Accident compensation in Victoria
Victoria has a proud history of providing socially-progressive accident compensation to people injured in transport accidents. The concept of providing care regardless of who was at fault in an accident (ie. "no fault" benefits) first emerged in 1971 with the establishment of the Road Accident Hospital Accounts Committee. Under RAHAC, 70% of an injured person's hospital bills were paid automatically by the two insurers (SIO and RACV) before compensation matters were even considered by the courts.
The success of this approach saw the establishment of the Motor Accident Board (MAB) on the 12 February 1974. At this point, the SIO was the only company offering third party insurance. The MAB legislation enshrined the no-fault concept into law and allowed for payment of medical expenses and weekly income payments until the accident victim's common law claim was settled. For accidents on or after 1 September 1980, where there was no common law entitlement, no-fault benefits continued for life.
By the mid-1980s however, the MAB was effectively broke, prompting the Government to design a new form of transport accident compensation scheme for Victorians.
The beginnings of the TAC
In 1986, the Victorian Parliament - with the support of both major parties - passed the Transport Accident Act 1986 (the Act) establishing the TAC from 1 January 1987.
The purpose of the Act was to establish a compensation scheme "in respect of persons who are injured or die as a result of transport accidents."
A key feature of the TAC compensation scheme was the combination of no-fault and common law benefits, providing Victorians with the surety that everyone was covered regardless of fault, as well as allowing those who could prove fault to pursue further compensation through the courts.
Apart from the effective and efficient management of Victoria's accident compensation scheme, another of the TAC's primary objectives is to reduce the incidence and cost of transport accidents.
The TAC belongs to the people of Victoria as a state-owned enterprise of the Victorian Government. It operates as a commercial insurer and is funded both by premiums and investment income generated on reserves.