An article in the Sun Herald – “Insurers to access car details for Greenslips”, 2 November, 2014 has caught the attention of many New South Wales motorists over the weekend.

It shares the initiatives of insurers requesting access to the Roads and Maritime Services information for the purposes of quoting Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Greenslips to private and business vehicle owners.

The article mentions the concerns of vehicle owners having their private information made available to insurers for yet another purpose.

In many regards this data interface between the RMS and licensed insurers operating under the scheme already exists, in that information captured by insurers, as advised by customers at the time of a purchase is reconciled daily with the RMS’s “Drives” system. This daily interface allows for any changes to vehicle ownership to be carried across to the Greenslips insurer so that the appropriate renewals can be provided to the new registered owners at the appropriate time. This process does away with the need for vehicle owners to advise yet another party when they have sold or disposed of their vehicles. This process now occurs automatically.

This Drives interface also currently allows for the sharing of information of vehicle and registered owner details with licensed insurers and therefore allows an insurer to ascertain the accuracy of information used by the customer or their intermediaries, for the purpose of pricing CTP Insurance while searching for a cheap greenslip price or the cheapest greenslip price in the market. Any resulting discrepancies and their corresponding premium variances can be followed up by the insurer with the customer directly. Furthermore, they may commence proceedings with the RMS to de-register the vehicle should payment not be forthcoming. This process is currently in place and has been in place for some time, with information readily available to insurers for the purposes of adequately pricing risk. There is a need to balance the availability of privately held information and an underlying desire by insurers to access accurate information to price risk appropriately. Unfortunately, in the ever increasing state of insurance products being made available on the internet, there can a tendency of insured’s stretching the truth and trying to get away with paying less for their insurances, which comes at a cost to those who play the game fairly. A cheap greenslip obtained erroneously and cheaply, needs to be compensated by another who has to overpay, all things being equal. This is most important in Statutory Classes whereby the policy is generally non-cancellable and leaves no insurer protection from those who chose not to play fairly. With other insurance products, if you were caught stretching the truth and get caught, you simply would not get your claim paid. This is not an option available in Statutory Classes.

A benefit worth considering with an enhanced RMS data interface, is that it will streamline the process to compare and purchase your greenslip by simply asking for your registration number and all relevant details for the purposes of procuring a greenslip will appear including the vehicle’s shape, garaging post code, VIN number, driver age, business or private use, registered owner, etc. A much simpler process to get online and compare your greenslip price at renewal time.