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Fleet and insurance industries welcome action on excessive highway repair bills

Claims Management & Adjusting (CMA), of West Malling, Kent, says it’s received strong support from across the fleet and insurance industries after highlighting the issue of excessive highway repair bills.Screen shot 2016-07-15 at 09.25.00As reported in May, the business says that contesting excessive highway repair bills can bring five-figure savings.

For fleets that damage Crown property, for example, by striking a motorway barrier, hitting a traffic sign or damaging a road surface, they or their insurer will be presented with a bill, usually from a council, Highways England, Transport for London or one of their contractors. However, rather than simply paying it, CMA says it is wise to engage a specialist to scrutinise the invoice, and has cited a number of examples where bills have been drastically reduced or even written off altogether.

Philip Swift, a former police detective and managing director of CMA, said: “Over the last few weeks we have been contacted by numerous insurance and motor trade companies, notably fleet operators, reporting similar experiences with certain Highways England contractors. They share our concerns about the lack of transparency in pricing and worry that they are being routinely overcharged. For example, 10 invoices from one contractor with a total value of £102,000 were immediately re-priced to £56,000, almost halved, simply on being queried. The comment by Robin Reames is typical of the feedback we received.”

Robin Reames, director of Auto Rescue Logistics (ARL) and previously co-founder of Swiftcover, added: “The insurance industry has seen this sort of behaviour before. 10 years ago ARL fought battles to combat excessive vehicle recovery and storage charges. It took an insurer then to go to Court and challenge those charges. The victory changed Road Traffic Law and stopped the nonsense. CMA and others are now exposing the same kind of unjustified charges being levied on insurers by managing agent contractors.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.