably, once again. The measures National are announcing are trying to patch up a system that is breaking. It's time to move fast to open the employment and motor vehicle accounts to competition as a first stage, then individualise the whole system. Then those paying to cover the liabilities of past poor decisions end up being those the system carries the most risk for.

1 comment:

Beau Murrah said...


Come at me bro