Fleet News

High price of crash claims

Getting a company car back on the road after a non-fault accident is costing fleets tens of thousands of pounds each year.

Managing the process of getting cars repaired and issues associated with uninsured loss recovery has a high price in terms of lost cashflow, according to Total Accident Management.

Total says it, and firms like it can help, although there are concerns that rogue services could be driving up insurance costs. Total says a 500-strong fleet has more than £65,000 tied up in managing non-fault accidents during a typical policy year.

“Out of the incidents we manage, 23% are caused by a third party, but many companies still haven’t got a formal process to manage these claims without damaging their cashflow,” said Penny Stoolman, Total’s sales and marketing director.

Credit hire and credit repair products see accident management firms cover the cost of repairs and replacement vehicle hire until the costs are recovered from the third party’s insurance company.

This can reduce the impact on a company’s cashflow.

Total says its credit hire could save a 500-strong fleet £13,000 a year, while credit repair could save more than £45,000.

However, Fleet News spoke to a fleet manager, who did not want to be named, concerned about the credit hire and credit repair industry.

He feared companies were charging way above the going rate for replacement vehicle rental and such practices could drive up the cost of insurance premiums.

Stefan Smyth, Total’s business director, said Total and firms like it had signed a charging agreement with the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Those that had not, and did not have any other kind of similar dialogue with the insurance industry, could be giving the wider industry a bad name, he said.

“As with anything in life, there will be people that cheat the system,” he said.

ABI spokesman Jon French said he was not aware of such a problem, but urged anyone who had experienced cowboy credit hire and repair firms to contact them.

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